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Feature Article: Software Suite Will Harden Defenses for Soft Targets
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Feature Article:  Software Suite Will Harden Defenses for Soft Targets
Anyone who has ever gone to a major sporting event or concert, taken public transportation, even visited a farmer's market on a brisk weekend morning, has likely benefitted from soft target physical security – and perhaps didn't even know it.  This type of public safety precaution can take many forms, from blocked off roads with concrete barriers to checkpoints with metal detectors.  It is an important part of protecting people every day as they go about their lives, as well as our community infrastructure, but it can be a serious challenge.
The Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) is continuously working to equip those within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) dedicated to securing soft targets with enhanced detection methods.  Officials require the means to identify potential threats concealed in vehicles, on people, and in their belongings – while still maintaining personal privacy and not causing excessive disturbance to events or venues.  S&T is developing layered and integrated capabilities for all of DHS that meet this public safety need.  This includes a suite of decision-support software known as Special Event Planning Tools (SEPT).
"SEPT will be used to conduct security assessments and lead to a more comprehensive development for physical security planning," explained Ali Fadel, S&T Soft Targets Security program manager.  "The portal will reside behind a secure gateway and incorporate Personal Identity Verification access that will be available to all authorized users throughout DHS.  The development is a modification of existing Department of Defense tools that have been adapted for use in civilian soft target and crowded place environments."
Screenshot of the Risk Management Tool
Screenshot of the Risk Management Tool showing initial risk (gray square icon)
and mitigated risk (gray circle icon).  Photo credit:  S&T.

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