Family suicide bombers: A new trend for militants

Most, when they think of suicide bombers, think of the lone bomber – often a younger male that is - in some manner, disaffected from society for some reason which, subsequently, renders him susceptible to radicalization. Originally deployed by the nationalist Tamil Tigers (LTTE) in their conflict with the Sri Lankan government over the creation of a Tamil nation in the island’s north and east (which they called Elam), Jihadist organizations throughout the world added a religious dimension to the tactic. Contrary to the stereotype, the demographics of suicide bombers has been diversifying for years, and, indeed, from its inception in Sri Lanka, suicide bombing was not wholly male-dominated. For example, over a two week period in the summer of 2017, multiple ISIS (Islamic State) suicide attacks were conducted by a woman and at least one involved a woman killing both herself and her young child

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Increasingly, the public is beginning to see a trend towards terrorist attacks targeting crowded, so-called soft targets. The Australian government, in a public paper discussing terrorism in crowded spaces, noted that terrorist prefer such places because density increases the likelihood of large numbers of casualties, many crowded places are accessible, the psychological effect on the public, and the attention such attacks garner. These were seen with the attacks that have occurred over the last few years in United Kingdom such as the London Bridge attack, the Manchester concern bombing, and the Borough Market attack; elsewhere in Europe, there were attacks in France on Bastille Day in 2016 and an attack at a Berlin Christmas market; in the United States, it is seen in the mass shootings that have occurred in schools, nightclubs, concerts, and at mass public events (e.g., the Boston Marathon bombing). Inherent in public spaces – especially crowded and non-permanent spaces – are significant security challenges that authorities and planners must contend with as they seek to reduce both the risk of terrorist attacks and, if an attack were to occur, its damage. Some common targets that concern authorities are malls, stadiums, and shopping centers.

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Calculating the Cost of a Mega Security Breaches

The Ponemon Institute in a study sponsored by IBM Security found that the global average cost of data breaches has increased by more than six percent from 2017 to 2018 to an average of nearly 3.9 million dollars. The study, 2018 Cost of a Data Breach Study, also, for the first time, studied so-called mega breaches whose record losses range from 1-50 million. The study also articulated some of hidden costs to an organization that occur during a data breach and that often are not, when costs reported, tabulated. For example, in the mega breach category, the biggest cost was not related to remediating the actual data breach; rather, the largest expense related to mega breaches was lost business. This is often not included in publicly reported costs which typically report only costs related to legal, recovery costs, regulatory expenses, and customer reparations. The study found, as an example, that with a breach of 50 million records, the total costs could reach more than 350 million dollars.

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