In this interview – Security Expert and Researcher, Mr. Hassan Hariry, touches on the internal security risks and dangers that Lebanon is encountering, the challenges of the industry and his future business plans.
There is a risk to personal security in Lebanon including the risk of kidnapping and the risk of terrorist activity, will the Lebanese be back to the era of self-security?
Lebanon is grappling with a deep economic crisis where the collapse of the Lebanese pound to historic lows thrusted more families into poverty and hunger, with severe repercussions on homeland security. Nevertheless, the tremendous efforts of the security apparatuses preserved the prevailing security situation in Lebanon under control and close monitoring by security forces and political parties, to an extent that terrorist plotted attacks were successfully thwarted by the relevant authorities from various sects.
Despite the current circumstances, official security agencies are scaling up their capabilities while directorates are adjusting their infrastructure to keep up with the shifting dangers. In view of such relentless measures adopted by Law Enforcement agencies, we sure hope that Lebanon will not be dragged back to the era of self-security, since this would mark a major blow to the law enforcement agencies.
The security situation in Lebanon and abroad is uncertain. What does your business provide to businesses and government agencies to face insecurity?
In a rapidly changing world, defined by globalization, international relations have drastically altered, yielding new complex and interrelated risks. Added to that, the COVID-19 outbreak drew diversified emergency measures by sectors. Consequently, businesses and governments, on local, regional and global levels, have redefined their security needs and strategies. In our present days, we are faced with major changes in the global geopolitical landscape as well as the cyber security arena, characterized by unfiltered communication on social media and a technological transition in times of economic and social crises. As a result, business owners and governments invested more of their resources into security, preventing harm to their productivity, revenue generation, brand development, in addition to avoiding a potential downfall caused by the situation.
Such measures have brought businesses and government agencies to cooperate with us as a strategic partner in law enforcement and security provision.
Can you project an advice that will help shape the progress of the security realm?
Last but not least, it is important to shed light on the importance and necessity of the public private partnership in combating security threats. The law enforcement agencies represented in different directorates, should join hands with private security firms to enhance information sharing and threat analysis. In addition, the security cooperation between local and international agencies remains inevitable in this globalized and open platform society. Such measures are considered pillars in the preservation of security on various levels for years to come.
Is Lebanon exposed to external cyber threats?
According to Trend Micro 2021 Annual Cybersecurity report, 13.8 million threats have been detected. Due to the pandemic, individuals were compelled to work in a remote environment rather suddenly, with almost unshielded capabilities in comparison to the on-premises IT infrastructure. This aggravated, in both the public and private sectors, the ever-present cybercrimes like phishing attacks, data breaches/leaks, identity theft, and cyber harassment, among others.
What goals do you have for your companies and what challenges will you have to overcome?
We have decided to maintain our HQ in Beirut in spite of the hurdles faced with the international community, given their distrust in Lebanese institutions. This, compounded by the financial crisis and bank constraints, posed an immense challenge in the international market. To ensure credibility and inspire certainty in dealing with international stakeholders, we have duplicated our efforts for the purpose of safeguarding our reputation and market position. More is yet to come and while we bolster our presence in Lebanon, we are expanding our global footprint.
What do you feel is the biggest strength of your companies right now?
Our biggest investment has always been and will be in individuals. We worked with highly competent experts, analysts, engineers, in an innovative work culture. Over the years, our team has demonstrated high levels of adaptability and flexibility amid volatile circumstances, let alone quick responsiveness. That is the simple secret of success and survival.