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Application of Fishbone Diagram to Airport and Network Security

Literature Review

Security at major international airports (USA,UK,Germany, France, Japan, India, and Singapore etc) has embarked upon installation and testing of new security methods especially after 9/11 terrorist attacks on USA. Some of the examples of the new security methods include: new baggage-screening machines, controlling, controlling departure terminal entry and doubling federal security personnel in dozens of airports. The high-tech baggage screeners with advanced X-ray capabilities cost up to $1 million each. Additionally, the expense of airport security personnel is being increased as airport security personnel are being added to the federal employment rolls. The U.S. Congress believes airport security personnel will be better trained and supervised as a federal force.

There have been many arguments over whether such increased security equipment or the presence of a federal airport securityoperation would have precluded or had any effect on the events of September 11. While that debate continues, it does offer the opportunity to apply a well-known Planning/Operations Management technique to assessing the problem by using a reverse evaluation/engineering approach.

The reverse engineering application of fishbone analysis (FA) to solve product-related problems and develop end-of-life product strategies is supported by several studies (Barr, Schmidt, Krueger & Twu, 2000; Ishii & Lee, 1996; Lee, Rhee, & Ishii, 1997; Otto &Wood, 1996; Rose & Ishii, 1999). The fishbone diagram has also been utilized to evaluate health care services; first, in a hospital setting to assess and reduce delays in the treatment of patients receiving coronary thrombolytic therapy (Bonetti, 2000) and to identify improvement strategies and training needs for physicians, nurses and other caregivers (Cohen, 2002). The cause and effect value of FA is demonstrated instudies conducted by Yu (1998) and Constantinides (1999) to identify root causes for software coding faults, and to categorize different causes of software communication failure.

Finally, the effectiveness of FAused as a planning tool to improve quality processes and increase revenues is demonstrated by Lore (1998), Geerts & McCarthy (2000), Wilcox & Discenza (1994), and Clark (2000). In the present paper we propose to provide two examples of application of fishbone diagram to (i) Airport security, and (ii) Network security.

The application of a Fishbone (Ishikawa, 1996) di agram to the problem of “how a passenger can board a plane with a weapon” reveals six potential categories of possible causes (Figure 1).These are Method, People, Equipment, Material, Environment, and Measurement. A Responsibility Matrix (2) is then constructed to identify who has ownership of the causes and what action should be taken (Table 1).

The Method Category of the Fishbone diagram represents the methods of enforcing security at the airport that could be the possible causes of security breaches. The four possible causes for the passenger boarding the plane with a weapon areElectronic Search Techniques, Ineffective Sampling Methods, Baggage viewing, and Physical Search.

Electronic Search Techniques may be ineffective if the equipment is poorly designed or incapable of detecting all possible type of weapons. To ensure efficiency, the equipment should be maintained and calibrated at regular time intervals. This same reas oning applies to all checked baggage. This is the responsibility of the Maintenance Supervisor who has adirect control over the cause. The action to be taken is to maintain and calibrate equipment at regular timeintervals. As indicated on the Action Planning Matrix, maintenance training is provided by manufacturer; however, additional human resources will need to be hired to administer the revised maintenance schedule, and this action should be accomplished within 60 days.

Another cause of security breach is the ineff ective sampling techniques. Oftentimes, security personnel subject the passengers to check at random and this may result in allowing the potentially threatening passengers unchecked. The action need to be taken is have effective sampling methods.

Screeners should do Baggage Viewing of carry-on luggage attentively. Laxness or in-attention by the screeners will allow objects to go undetected.

Performing Physical Searches when needed (as indicated by behavior, prior information, metal detector alarm etc.), on the passengers could be a potential cause because there is achance that it is not being done properly or completely. Improper physical checking may allow a passenger to board the plane with a weapon. The correcting of Ineffective Sampling Methods, Baggage Viewing, and Physical Searches are all the responsibility of the Head of Airport Security whohave a direct control over these things. The action to be taken should be to ensure effective sampling methods and adequate sample size (and possibly check every passenger by taking extra time and effort), frequently rotate baggage viewing personnel to reduce boredom and drudgery, and ensure accurate physical searches through proper training of employees in observational and search procedures and efficient execution in searching all or designated passengers.

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