“What’s 9/11?” my 7-year-old recently asked me. I had not planned on having that  discussion yet. But I did. I told both of my daughters about the events of that day 10 years ago, placing special emphasis on the positive as I explained a very negative situation. Most importantly, I stressed to them how much more aware we are today, although it took a horrendous event in our nation’s history to get there.

From the thwarting of the Times Square terrorist attack, the “shoe bomber,” the “dirty bomber,” and the list goes on, there appears to be a heightened level of awareness in the world. 

So if we are more aware, we are safer, right? Not necessarily, says Jeff Kessler, Managing Director at Imperial Capital. Actually, we’re just getting started. “I’m much more confident than I was three or four years ago,” Kessler admits. “Things are better today because we got to a point where a few things coalesced: technologies have improved, we saw a dramatic hiring of CSOs and security is now increasingly tied to ROI and not just an insurance policy.”

Yet, he says, “We’re in it for the long haul. It’s clear that international terrorism isn’t going away. We’re just beginning to get to the heart of some technologies, such as IT based technologies. And we’re no longer expecting countries to attack; now we’re looking at attacks from a variety of agents. The number of ‘hack attacks’ has gone up dramatically against the U.S., whether it is state or non-state sponsored. So the nature of the threat does not always have to be physical. Just as serious, if not more serious, are IT attacks to get sensitive information from governments and bring down a country’s critical infrastructure, power, water and traffic systems.”

Well, there goes my answer to my daughters. But not a disaster. While we are still working on a real and effective way to combat terrorism, there’s nothing wrong with a little optimism, at least to answer a young child’s question.

Enjoy our special issue covering the events of 9/11 and its impact on the security industry. Please email your comments to me at ritcheyd@bnpmedia.com