Embracing the devil: an analysis of the formal adoption of red teaming in the security planning for major events
Landry, Thomas Owen
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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) takes the lead or a significant supporting security role in many of the nation's most celebrated events across the country. Major events that receive the official designation of a national special security event and those rated Level 1 on the DHS special event rating scale share the same subcommittee planning structure. This thesis focuses on the potential vulnerabilities and gaps in the planning process due to groupthink and other organizational and individual decision-making pitfalls. This thesis then reviews what, if any, potential improvements can be made to the process with the formal adoption of a red team component. This thesis examines the potential benefits of incorporating red team techniques, such as simulation exercises, vulnerability probes, and analytical analysis into major-event security planning. Research indicates that their effectiveness varied on the organizational leadership, team composition, and independence afforded these teams in the performance of their assignment. The process of red teaming is vulnerable to being marginalized without proper organizational support. Armed with this knowledge, this thesis proposes two recommendations for the formal adoption of red team techniques into the subcommittee process of major-event security planning.
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