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Title: Security posture assessment in conflict areas: The value of spatial-temporal information Authors:  Enrico Biffis - Imperial College Business School (United Kingdom) [presenting]
Davide Benedetti - Imperial College Business School (United Kingdom)
Abstract: The problem of assessing the security posture of organizations operating in conflict areas is considered. We show how spatio-temporal risk models can be used to understand the dynamic and heterogenous nature of attack occurrences and severities, providing insights into the design of the Close Protection security layer. We use a granular dataset on attacks carried out in Iraq during 2007-15 to quantify the economic gains from using granular information on the actual environment organizations operate in. We quantify such gains by comparing the cost of implementing security postures based on conditional vs. unconditional information. Metrics based on expected casualties are also discussed. We provide practical applications of the model by studying in detail four different areas in Iraq presenting different socio-economic characteristics and patterns of attack occurrence. We then look more explicitly at the oil and gas industry and consider a case study based on a medium sized oil field in the Basra region. We find that appropriate use of spatio-temporal information can deliver average security cost savings of around 30\% relative to the case of unconditional security postures, and of around 50\% relative to the case of security postures driven by overreaction to spikes in conflict activity that have limited bearing for the exposures at stake.