A Threat Management Program: Managing Threats to Relieve the Stress

When field reporters and office staff of a high-profile media organization began receiving threats to their safety and security at an alarming rate, the organization turned to T&M for help establishing a threat management program.

threat management

Threats were being received over the phone, in letters via postal mail, by email, through social media and in person. The media organization was uncertain of the number and types of threats its staff were receiving and had no program in place to document and assess the received threats, creating a liability issue for the organization and potentially jeopardizing both staff safety and its reputation should a threat be carried out. Without this cataloging of incidents, there was no way in which a broader analysis to identify emerging trends related to threats could be performed and therefore, no clear direction or consensus could be achieved for implementing mitigation measures to enhance the safety and security for all its reporters and staff.

After extensive collaboration with the media organization, T&M recommended a customized threat management program, in-line with current security industry best practices, which also utilized an online reporting application linked to T&M’s 24/7 Command Center. This application enables any staff member receiving a threatening or suspicious communication to quickly and easily complete a web-based form to describe the threat and then submit this information to the T&M Command Center and members of the T&M threat management team in real time. An alternate reporting mechanism was also established that implemented a 24/7 hotline enabling reporting via telephone directly to T&M’s Command Center.

T&M’s threat management team, comprised of subject matter experts from the Security Consulting Services division with extensive threat and risk assessment experience, is responsible for analyzing the data received, “triaging” the threat, and promptly contacting the individual who filed the incident to collect more information and offer initial security and safety advice. Threats determined to be “actionable” or having a higher likelihood of occurrence are discussed directly with the media organization’s dedicated security and threat management representatives, which was organized with T&M's guidance. T&M makes recommendations in response to actionable incidents to enhance the safety and security of the targeted individual(s). As a final stage in the threat management program, each reported incident is documented in a centralized database that captures the nature of the threat, actions taken, recommendations and any additional follow-up information. This database is regularly reviewed and analyzed by T&M’s threat management team to detect any emerging trends or patterns of activity. A monthly report summarizing threat activity and offering an analysis is provided by T&M to the media organization.

With this threat management program in-place, the media organization demonstrates to its field reporters and office staff that it is committed to their safety and security, while reducing the liability of not having an active program. By enabling the documentation of incidents, a broader assessment of threats can be conducted by T&M’s security experts who can detect any emerging patterns. The media organization recognizes that the threat management program developed and implemented by T&M is creating a safer workplace, and T&M continues to support this program for the media organization to this day.

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