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A recent Horizon Scan Report by the Business Continuity Institute found that acts of terrorism are one of the top ten threats that business continuity professionals worry about. Terrorist acts confront our fundamental sense of security and therefore involve our emotions. Our emotions, for better or for worse, influence our judgments on risk and how we carry on with our lives. As our societies respond to this continuing threat, that tension between intellect and emotion is also played out. Given our role in the protective disciplines, we need to be aware of our personal judgments on risk which influence our professional decisions.

In the latest edition of the BCI's Working Paper Series, Tim Jordan captures this tension as he discusses the implications for the understanding of risk from a practitioner’s perspective, highlighting that terrorism is a persistent phenomenon. This is an important premise as it influences business continuity, the way we analyse the business impact of certain risks and our responsibility in making our organizations resilient.

The paper concludes that the issue of managing risks associated with terrorism is complex and not easy to conceive. It is also not a topic which lies within the bounds of business continuity, risk and resilience. Nevertheless, our profession faces terrorism risks and the organizations we work for are affected directly or indirectly by terrorist acts. Therefore, business continuity, risk and resilience practitioners should have a sound understanding of the issues and their accompanying effects.

In the end, terrorism and its effects influence the perception of risks and individual feelings. Business continuity, risk and resilience practitioners are not free from these effects. Given their important role, they are in a position where their tasks require them to critically examine their environment in a more considered way.

The paper,‘Terrorism as a lasting threat and its implications to practitioners’ view on risk', can be obtained after free registration here.

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