To assess how organizations are protecting themselves from mail terrorism, SoBran, Inc. conducts an annual survey of security and mailroom professionals.
Why Is This Important?
Mail threats can occur at any time, for any type of organization. They may come from terrorist actions, homegrown extremists, or individuals with a grievance against a particular company
Mail screening is an essential part of an overall security plan that includes physical security and cyber security strategies to protect an organization’s staff, assets and reputation. Yet, many security professionals battle complacency in their organizations and haven’t implemented adequate protection from mail threats.
These survey findings reveal how organizations can move from complacency to funding mail screening as a critical component of their overall security plan. Understanding how organizations included in this survey address mail security challenges can help security professionals, facilities managers, mailroom staff, and business leaders shape their own risk management practices.
How Worried Should We Be?
Each year, the FBI and US Postal Service receive thousands of reports of hazardous or threatening mail. High profile or controversial organizations are not the only ones targeted by mail terrorism.
Almost one in three respondents in the SafeMail survey report that over the last year they have received at least one mail threat (including hazardous mail and hoaxes). Thirteen percent received 3 or more threats
What are the Challenges to Mail Security?
When asked to name their biggest challenge, 38% of survey respondents indicated they must constantly work to gain awareness and/or budget for mail security, combating the complacency that can set in when organizations feel “too safe.”
As the results of this survey indicate, even organizations that are aware of the threat of mail terrorism and have taken steps to address it, have gaps in their security strategies which could leave them exposed to an attack
Where Can We Improve?
The primary area for improvement is the screening location. Offsite screening, in which mail is screened in a separate location from where most employees work, is the most effective way to minimize potential harm.
A second opportunity for improvement is a deeper emphasis on training.
Organizations can increase the knowledge of mailroom staff as well as anyone who
handles incoming mail with a variety of training strategies.
Basic steps to Mail Safety Include:
1. Put a plan in writing
2. Install correct equipment
3. Train employees
4. Run practice drills
If this is not possible, consider outsourcing mail screening to a third party or sending mail to a third party screening facility.
As long as terrorists have low cost and easy access to mail, all organizations must consider comprehensive mail screening an essential part of a complete security program. For more information on mail security best practices, SoBran can help.
All this information, and much more is included in the complete survey brief: “Addressing Complacency: Lessons from the 2017 SoBran Mail Security Survey.”