The TIG has determined to maintain the Pandemic Threat Level at “ELEVATED.” ELEVATED means that FB-ISAO is unaware of any specific threats, but there is concern that an event is more likely than normal. While we are well aware of the specific threat of the pandemic, we do not believe that a serious nationwide U.S. outbreak at this time is likely, though the possibility of localized outbreaks remains, especially given the Delta Variant and in areas where the population has low vaccine levels, as is being observed in several southern states right now. The success of vaccinations has been encouraging, but the significant decrease in demand coupled with uncertainty regarding virus variants, vaccine resilience and associated breakthrough cases; state, local, and sector re-openings; school districts returning to live, in-person instruction; inconsistent mandates regarding masking and distancing; and warmer weather could see surges in some areas that could become problematic. The TIG will continue to assess the Pandemic Threat Level regularly and provide updates accordingly.
The TIG has determined to establish the Physical Threat Level as “ELEVATED.” ELEVATED means that FB-ISAO is unaware of any specific threats, but there is concern that an event is more likely than normal. At the end of June, members of the FB-ISAO’s Organizational Resilience Group (ORG) met to deliberately discuss the Physical Threat Level, and whether a change was needed. We noted an apparent increase in gun violence but we shy away from assessing that it reflects a “new normal” nor should it be viewed as a continued path. While many of the COVID restrictions were being lifted, the Delta variant surge is leading to resuming some safety requirements, which could lead to frustration and anger among memberships as well as policy confusion and enforcement challenges. Mass gatherings protesting COVID restrictions can also become both health threats and security threats. Recent protests in Australia, France, England and Germany, among others, point to the potential for further large-scale events that could occur both internationally and in the U.S. This brings unique security challenges across many fronts for organizations and, coupled with several other key considerations, can create situations that escalate quickly and could catch organizations unprepared. Internationally, flare-ups in the Middle East – particularly among Israelis and Palestinians, the unwinding of war efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq, increasing terrorism in parts of Africa, and ongoing tensions in Canada particularly relating to indigenous people and FBOs, among other issues, have the potential to lead to protests or security incidents in the U.S. Additional concerns regarding flashpoint issues, extremism, and enduring threats (such as arson), lead us to assess the Physical Threat Level as ELEVATED. A more detailed explanation has been sent to members. The TIG will continue to assess the Physical Threat Level regularly and provide updates accordingly. This determination will be periodically re-evaluated, especially with respect to non-COVID-19-related threats.
The TIG has determined to maintain the Cyber Threat Level at “GUARDED.” GUARDED means FB-ISAO is unaware of any specific or targeted cyber attacks, but a general and pervasive risk of cyber attacks exists, particularly with respect to scams using COVID-19 vaccinations, ransomware, and revenge motivated targeting across social media. The TIG will continue to assess the Cyber Threat Level and provide updates accordingly. Likewise, the cyber threat landscape will be continuously monitored, but this Cyber Threat Level determination is valid until further notice.
Please refer to this post for an explainer on the FB-ISAO Threat Levels.
This assessment has been developed by FB-ISAO and is our general, nationwide, threat assessment for the US community of faith. As always, for local threat information, members are encouraged to work closely with neighborhood partners, local law enforcement, state and local fusion centers, local FBI field offices, DHS Protective Security Advisors and other local experts and responders.