Global Security Week Starts Today, September 5

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Today marks the start of the first ever Global Security Week.

Today marks the start of the first ever Global Security Week. The date September 11, 2001 has a special significance in relation to global security. On that day, completely unbeknown to all except a small band of terrorists, people everywhere were going about their business as usual. We were all unaware of the life changing events that were about to take place in the United States cities of New York, Washington and Philadelphia.

Could more have been done to prevent these events? Who knows, but why did it take such an event to occur before we became aware of the lax security in our airports? Would the damage have been the same had people been more vigilant? With the benefit of 20/20 hindsight we can see missed opportunities. Greater security awareness would certainly have made the actions of the terrorists leading up to the attack more risky and difficult.

Just two weeks ago, few of the inhabitants of New Orleans or the Mississippi Gulf states appreciated the extent of the potential damage that the approaching hurricane might bring. Shirley Laska, a researcher at the University of New Orleans, wrote about the city’s near miss from hurricane Ivan last year and made uncannily accurate predictions about the current disaster scenario (see

Greater awareness of the risks and the actions that people could take to protect themselves might have led more of them to evacuate the city and coastal area before the Gulf surge demolished their homes and the floods trapped them. Far from leading to complacency, narrowly surviving hurricane Ivan might instead have spurred on the steps necessary to bolster the city’s defenses. People might have at least made better personal contingency plans such as having sufficient food and water available for extended power outages and loss of clean drinking water. Local businesses might have instituted measures to move operations to safer localities, and to secure their critical business processes and IT systems.

The fact is that security awareness saves lives and protects livelihoods.

Global Security Week is an initiative to bring together and publicize the wonderfully creative security awareness activities that already take place globally throughout the year. It aims to encourage new security awareness activities and bring greater visibility to existing events.

This is the first year that such an event has been observed globally and it has already begun to generate genuine interest around the globe. Many organizations are actively planning security awareness activities for Global Security Week next year.

For more information on Global Security Week and to volunteer your support, please visit the website

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Gary Hinson
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