Workplace security the new emerging threat for facility managers who wear so many hats

In an interesting piece, Felix P. Nater of Nater Associates, Ltd., sees workplace violence as a new, emerging threat that causes concerned managers considerable angst. While traditional company approaches suggest that the problem typically deals with the hostile behavior of a disgruntled employee or the escalation of disputes between employees, facility managers and security directors also include the risk posed by the armed robber and the opportunity criminals.

That was the traditional perspective. Not factored into the traditional equation is the calculated threat posed by the “insider” who has privileged access to the company Intranet, company files, remote access and management, and oversight via his or her computer. The advent of remote access has further muddied the waters.

New, non-traditional approaches to the Prevention of Workplace Violence and Workplace Security do not disqualify any potential threat to the safety and security of the workplace, hence the discovery of new more potent threats. These new approaches require an analytical perspective that looks beyond the walls and into the world of minimized detection and maximum damage.

No longer should responsible officials limit their scope to preventing escalation of violence between employees. New, harder-to-detect methods have arisen for employees to exact revenge or “make a point.”

One new retaliatory measure at employees’ disposal involves network privileged access. Devastating damage can be inflicted using such access. While we await the other “Threats from Within – the Terrorist” to strike, the new “lying in wait” culprit is the “privileged user” who might be a current employee, former employee, vendor or contractor with access…who has an ax to grind or score to settle.

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