SJUK caught up with Paul Williams who is the Director of Safety, Security & Risk for AEG Europe at The O2 London, often described as the world’s most popular music and entertainment venue.
As we approached the end of 2023, we were reminded yet again that peace is never absolute. For those who work in security and risk management, at times the world can seem like a hostile environment; our communities can feel divided, social values fractured and societal tensions at a breaking point.
On a personal note, I hope my colleagues in the industry can balance the bad with the good.
The world is still beautiful, and most people are compassionate; you just need to try a little harder to seek out the good.
In 2024, I expect we will see and experience much of the same. Although, of course, we are now better prepared and more resilient, we continue to learn and adapt to changing environments.
The local security landscape is interconnected with world affairs; the hot zone may well be in a faraway territory; however, the ripples travel far and often have an indirect effect on our communities and businesses.
Trust and truth will continue to be an evolving challenge; navigating through the layers of misinformation to find a trustworthy source will need to be a priority for security professionals.
Information and intelligence are crucial to informing security operations, but only if they’re credible, verifiable, and reliable.
To achieve good intelligence, businesses may need to enhance their intelligence services and, in some cases, reinvest in human analysts rather than relying solely on technology.
Deepfake artificial threats are one to watch out for, whether targeting brands or people.
Again, I expect companies will seek out software and technologies to counter these threats and review crisis communications to fight off the reputational damage and counter the narrative of these malicious communications.
Polarised views and nonalignment of values can lead to an increased insider threat.
Brands and companies will need to carefully consider their values and associations; inevitably, they don’t always align with the current mood and world affairs.
There can be a perceived legitimacy in targeting brands if they don’t ‘side with’ a person’s own values and morals. As well as the outside threat, we must guard against the inside threat.
Morals and ethics are important to people; employees often grapple with this dilemma and in worst-cases, will act on a perceived duty to right a wrong and stand in solidarity with a cause.
Doxing is not a recent phenomenon; however, it is rampant right now. Security and people teams will need to act quickly, sensitively, and decisively in managing employees who are subject to doxing activity.
Finally, in 2024, we will have elections in the UK and US.
As well as having a dominating effect on world affairs, elections are emotive and sensitive, so we can expect some temporary instability and disruptive protests.
Trust and truth and nonalignment of values will need to be the focus of the teams employed to protect businesses from harm.