Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, industries and businesses have made significant security improvements in many areas of critical infrastructure protection. This has been especially true of the oil and gas industry. Business continuity and the national security paradigm in which we live have dictated security improvements especially in critical facilities. Coupled with new security regulations mandated by federal and local governments such as the Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA) and the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS), the oil and gas industry has made significant upgrades to security.

As major facilities like refineries, chemical plants and larger offshore production facilities have become hardened, criminals and terrorist organizations have shown a particular trend to avoid hardened targets and attack vulnerable "soft targets" owned by companies. Soft targets are smaller terminals, offshore sites, logistics hubs, pipelines, and office business units or entities that, for a variety of reasons, have not been hardened by significant security upgrades. Many corporations, including major oil and gas providers, own or are affiliated with, numerous business units that have vulnerable employees and property. These business units influence business continuity and are vulnerable as soft targets. This presentation will address:

  • The trending evolution of terrorism toward attacks on softer targets;

  • The factors which influence this trend toward soft targets attacks;

  • The challenges of protecting those soft target assets; and

  • Benchmark security tools that may better prepare a business in protecting potentially softer target business units and assets.

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