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Security: The new threats

Security: The new threats

Chair:  Coralie Berael, Forest National Arena (BE)

Guest speakers included:
Pete Dalton, Thames Valley Police (UK)
Richard Hughes, Drone Seeker (UK)
Steve Kemsley, atmaana (UK)
Mark Laidlaw, SEC (UK)

“This is one of the safest panels at the ILMC,” laughed chair Coralie Berael of Belgium’s Forest National as she opened the session.

Mark Laidlaw, of Glasgow venue SEC, said in the last two years, the role of security has changed massively, from merely checking for prohibited items and general door security into one which is much more sophisticated and complicated. He said since the terrorist strikes such as at the Bataclan and Manchester Arena, his team had developed a much closer relationship with the local Police, as well as investing strategically in security training.

Pete Dalton, a counter-terrorism expert from Thames Valley Police in the UK, said in the last three years there’s been 100 terrorist incidents in Europe, but added: “To reassure you, terrorists are looking to achieve international publicity, so they focus on iconic locations such as central London. They don’t tend to go for more routine locations.”

“The probability of an attack on your venue is low,” he said. “You’ve got far more chance of being killed in an airplane crash – the odds of which is 1 in three million. Keep that in mind. But there are things you can do to make that chance smaller.”

The recent Gatwick and Heathrow airport disruption from drones means these sorts of attack are very high profile at the moment. Rather than delivering explosives, these attacks aim to disrupt. But more often than not, if you see a drone flying, it’s someone trying to take pictures, or a publicity stunt, explained Richard Hughes of Drone Seeker, a new firm that can detect where a drone operator is located and direct security to them.

“The greatest threat from drones is crowd management – making sure there’s no stampede if people get worried about it,” he explained.

He also said that one thing on festival organisers’ mind was people using drones to get drugs into their events.

Cyber security expert Steve Kemsley, of atmaana in the UK, said the most common types of cyber-attack were misuse of social media and cyber-crime. “The likelihood of these happening is very low but keep it in your mind and be plan for it,” he said.

Among his tips for good cyber security was being aware that a disgruntled employee could potentially sell your login details to criminals. This can be mitigated by good induction processes, ensuring good hiring strategies, have an anonymous tip-off scheme at work so other employees can raise things they think are unusual.

Regarding social media attacks, where people hijack the venue’s social accounts, he said it’s important to make sure senior management have logins for accounts, as well as the social media managers. It’s about making sure you have procedures in place to deal with these things, he reminded the room.