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Critical Infrastructure News

Around the world, there are an estimated 40.3 million victims trapped in modern-day slavery, according to the International Labour Organization. One in four of those victims are children. In addition, victims’ rights groups say that human trafficking across the U.S. (and the world) rose during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline, which only collects information from its hotline, has seen growth year over year in human trafficking situations, recording a 5% increase in reported cases between 2018 and 2019, for example.

But the numbers are difficult to get a handle on due to the nature of human trafficking; many crimes are never prosecuted, let alone reported. Countries or states reporting zero or low amounts of human trafficking offenses, for example, are merely reflecting data reported by local law enforcement or the justice system.

Aside from a moral obligation to seek out and report possible criminal behaviors such as human trafficking, organizations in any sector may face repercussions related to human trafficking, such as reputational damage, legal damage and supply chain damage, according to Lindsey Roberson, Director of Legal Engagement at the Human Trafficking Institute. The Human Trafficking Institute works all over the world to identify best practices for the prosecution of trafficking crimes, publish human tracking data, and help other countries identify and prosecute trafficking crimes.

“Frontline workers in any industry can certainly be briefed and trained on signs of trafficking,” Roberson says. But security leaders or those leaders within the enterprise that deal with risk and resilience, labor and safety, should also be looking at other areas to mitigate human trafficking and potential effects on the business, she says.

Taking a proactive approach to examining potential risks and liabilities within the supply chain in regards to human rights violations, human trafficking or other abuses, can save a company from financial or legal liabilities, but also help it avoid the look of impropriety that can cause consumers and others to place judgment on the organization and inflict irreversible reputational damage.

Read more: Security Mag

Virginia Tech's Lane Stadium has made several safety and security upgrades for 2021. One of those upgrades includes digital seat tags on all 66,000 seats within the stadium. Each seat has a QR codes unique to the seat that allows spectators to snap a picture with their camera, which will take them to the stadium's digital seat platform on their smart phone.

Fans can access the rosters playing teams, game stats in real time, as well as report any maintenance or security issues. The reporting allows security staff to pinpoint the exact location of an incident, helping with faster response time.

Read more: Security Mag

The National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC), the National Insider Threat Task Force (NITTF), the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense Intelligence and Security, the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency, and the Department of Homeland Security launched the third-annual “National Insider Threat Awareness Month” (NITAM).

NITAM is an annual, month-long campaign during September to educate government and industry about the risks posed by insider threats and the role of insider threat programs.  Federal insider threat programs are composed of multi-disciplinary teams that address insider threats while protecting privacy and civil liberties of the workforce; maximizing organizational trust and ensuring positive work cultures that foster diversity and inclusion.

The NITAM campaign seeks to encourage employees in government and the private sector to recognize behaviors of concern and report them so early intervention can occur, leading to positive outcomes for at-risk individuals and reduced risks to organizations.  To learn more about the campaign and resources available to organizations, visit the NITAM 2021 website.

All organizations are vulnerable to insider threats.  An insider threat is anyone with authorized access who uses that access to wittingly or unwittingly harm an organization or its resources.  Most insider threats exhibit risky behavior prior to committing negative workplace events.  If identified early, many insider threats can be mitigated before harm occurs.

Read more: HSToday