A new book lays out a pragmatic, proportionate and sensible approach to protective security that reflects the best thinking of British government experts over the last 30 years.
The threats to our security are complex and evolving, as criminals, hackers, terrorists and hostile foreign states continually find new ways to stay one step ahead of us, their potential victims. At the same time, we are continually creating new vulnerabilities as we adopt new technologies and new ways of working. Those who do not understand the fundamentals of security, risk and resilience open themselves, and those around them, to avoidable dangers, needless anxieties and unnecessary costs. Inadequate security may leave them exposed to intolerable risks, while the wrong kind of security is expensive, intrusive and ineffective.
In his essential new book, world-leading security expert Paul Martin draws on a wealth of knowledge, experience and real-life examples to set out the ten most important guiding principles of protective security and resilience. Clearly expressed in the form of simple but powerful rules of thumb, and assuming no expert technical knowledge, their purpose is to help solve complicated problems for which there are no textbook solutions.
Two of the key themes in the book focus on the psychological and behavioural aspects of security. Criminals, terrorists and hackers are social animals with complex emotions and psychological predispositions. So too are the victims of those attackers and the security practitioners who strive to protect us. Another is cyber security, which, as Martin shows, is subject to the same fundamental principles as other forms of protective security, including the pre-eminence of the human dimension.
When faced with novel problems requiring complex decisions, it’s easy to focus on the wrong things. The rules laid out in The Rules of Security will be indispensable to those in positions of responsibility and will also serve to remind us what really matters.
The Rules of Security: Staying Safe in a Risky World (ISBN 9780198823575), published by Oxford University Press, is available as a hardback or e-book priced £18.99, from the usual outlets.
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