Client’s Challenge

After an individual entered a main office building belonging to a professional services firm, it took only minutes for four employees’ lives to be lost. The gunman was killed by responding officers. Firm leaders, faced with this tragedy and the inevitable traumatization of the workforce, called Hillard Heintze for help in developing a security posture that would help employees feel safe again.

The Hillard Heintze Solution

Over the following weekend, the emphasis was on initiating an internal investigation of the attack, liaising with law enforcement crime scene experts and adding new discreet and highly visible layers of security including armed guards. Careful attention was given to crafting an email sent by the CEO to all facility employees Sunday night acknowledging the terrible loss of their colleagues and outlining steps the company was already advancing to prevent the likelihood the tragedy could occur again anywhere across its U.S. operations. In the weeks and months that followed, a tense and driven executive team sought and secured the design and implementation of a wide array of services and support from Hillard Heintze. These have included, to date, an independent assessment of security operations protecting the company’s headquarters, a physical and technical security assessment of its data centers and an evaluation of its in-house risk assessment tool and methodology.

Impact on the Client’s Organization

The emotional impact of the event remains at every level of the company, from its executive leaders through its thousands of employees across the nation. The company’s security posture is now dramatically different than it was the day before the attack, even as it continues to strengthen and expand security risk management across the enterprise.

The Project Manager’s Post-Engagement Perspective

“Engagements like these are intense because so many lives have been torn apart. You really want to see the right action taken quickly, to bring assurance to a whole population of workers who, at different levels, are both grieving and afraid to come to work. You can’t just turn the facility into Fort Knox. That’s neither pragmatic nor affordable. Instead, you need to be strategic – layering in mutually supporting physical and technical security measures, enhancing security policies and training all employees to be compliant and security-aware.”

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