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This paper explores how frameworks based on socio-technical systems thinking and theories of resilience can be applied within the field of business security in order to help anticipate and subsequently prevent organizational threats. The paper applies a socio-technical framework to two fictional terrorism scenarios as exemplars, namely a cyber systems attack at the London 2012 Olympics and poisoning of the UK's water supply in order to anticipate the key contributors to these threats. The resilience factors are proposed as features of interrelating systems that should also be considered to analyze and adjust to threats effectively. Within this paper the resilience factor of anticipation is applied to terrorist scenarios, along with the socio-technical framework. This paper highlights the dangers associated with holding myopic views of threats and concludes that by using the socio-technical framework and considering the six resilience factors it is possible for organizations to anticipate in a more systemic way, to become more resilient to a variety of organizational attacks. Ideas for future research are discussed.
Date of Conference: 25-25 June 2012