The Global Cost of Terrorism

Boon Edam Blog | April 2019

Since 2014, the number of deaths from terrorism has gone down with 44% . Still, the global cost of terrorism is 52 billion US dollar ($) a year. Despite a significant drop in the number of deaths, terrorism has become more widespread. More countries are now affected, with 67 countries experiencing at least 1 death due to terrorism attacks. This is the second highest number of countries recording a death in 20 years.

The threat of terrorism has escalated globally and is causing concern among companies and individuals. Not surprisingly, considering the above data from The Global Terrorism Index. This report is published annually by the Institute for Economics and Peace. The GTI covers 163 countries and 99,7% of the world’s population and gives a summary of global trends and patterns on terrorism since 2000.

A single act of terrorism takes a toll, but economies have a remarkable resilience to bounce back. However, when the threat extends over a prolonged period, and there are repeated attacks, the cost begins to make itself known.

Terrorism creates a multi-layered effect, from the immediate losses sustained to those on the wider economy. The threat of terrorism influences all kinds of decisions - personal and business related. Ultimately, this can break businesses, and cause widespread devastation to an economy, particularly those that rely on tourism.

The financial cost of terrorism is almost unquantifiable when you factor in every element. From companies that go out of business due to an abrupt drop in visitors to an overall trend for staying closer to home, terrorism can devastate economies on a global scale

Low-Cost Attacks

Despite the crippling effects that an act of terrorism can have, the amount it costs to launch an attack is terrifying low. This makes it possible for more attacks to take place, creating an atmosphere of fear.

While there are some attacks which require greater resources and funding, the worrying fact is that the vast majority of terrorist activity is low cost. Out of all of the terrorist attacks in Europe over the past two decades, only a tiny number cost more than €10,000.

This makes it worryingly easy to fund an attack; analysis from Deutsche Bank shows that most of the terrorist activity was self-funded. And with such relatively low sums of money involved, it is not difficult to avoid suspicion.

Prevention is Key

No matter how concerning the above stats may sound, it does not mean that the war on terror has been lost. What it does mean is that prevention is critical.

Once an act of terror has been committed, it is hard to contain the ripple effect that spreads into the local and wider community. Each act of terrorism contributes to a greater global cost, so working to minimise the threat locally helps the wider effect too.

Of course, it is impossible to guarantee that the threat of terrorism can be wiped out with 100% success, but there are now lots of measures that can be adopted which help. Every company has a responsibility to look at its own security measures and consider whether they are doing enough to protect their local community - and their own employees.

It may mean you need to make some changes to your building. The threat of terrorism is here to stay, and managing the threat proactively is the best approach. From security doors to controlled access portals, there are now a variety of solutions available in the market which can be tailored to any location.

Protect Your Premises

If your community has not been directly affected, you may not ever have given real thought to whether your business could be targeted. Whether it is the headquarters of a corporate organisation, a data centre or even a retail outlet, there are security measures which can be taken to enhance the protection you have.

Here at Boon Edam we are experts on providing top quality building security and have a wide range of products which are suitable for all locations - including high security locations like airports and data centres. If you have any questions about the potential improvements which could be made to your security or simply want some advice, get in touch with us today.

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