On Security

In Countering a Creative Security Threat, Anticipation Is Key

Scott Stewart
VP of Tactical Analysis, Stratfor
Sep 17, 2019 | 09:00 GMT
CCTV footage on a mobile phone is believed to show former Russian spy Sergei Skripal (left), and his daughter, Yulia Skripal, walking in the center of Salisbury not long before they were poisoned.

Closed circuit TV footage on a mobile phone is believed to show former Russian spy Sergei Skripal (left), and his daughter, Yulia Skripal, walking in the center of Salisbury, United Kingdom, not long before they were poisoned. With criminals and spies ever resourceful, security departments require more flexibility if they are to counter their adversaries.

(DAN KITWOOD/Getty Images)

The old adage "necessity is the mother of invention" is never truer than when it comes to crime. I spent most of last week in Chicago attending the annual ASIS International Global Security Exchange, chatting to colleagues old and new about the particular challenges they face. In doing so, something struck me: Whether it's criminals, militants, corporate spies or activist groups, every threat is adaptive and creative. And then the flip side of this realization also occurred to me: By nature, security people and the programs they create tend to be rigid and inflexible. After all, many security leaders come out of the military or law enforcement (or both, like me). And even those from different backgrounds tend to pick up many of the cultural traits of such institutions by working with and for people who have....

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