New Weapon Available to Help Owners Fight the Battle Against Terrorism in Facilities

June 7, 2005
NIST risk assessment software helps identify and guard against threats

On June 2, 2005, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) released information about risk assessment software that its economists have developed to help building owners and managers identify and guard against terrorist threats to their facilities.

The software was developed by NIST’s Office of Applied Economics (OAE) as part of NIST’s commitment to homeland security, and is the finished version of a beta program released in 2004 for limited testing.

The software, titled “Cost Effectiveness Tool for Capital Asset Protection” (CET), Version 1.0, employs a three-step process for developing a risk mitigation plan. Risk assessment, identification of potential mitigation strategies, and economic evaluation are the software’s essential components. According to NIST, “CET first allows users to look at possible damage scenarios. Users then can explore strategies to reduce facility vulnerability. Choices include engineering alternatives (such as sensors to detect airborne contaminants); management practices (such as evacuation drills or increased security); and financial mechanisms (such as tax write-offs for capital improvements).” Additionally, the software enables users to evaluate the life-cycle costs of various strategies.

The software is available for free download at ( For more information, or to send comments or questions, e-mail Robert Chapman at (
[email protected]).

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