The concept of security nowadays includes almost all human activities, and no doubt that it stands at the top of the needs’ list of each individual, as well as of the society as a whole. In any possible scenario, it implies the state of being free and/or protected from any danger or threat. It starts with the very basic needs such as shelter, water and food security, and it ends with the very sophisticated ones such as cyber security; with a variety of variables in-between. Security has become indispensable in every step of human society development, affecting the standard of living of hundreds of millions of people in developing and developed countries. The problems to be tackled have been and continue to be visible and challenging; the only difference is the intensity of the problem and the timing, be it water scarcity or water pollution, lack of food or contaminated food, security at work or security at the neighbourhood, land mines or car accidents, data theft and hacking or dedicated cyber-attacks, etc.
Traditional and newly-established institutions are in a perpetual fight for making our lives safer and more secure. The input of every possible institution is needed and can make the difference for the current generation and the generations to come. All the relevant institutions, while drafting their security strategies and action plans should keep in mind the four pillars of security: Protection, Detection, Verification and Reaction, in order to ensure efficiency and effectiveness.
Besides this, each security related institution, programme or project, should provide the essential capabilities of security, which can be enlisted as below:
- Coercive capabilities, including the capacity to project coercive power into the environment (e.g. aircraft carrier, handgun, firearms);
- Protective systems (e.g. locks, fences, surrounding walls, anti-virus software, air defense systems, armour ed vehicles/posts);
- Warning systems (e.g. alarm systems, radar systems, communication systems);
- Diplomatic and social action intended to prevent insecurity from developing (e.g. conflict prevention instruments and transformation strategies); and
- Policies intended to develop the lasting economic, physical, ecological and other conditions of security (e.g. economic reform, ecological protection, progressive demilitarization, or even militarization).