Most responses to threats may be thought of as either prevention or mitigation measures (or both). Preventive measures are aimed at reducing the likelihood that an event will occur; for example, by declaring an area off limits or seeking to raise image and acceptance among a sensitive population. Mitigating measures seek to reduce the impact of the event; for example, equipping a vehicle with anti-mine ballistic blankets, first aid kits and proper communications equipment probably will not decrease the probability of encountering a mine, but they may lessen its effects. Some measures can both prevent and mitigate; training is an example of this.
Different security response measures can be grouped into several generic categories. It is important to remember that a well-conceived response to security threats will normally require a mix of the alternatives below. In certain cases however, specific choices may be mutually exclusive, as is sometimes the case with specific protection and acceptance measures. In such cases, managers must balance the advantages and disadvantages of each possible measure in the context of their specific situation and the operation as a whole.
The criticality assessment process, and the range of preventive and mitigating measures available to a manager, are discussed in module 8 – Risk Reduction Measures.