Ridge raises terror alert for financial institutions
ASK THIS | August 01, 2004
Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge raised the terror alert from yellow to orange for financial institutions in New York City, northern New Jersey and Washington, D.C., on Aug. 1. Here are some questions to ask your business community (third in a series.)
By Judi Hasson
Q: Did large corporations and businesses in your community harden their security systems before Ridge’s latest announcement?
Q. Have they created physical perimeters preventing cars or trucks from parking close to the building? Are other areas restricted, such as mailrooms, delivery entrances and even the company cafeteria?
Q. Has the company been working with private security firms to tighten security, not just the local rent-a-cop firm, but consultants trained to deal with terrorism and their ability to identify and close security gaps?
Q: Have workers been given new identification cards that include digital pictures that cannot be altered or biometrics that include their fingerprints or eye scans?
Q: Have corporate executives been given special training in the event of a kidnapping? Are their home phones or their addresses listed? Are some top executives escorted by guards when they travel?
Q: Does the corporation employ non-Americans or those from Arab-speaking countries? If they do, have there been any incidents involving these workers? Has the FBI requested lists of non-U.S. citizens?
Q: Has the company voluntarily turned over any information to the FBI or other law enforcement or intelligence agency, including information on their products, how they are shipped and if they are specially sealed and protected once they leave a manufacturing site?
Q: Has the company installed special firewalls to prevent a cyber attack? Do they have a chief security officer on the premises – a person who deals with cyber security? How many times, if any, have hackers tried to attack their computer systems?
Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge raised the terror alert from yellow to orange for financial institutions in New York City, northern New Jersey and Washington, D.C., on Aug. 1. He cited what he said was credible information that these institutions could be the targets of car bombings. See Ridge statement at www.dhs.gov
Extra Tip: Ridge said credible intelligence indicated that several major institutions such as Citicorp buildings in New York City and Prudential in New Jersey may be targeted by terrorists. Even if you are writing about the business community elsewhere, this is a story that affects every company across America – from the smallest bank branch to the local health insurance office that pays for your doctor’s visit. How are your community leaders dealing with this latest warning: Are they paying any attention to it?
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