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Indian businesses vulnerable to terror strikes: KPMG

india Updated: Jan 16, 2009 21:35 IST

PTI
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Finding gaps in Corporate India's security preparedness, a KPMG survey on Friday said companies should play a more proactive role, carry out stringent 'threat analysis' and adopt multi-layered security approach to prevent their premises and personnel from falling a prey to terror attacks.

Corporates should assume a more proactive role in ensuring that at organisational level they were accountable for security of their premises and personnel and do not become victim of such attacks on account of negligence, the survey, conducted by the Forensic Services Practice, said.

The survey found Corporate India was not prepared to cope with a security incidence in case they were caught in a terrorist attack or faced with an unconventional threat. Gaps exists in current security measures of most companies, indicating a need to improve the current security frame work.

The survey conducted by KPMG with select companies in the country from various sectors, majority of them with an annual turnover of over 150 million US Dollars, revealed that more than half of the respondents (53 per cent) did not conduct such threat analysis. Only one fifth of the respondents had conducted such a threat analysis.

The preparedness to threat was found to be drastically low with only about a quarter (24 per cent) of the respondents having a comprehensive response plan while the rest either had no or very generic security response plan. A majority of the respondents said these plans were just documented and neither the employee's were aware about it nor were they trained.

Over 58 per cent of respondents' Business Continuity Management plans, a critical process for organisations since it helps them recover fastpost an occurrence of a disaster, did not consider terror attacks.

When asked to rate security related aspects, background verification of employees was deemed the most important aspect followed by IT and perimeter security.

Due diligence of vendors/service providers followed by training and perimeter security were identified as the weakest areas within the organisational security.

According to respondents travel (airlines/airports), hospitality and retail were more prone to terror attack as compared to others.

The KPMG report also delves into money laundering and the allied issue of terrorist financing. One of the important features of terrorist financing was concealing the source and usage of funds. To tackle the issue, the report suggested a joint approach by the private and public sector.

In conclusion, the KPMG recommended conducting a threat perception analysis for all locations in order to access the exposure to the risk, considering terrorism as a major risk when designing disaster management and BCM processes and thorough background checks of all employees.

Besides, it also suggested training people for emergency response at times of disasters, continuous engagement with intelligence agencies to understand the alerts and react appropriately and educating IT users with risk management principles and counter-measures in case of a disaster or a terrorist attack.