By Richard Bingley, Director CSARN and Senior Lecturer at the Department of Security and Resilience, Buckinghamshire New University and author of ‘Terrorism: Just the Facts’ and 'Arms Trade: Just the Facts'.
I keep being asked if there are case studies out there that relate business continuity management into counter-terrorism. Indeed, it was the subject of presentations that I used to deliver into NaCTSO, the UK National Counter-Terrorism Security Office, a few years ago now.
In short, there is a plethora of material out there… but here’s some of my routine references: first from the excellent study by Herbane, Elliot and Swartz (2004), Business Continuity Management: time for a strategic role? Herbane et al reported in reflections on 9/11 (that I’ve abridged here) that:
“The Senior Vice President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (Christopher McCurdy) commented that existing models of contingency planning in which single-site technical crises are considered should no longer be the order of the day: instead the priority should be the loss or lack of access to staff. Without them nothing can be recovered, restored or retrieved. In the most severe of crises – the worst case scenario – physical survival is an indicator of performance. Organisations such as Morgan Stanley and Lehman Brothers have recognised that the creative and flexible use of their resources supersedes the value gained from mimicking emergency plans.”
Blending in the work of Silverman and Larsen (2001) they reported:
“Morgan Stanley’s is an example of the benefits and limitations of business continuity. Continuous training following the 1993 World Trade Centre bombing meant that most of the company’s 3700 employees survived the evacuation of the South Tower in 2001. The company proceeded to establish contact with its dispersed employees using house calls, public broadcasts and one of its own call centres located in Arizona. Simultaneously, MS set out to recover its operations at alternative facilities... but not those also in the inaccessible lower Manhattan area. Recognising the differences in strategic importance between business units, operations and facilities, a temporary recovery centre was established in Brooklyn until the first recovery centre could be accessed. By Friday morning, testing activities were in progress and the recovery – both physical and emotional – was under way.”