Terms like globalized, interconnected, and hyper-empowered are so trumpeted across the infinite 24-hour news hour cycle and media barrage that they have become part of the din – rather than the call to action that they should compel. But, at their core, what has spawned from them?
Hyper-connectivity, globalization, and massive volumes of information that are available (and accessible) have created and connected markets, people, and ideas. This growing network has generated incredible opportunities for people, organizations, and nations to collaborate and extend their influence. But it also has generated all kinds of new vulnerabilities. And only a small minority of our thought leaders and influencers is actively considering how to balance the two.
We know the threat landscape is changing. We are reminded constantly of complex, unconventional threats taking shape in the form of malicious groups, lone wolf terrorists, insider threats, cyber-attacks, global epidemics, and modern-day colonization of weak, and failed nations. Criminals, vandals, terrorists, and destructive nation-less syndicates are generating power and taking advantage of rapid disruption caused by civil conflict, mass migration, internally displaced people, high rates of unemployment, pervasive corruption, and a growing shortage of critical natural resources.
Is our current knowledge, security technology, and innovation ecosystem sufficient to withstand growing economic, political, social and environmental turbulence?
To use a business analogy, our security ecosystem has just left the startup phase. The security industry continues to evolve as it strives to keep up with the frenetic threat landscape. Across academia, government, and commercial entities, there is more knowledge and innovation focus than ever about specific threat(s) and their respective nuances and implications. But even these groups are falling shy of successfully addressing the threat on a larger level. That’s because centralized efforts are rare, and most organizations are still operating in a reactive mode.
This concerning reality was evident at the recent ASIS International Seminar and Exhibits conference. At this ‘world’s most influential security event,’ thousands of security professionals from across public and private sectors gathered to share expertise, network, and showcase security technologies on the brink of revolutionizing security.
During the event, we witnessed a few points that validate our concern that despite security innovations (e.g. social media scrapes, biometrics, autonomous patrolling, etc.), no single entity has taken responsibility for revealing the linkages between the need, threat, technology solutions, and expected resilience.
These participants and innovations are commendable for how they address current needs and trends in the market. But there is still a dangerous lack of foresight regarding what lies across the horizon. Within the current ecosystem, knowledge, security technology, and innovation are neither linked nor working in tandem. We are operating in a fast-moving, unpredictable threat landscape that demands a mature ecosystem capable of anticipating and assessing situations continuously, systematically, and with a unified view.
Prosilience: A Critical Necessity
Organizational resilience transcends access control, perimeter, and cyber-physical security. It is based on a concrete strategy that encompasses the protection of people, intellectual property and assets, as well as increased profitability and market share. It systematically steps outside the current state to consider alternative scenarios for every opportunity and threat potential. And it informs the creation of the tools and technology created to anticipate and mitigate threats.
Qualities of this protection innovation ecosystem include:
We think that organizations that will lead the security and protection market will have a strong capability in understanding emerging critical areas and their role in each:
In the post-9/11 world, we have a lot of people and organizations working to generate an understanding of why and how the threat happened. But that’s hindsight. What we need to do is consider what comes next. It’s time to solve the implementation gap. To do that, we have to determine that the questions, solutions, and foresight discipline are absolutely purposeful.
Now is the time to build a unified ecosystem capable of maximizing opportunities, preventing losses, and protecting those who look to us for security.
As a consulting and advisory firm, Toffler Associates delivers strategic advantage to clients around the globe with an unwavering commitment to be the catalyst for change. Both the public and private sectors rely on Toffler Associates’ Future Proof® business consulting service and unique perspective to architect better futures.
Toffler Associates is a future-focused strategic advisory firm. Our Future Proof® business consulting approach helps global leaders understand how future shifts impact current decisions so they can take advantage of opportunity, manage risk, and create future value.
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