“What Threat Assessment Is (2 of 3 parts)”

“What Threat Assessment Is (2 of 3 parts)”

© 2015 Research Solutions, Inc. (all rights reserved)

To quickly recap part “1”, which is what would be considered the most simplistic “down and dirty” definition of what Threat Assessment is:

A Threat is where there is a potential event or action that will negatively cause, effect, damage or destroy:

  1. Physical property (e.g. equipment, installations, tangible property, infrastructure);
  2. The destabilization or overthrow of a government / country infrastructure; or
  3. Life (e.g. the injury or death of employees, contract personnel, civilians, military and law enforcement personnel, government officials and staffing, agency personnel, as well as any related family members); and
  4. Threat Assessment addresses:
    1. “Physical property”
    2. Destabilization / Overthrow of a government / country infrastructure”; and/or
    3. “Human lives”

Again, there are countless sub-sections and definitions for Threat Assessment, but the purpose of this short 3-part series is for those who truly don’t have a “working understanding” of exactly what Threat Assessment is, let alone how it is performed.

It is also not to exclude those professionals who are in the field, but perhaps give insight for a better way to explain it to other professionals not in the field to better grasp the importance and the perpetual need to perform Threat Assessment in all fields, professions, industries and government agencies.

Focusing on the analytical portion of Threat Assessment, it has to be broken down into its most basic facets of priority which include:

    1. The nature of the Threat – Threats, as previously discussed in part 1, need to be clearly identified as soon as possible with valid and authenticated data. The worst mistake to make is to prematurely identify a Threat without supporting evidence or base it on conjecture, circumstantial or unsupported evidence.
    2. Has the Threat been validated? – The difference between the “nature of the Threat” versus the “validation” of the Threat is quite simple. The nature of the Threat is defining the “type” and “scope” of what the potential Threat is, where the “validation” of the Threat is the due diligence of the “process” of proving that the Threat indeed exists and there is more that probable cause based upon (a) direct evidence and/or (b) validated intelligence that would reflect a true and present danger that is not speculative.
    3. The severity of the Threat – The severity of a Threat can be determined utilizing a “rating system” that goes from minor to severe, or a plethora of other ways of reflecting the “degree” of Threat; however the key to such a rating is addressing the (a) immediate effect(s); (b) the on-going effects; and (c) the post-Threat ramifications. This can be exceptionally hard since there are two (2) elements that have to be taken into account when establishing such a rating. The first is that of the amount of “time” that can be utilized to perform the due diligence and acquire the intelligence fast enough and efficiently enough to make a reasonable determination; and the second is a clear understanding of the type/nature of the defined Threat (and the scope of it). Many may be attempting to address a Threat they have no understanding of, or do not understand the “scope” of what it can/will effect, and to what degree.
    4. Identify a solution to stop the Threat or mitigate the damage WHEN it happens – This is one of the hardest components of Threat Assessment since it is paramount for the proper identification of a Threat to be able to develop and establish a solution to stop it OR to mitigate the damages/effects WHEN it happens. This includes, but is not limited to a “fluid” plan of action, those that will be involved, the strategy(s) that will be used, the courses of action to be taken and so-on.
    5. Time allocation for Threat Assessment – This IS the most important factor since you are working against two (2) clocks. The first is how much time does it take to perform due-diligence, research and investigation to acquire validated intelligence to support a potential or imminent Threat, and the second is that nature of the Threat will “decrease” the amount of time that can be used to truly research it due to the imminent Threat WHEN it happens.

These five (5) basic points are what makes up the “analysis” of Threat Assessment, and keep in mind this is a VERY down-and-dirty simplistic description of a “major” discipline, that being Threat Assessment.

The final 3rd section will address “cause and effect” scenarios as well as basic Threat Assessment Structures.

Research Solutions, Inc.


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