Specialist tech helps businesses
prepare against attacks by hazardous materials

The sharp rise of attacks by use of hazardous materials in recent years is prompting more organisations to implement smart technology solutions that help them detect and manage these risks and better protect their people and assets from harm.

An important threat to businesses

In recent years, the use of nerve agents during the Salisbury poisoning, Kuala Lumpur airport attack, and Syrian war, to name a few examples, has made knowledge of such weapons and even access to certain materials more accessible to terrorists worldwide. 

Today, the use of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) materials against civilian targets has become a widely recognised threat, and materials, sometimes referred to as ‘dirty bombs’ are increasingly used to cause harm or fear by targeting critical infrastructure, public spaces, or a specific business or large venue. 

But besides the obvious threat to human life, the disruption to affected businesses following an attack can be colossal, compromising their ability to recover financially or maintain their operations. With this heightened risk, organisations must engage the right protective measures and solid contingency plans.

We recommend organisations use a phased approach to finding the most appropriate solutions. Firstly, by mapping their risks and identifying the potential gaps in their existing contingency plans. Secondly, by evaluating the premises' risks for the company, staff and customers. And finally, by implementing the most appropriate countermeasures for their organisation. 

For further guidance from our G4S Academy experts on rethinking your risk management approach, download our guide on mitigating malicious use of hazardous materials.

The use of smart technology

Increasingly, organisations are choosing to equip their premises with specialist technology which helps them detect the presence of harmful substances. As well as detection devices, the use of smart software systems can, in the event of a CBRN incident, help their teams raise alarms, plan and communicate throughout their interventions. 

The CBRN situational awareness software platform builds on modular technology components in a comprehensive system, and is supported by detectors, algorithms, dispersion models, information management software and decision support systems. This means the control and exclusion zones can be more accurately estimated in near-real-time, and the time it takes to start interventions is significantly reduced.

By combining advanced technology with a tried-and-tested contingency setup, this system can provide first responders and all stakeholders concerned with continuously updated information during operations.

Looking ahead

Going forward, technology will remain the chief driver for solutions that can counter CBRN attacks, with the focus expected to be on some key aspects, including: situational awareness, connectivity and compact sensors. 

We also believe that governments will increasingly demand better response systems in the future, potentially leading to insurance companies requiring that installations countering and handling the CBRN threat be implemented in certain premises.

For further insights from our G4S Academy experts on finding the right solutions to mitigate these risks within your business, download our guide on mitigating malicious use of hazardous materials.
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