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News Release

ASIS International Presents Security Book of the Year Award

Soft Target Hardening: Protecting People from Attack

Alexandria, Va. 2015-09-14

​ASIS International (ASIS) will present author Dr. Jennifer L. Hesterman, US Air Force (Retired), with its Security Book of the Year Award on Mon., Sept. 28, at 9:30 a.m. at the ASIS International 61st Annual Seminar and Exhibits in Anaheim, Ca. Hesterman’s award-wining book, "Soft Target Hardening: Protecting People from Attack" was published in 2014.

“This book addresses one of the foremost threats facing security management professionals globally today. Dr. Hesterman’s professional background provides a unique and invaluable perspective to the topic,” noted award committee chair Lawrence J. Fennelly, CPO, CSS, himself author and editor of more than 30 security books.

Terrorist attacks occur daily and are increasingly being aimed at civilian populations around the world. Battlefield lines have been redrawn to include churches, schools, hospitals and malls. This breach of moral boundary is shocking and invokes fear—two primary goals of terrorism. Although there is an increase in soft target activity—or attacks on places of worship, study and leisure—there is hesitation to explore such susceptibility in the United States.

"Soft Target Hardening: Protecting People from Attack" starts the national dialogue by providing case studies, best practices and methodologies for identifying soft target vulnerabilities and reducing risk in the US. It offers deterrence and mitigation techniques from more than 275 sources.

“I wrote the book for a broad audience, inclusive of security leaders, practitioners, and students, as well as soft target venue operators and the average citizen. We need to wrap our minds around the fact that schools, churches, hospitals and the places we recreate and play are now legitimate targets of those who wish to do us harm,” observed Hesterman. “Citizens themselves are now in the crosshairs. As such, they have a right to be informed on the threat, their vulnerability and the most effective response. Citizens are also the first responders at soft target attacks and educating them on how to engage makes them force multipliers at the scene. This book gives them the tools they need to understand and respond to the growing soft target threat in the United States.”

Dr. Hesterman will be available until 10 a.m. in the ASIS 2015 Bookstore to sign copies of her book, published by CRC Press. The Security Book of the Year Award is proudly co-sponsored by the ASIS Crime Prevention and Loss Prevention Council and the ASIS Information Resources Center (Library).

This is the second annual award for a security book published during the previous year by an author. The award committee consists of ASIS members who are established and recognized security authors and editors. Throughout the year, committee members read and review many books. The final works are then anonymously rated and the winning title of “security book of the year” is selected.

The book may be purchased online in the ASIS Store.


Dr. Jennifer L. Hesterman, US Air Force (Retired), was commissioned in 1986 as a graduate of Air Force ROTC at Penn State University. During her military career, she served in three Pentagon tours and commanded multiple times in the field. A cleared professional, she is an advisor for Watermark Risk Management International, a senior analyst for the MASY Group, on the Advisory Board for the Government Security Conference, and a member of the ASIS Crime Prevention and Loss Prevention Council. Dr. Hesterman holds a doctoral degree from Benedictine University and master’s degrees from Johns Hopkins University and Air University.

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​ASIS International (ASIS) is the largest membership organization for security management professionals that crosses industry sectors, embracing every discipline along the security spectrum from operational to cybersecurity. Founded in 1955, ASIS is dedicated to increasing the effectiveness of security professionals at all levels.

Through hundreds of chapters across the globe, ASIS develops and delivers board certifications and industry standards, hosts networking opportunities, publishes the award-winning Security Management magazine, and offers educational programs, including the Annual Seminar and Exhibits—the security industry’s most influential event. Whether providing thought leadership through the CSO Roundtable for the industry’s most senior executives or advocating before business, government, or the media, ASIS is focused on advancing the profession, and ensuring that the security community has access to intelligence, resources, and technology needed within the business enterprise.