Maritime securityOrganizational security: Alion takes stock and offer remedies

Published 21 November 2007

Organizations which take their security seriously want to evaluate continuously their security situation and security policies; often they also must see that they are in compliance with government security mandates; serious organizations should take a look at Alion’s CounterMeasures

It is one thing to want to defend your company, your campus, you building against all types of threat, and it is another to do so effectviely and efficently. To be effective — and cost effective — a defense policy must be able to assess and evaluate their security situation and security policies. This is where Alexandria, Virginia-based Alion Science and Technology come in. Government and private sector organizations have found the company’s CounterMeasures Risk Analysis and Management especially useful. It is a software package aiming to identify and address trouble spots in a computer system, building, or project. Alion will demo the package at the 2007 Maritime Security Expo. It emphasizes that this is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Rather, the company tailors the software to the needs of the client organization: It builds data sets which focus on specific functional and user requirements; it modifies the product’s output so they address specific government requirements; and it can also customize the user interfaces and system operation to meet clients’ needs.

To make the package tailored to the purchasing organization’s needs, the user must first answer a thirty-minute survey, in the process telling the software about the scenario and the environment. CounterMeasures first determines the level of vulnerability of a system or project and then calculates the level of risk. Here is an example: A client is looking to evaluate the security of a building will tell CounterMeasures of other buildings nearby, what kind of windows are on the building, how far the building’s entrance is from the street, and what kind of government-regulated building policies are in place. Using this input, CounterMeasures points out possible security gaps and offers remedies. The software is sophisticated enough, for instance, to suggest that some security measures work better on buildings with metal window frames as opposed to wood. The system is thorough, but users say it is easy to use, with an uncomplicated interface which guides users through each task.

Organizations will also find this feature handy: Because CounterMeasures’s output is based on the initial input of the user, it can be reconfigured as the client’s organization makes changes. A company may initially be focused on internal guidance for physical security, but later decides to meet Department of Justice standard. All it takes is to put this information into the system, and CounterMeasures will do evaluations and generate report which reflects the company’s new situation and new needs.
CounterMeasures generates different reports of different aspects of security, thus helping users make informed decisions.