Friday 16 January 2015

Increased Terrorist attack risk - precautions

The asymmetric war approach of ISIL and Al Qaeda  will inevitably mean attacks within Western World countries. Many of these will be detected and aborted by security forces, but some will take place. Some attacks will be retaliatory as a consequence of terrorist attacks. The incidents may even take the form of rioting. What is different at the moment is that many more hot heads and fanatics will gain access and exposure to battle conditions. They will also gain access to military weapons and explosives. In some cases terrorists will be assigned targets and resources to carry out attacks.

In reality these attacks are quite rare. Some organisations are at greater risk than others as a consequence of their operations, such as the Charlie Hebdo offices or the kosher Jewish supermarket, but sometimes the attacks are random. Consider for example the print works in Dammartin-en-Goele France where the terrorists took refuge and a hostage while on the run.

Your premises might be located adjacent to another organisations whose building is at risk.

There is also the risk of rioting and other action as people protest about the growing disparity between to elite 1% and the 99% general public. Some companies may be targeted if they are seen to be taking advantage of the poor. This type of action is not far from the surface. In the UK there were widespread localised riots in 2011 triggered by the shooting of Mark Duggan.

Employers have a duty of care for their employees. It also makes good business sense to also protect their company assets. Employers should each geographic location of their organisation:
  • Assess the risk of terrorist actions;
  • Plan for action in the event of an attack or hostage situation;
  • Document the plan;
  • Train and inform their employees;
  • Improve security;
  • Install measures to mitigate the consequences of an attack;
  • Protect sensitive information;
  • Plan evacuation and/or refuge;
  • Install methods to alert the authorities and senior management/owners;
  • Integrate with the company business continuity planning.
Action should take place now. Waiting until the attack takes place is not helpful.

We'll be producing a series of articles discussing the above list of points and they'll be published soon. If any of our readers like to see these articles, please add a comment or send us an email expressing interest

Friday 9 January 2015

Helping out - Google first page

We were able to give someone a nice Christmas Present. We helped them position their business on the Page 1 response for both Google Search and Bing. It is a small driving school which started business a few months ago. The proprietor is a friend of my partner. The proprietor was bemoaning the fact their business didn't show up in search results. 

Performing as an SEO (Search Engine Optimiser) is not our normal line of business. We are into IT Infrastructure and security, but we are aware of the principles involved in getting a good rating. We said we'd help this small business free of charge.

We showed them how to create a search engine friendly web site and how to lead the web spiders to crawl over their new site. We didn't perform any of the HMTL work, but showed them how to achieve the result themselves for just a few pounds expenditure. On Christmas Eve I was able to email them a pdf file showing a nicely positioned localised Page 1 response including them showing up on the map.

Their business can be found at  They've noticed an increase in enquiries. We're glad to of be assistance.

Update 12/Mar/2015: The business reports they are getting enquiries and business because of their top of page one position on Google. We're glad to have been of assistance.

DHL Courier lies

We had someone assigned and waiting in the office today for a parcel delivery by DHL. It didn't turn up so we checked their tracking site. The courier claimed "attempted delivery no one at home". Unfortunately for this driver, at the time, we had someone overlooking the doorway where the attempted delivery would have taken place. No one turned up. We checked our surveillance video; no sign of an attempted delivery. The intercom/door bell works, we'd checked it.

Sorry DHL, you don't get the prize this time! In fact one of the the items in the package was a birthday present for a member of the House of Lords in the UK Government. Not only did you fail to deliver, but you attempted to lie about it.

As always we always punish corporate misdoings, but losing the support of a member of the Government is even more unwise.

Update:  Mon 12th Jan 

- Despite our Company Secretary spending about 20 minutes on the phone to DHL, on Friday explaining that their driver hadn't called at our place, they still haven't corrected the status on their tracking website. The lie persists. It is still shown with a status at 14.32 as: 

Waybill 1851252760 "Delivery attempted; recipient not home"

This means the failure to deliver is not recorded in their system. I wonder if they have any systems in place to identify drivers who may have consistent failures?

Apparently the package will be delivered some time today, but they cannot predict when!  So we have to have someone waiting around all day on the off-chance that DHL might deliver.  I wonder why they are unable to predict within an hour that a delivery will take place? I know their competitors can provide such service.

Update: Tue 13th Jan

A response received from DHL customer services to the effect they are unable to correct their records in respect of the misrepresentation by their driver. They clearly have no intention of creating correct records of their (poor) service.