Despite an apparent downward trend in attack frequency over the past few months, terrorism remains a significant threat to businesses, according to the 2010 Aon Terrorism Threat Map, issued last week by Aon Crisis Management, a business practice of Aon Corporation.
The map assigns a threat level (Low, Guarded, Elevated, High or Severe) to countries throughout the world, and not surprisingly the 2010 edition identifies Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, Somalia and Yemen as the modern battlefronts for terrorism.
The U.S. retained its Elevated classification, although terrorist incidents over the past year (the Fort Hood massacre, the foiled Christmas Day airliner attack over Detroit and last month's bomb scare in New York's Times Square, e.g.) helped push the U.S. higher up within the Elevated category.
"Since 9/11, it is apparent that al-Qaida has been unable to find the momentum it needs to mount an operation of similar scale or impact. In part, this can be attributed to the commitment shown by governments to tackle international terrorism on many levels, from military to financial. But we remain concerned that terrorists will seek to achieve mass casualties, perhaps preferring swarm tactics of the kind used in Mumbai in November 2008," Paul Bassett, chief executive officer of Aon Crisis Management, says. "We encourage businesses to implement security risk controls proportionate to threats to their personnel and assets. First, organizations must identify and reduce their vulnerabilities based on an expert risk assessment. To reduce the impact of any attack, firms can also transfer some or all of their risk through an appropriate insurance policy."
More information about the interactive 2010 Aon Terrorism Threat Map is available here. (Registration required.) In addition to overall threat levels for each country, the map also includes sea area where piracy is a threat, countries where kidnap is a high risk and information regarding the most common methods of attack. Today's supply chains are interconnected and global, and therefore it's critical to include an assessment of the threat of terrorism in your company's comprehensive supplier risk management program.