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Mangesh Sawant, Senior Vice President of Riskpro India, spoke with Security Management magazine in February about the changing role of The Chief Security Strategist in an Age of Uncertainty. In that article, he discuss geopolitical risk, corporate espionage, insider threat, and more. Below, he shares with the ASIS Blog some of his experiences managing instances of civil unrest.

What are the main preparations/steps security professionals need to take when it comes to civil unrest?

Employee Protection

  • Disruptions can be reduced by ensuring remote work plans are in place
  • Conduct an Emergency Security Training Program for employees
  • Ensure that employees update their contact information so that they can be easily reached
  • Employees should stay away from glass windows
  • Travel Security protocols should include civil disturbances planning

Facility Protection

  • Periodically test intrusion and fire protection systems and security hardware and software to ensure functionality during a crisis
  • Brief security guards on the situation and plan response procedures
  • Remove combustible materials from the building
  • Ensure GSOC staff has received special training related to civil disturbances and social media monitoring
  • Secure and monitor emergency exit doors
  • Protect CCTV cameras from deliberate damage by protestors
  • Remove or repair any loose items in and around the premises such as bricks
  • Protect critical facility assets which are vulnerable to civil disturbances


  • An understanding of the laws is crucial
  • Conduct predictive analysis for forecasting protests
  • Protect organizational networks from cyber attacks

What can security professionals around the globe learn from situations you've helped oversee?

  • Installed an early warning system to avoid supply and employee travel disruptions
  • Implemented alternative route planning for vendors so as to avoid supply disruptions
  • Prepared a list of areas like public places which are prone to civil disturbances
  • Maintained working relationships with the police for intelligence gathering
  • A crisis management employees WhatsApp account was opened for live updates and feeds from GSOC
  • CISO was alerted about cyber attacks by anarchists
  • Created an employee map to understand where they live and the routes taken for travel
  • Tied up with two major hospitals for emergency response
  • I implemented crucial recommendations related to civil disturbances like
  • Constructing an eight feet high perimeter brick wall topped with three feet concertina wire and fortification of windows with toughened glass
  • Establishment of a fire station within the company premises
  • Clauses like disciplinary action incase of dereliction of duty by guards during civil disturbances and deployment of trained guards were inserted in guarding company contracts