Homeland Security Human Factors
2022 Winter Institute

Now more than ever, powerful emotions, attitudes, and beliefs are shaping the threat landscape and behavioral response to disasters and emergencies. From ongoing concerns about COVID-19 to heat emergencies, wildfires, storms, acts of civil unrest, and domestic extremism, the dynamic threat landscape calls for decision-makers and responders to have a comprehensive understanding of the often surprising behavior of people in crisis conditions.

The Winter Institute allows Behavioral Science Applications LLC to offer some of our most popular and useful training programs, as well as new and emerging topics in a condensed 8-week series format. The eight one-hour classes are offered individually and as a certificate program. In addition to receiving the program certificate, those who register for the entire series can also enjoy a $100.00 discount. For groups larger than 10, please call or email for pricing options. 

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Participants can join the live instructor-led online class each Wednesday from January 12 through March 2 at 1:00 PM (ET), or view the recorded programs at their convenience. Attendance to the live classes is not required for the certificate program.

Register for the 8-session Homeland Security Human Factors Winter Series or individual classes below. The 2022 Winter Institute lineup includes:




















These courses are approved for 1 CPE each
for ASIS Continuing Education Units. 



January 12 | Human Element in Cybersecurity

The challenge of dealing with cybercrime is complex. Human factors and the human-computer interface are a central component of cybersecurity, and while technology alone will not prevent cybercrime, neither will people. Because threat actors understand human behavior, they know how to manipulate it to achieve their goals—stealing money and valuable information from enterprises and small businesses alike. These criminals use various types of social engineering to complete their schemes, relying on urgency and name recognition to trick their victims. Unfortunately, this has only become more prevalent during the COVID-19 pandemic as organizations and employees reshape the landscape of work. 

It is critical that leaders and decision-makers concerned with security understand the human element and strategies for countering this risk. This program will address related behavioral factors and countermeasures for this vulnerability.

Register for this class

January 19 | Human Trafficking: Recognition, Response & Recovery

Human trafficking is the modern form of slavery, with illegal smuggling and trading of people, for forced labor or sexual exploitation. It is now considered the fastest-growing criminal industry in the world pulling in an estimated $99 billion each year. According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), there are 24.9 million victims of human trafficking around the globe,  71% of whom are women and children. 

The types of physical and psychological abuse human trafficking victims experience often lead to serious mental or emotional health consequences, including feelings of severe guilt, posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, substance abuse (alcohol or narcotics), and eating disorders. Victims of trafficking often need psychological care as part of comprehensive medical treatment. 

Security, emergency management, and other front-line workers are often the first to come into contact with this covert crime. As such, professionals and volunteers working in these areas play a critical role in identifying and responding to human trafficking victims. Learn what to look for and how to help.

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January 26 | Intimate Partner Violence in the Workplace: Emerging Trends

Domestic violence has no boundaries and doesn’t stay at home. It compromises the safety of thousands of employees across North America every day, often with tragic, destructive, and fatal results. One in every 4 women and one in 10 men will experience domestic violence in their lifetime, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Department of Labor reports that victims of domestic violence lose nearly 8 million days of paid work per year in the U.S., resulting in a $1.8 billion loss in productivity for employers.

One study of female employees who experienced domestic violence found that:

•    98% had difficulty concentrating on work tasks 
•    96% reported that the domestic violence affected their ability to perform their job duties
•    87% received harassing phone calls at work
•    78% reported being late to work because of the abuse
•    60% lost their jobs due to domestic violence 


Participants will gain increased knowledge about evaluating and handling domestic violence situations, as well as new approaches and resources for mitigating the risk of Type IV violence at their worksites. 

Register for this class

February 2 | Managing Threatening Communications

There are a number of reasons why people may make annoying, intimidating, perhaps even frightening communications with other individuals or organizations. Hostile contact with former co-workers, intimate partners, or strangers who have developed an interest or fixation can be motivated by a range of emotional forces ranging from anger to romantic obsession. Contact from such individuals can come in the form of calls, texts, and emails, to written letters, and approach behaviors, such as following or stalking. These behaviors can be disruptive and in some situations, dangerous.

Handling hostile communications and threats from known actors is challenging enough; anonymous threatening communications (ATCs) are even more so. The ability to quickly and defensibly triage and evaluate hostile communications has become a necessary skill for professionals who serve on corporate security, education, or community-based teams. This program will provide guidance for the analysis of known and anonymous hostile communications and threats to enhance personal and organizational safety and security.


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February 9 | Trauma-informed Security & Emergency Management 

A high percentage of the general public have experienced serious direct or indirect trauma at some point in their lives. Trauma results from an event, series of events, or set of circumstances that is experienced by an individual as physically or emotionally harmful or threatening and that has lasting adverse effects on an individual’s functioning and response to the world around them. Trauma shapes every aspect of a person’s life and influences how they react to other people and situations. It can affect a person’s worldview, and their thoughts and feelings, including attitudes toward authority, mistrust of policies, and views about aggression. Individuals with traumatic histories can be more reactive, and more suspicious of others who are trying to assist them. 

Emergency management and security professionals can more effectively handle a range of situations by better understanding the effects of trauma in aggressive and defensive aggressive behavior. Many professionals themselves have experienced trauma. Many have served in military and first responder roles that have brought them into contact with threatening and traumatic situations that can also influence how they respond to different people and situations. Understanding the impact of trauma on those we serve and those who serve is a necessity for those in leadership roles, as well as those who are hands-on with emergency and security response activities.


Register for this class    

February 16 | Psychological First Aid: Core Concepts-Key Skills 

Psychological First Aid (PFA) is as natural, necessary, and accessible as basic medical first aid. Effective delivery of Psychological First Aid in the immediate aftermath of a violent or traumatic event has been found to address the obvious emotional consequences of the incident, as well as to mitigate financial exposure through litigation, worker’s comp stress-related claims, attrition, and lost productivity.

The Psychological First Aid Skills program provides an overview of psychological first aid, including three primary skills for use in the zero-hour of a crisis to assist people with the immediate emotional distress resulting from an accident, injury, or sudden shocking event. As with basic medical first aid skills, responders don't need to be doctors, nurses, or trained medical or mental health professionals to provide initial care to those in need. Early psychological support can alleviate suffering and reduce the likelihood of lasting emotional problems, as well as expedite their return to pre-crisis levels of functioning.  

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February 23 | Behavioral Factors in Insider Threats 


Organizations of all types and sizes are vulnerable to insider threats—from family-owned small businesses to Fortune 100 corporations, local and state governments, and public infrastructure to major federal departments and agencies. Individuals entrusted with access to or knowledge of an organization represent potential risks and include current or former employees or any other person who has been granted access, understanding, or privilege. Trusted insiders commit intentional or unintentional disruptive or harmful acts across all sectors and in virtually every organizational setting.

A successful insider act has the potential to damage assets and interrupts the critical services that individuals, organizations, and society depends upon. Existing research suggests that behavioral indicators are often evident prior to an act taking place, but that reporting of such behaviors does not usually happen. Leaders and front-line workers are often unaware of the concept, the risk factors, and behavioral indicators of insider threats. 

The pandemic has resulted in an increased number of disaffected employees, some of whom are angry and feel betrayed. The need to understand the insider threat in all its forms and for all of its motives has never been more important. It is critical that security and emergency management professionals have the ability to detect and identify those threats, assess their risk, and manage that risk before concerning behaviors manifest in an actual insider incident.

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March 2 | Understanding & Preventing Extremism in the Workplace

The contemporary organization strives for inclusion and diversity—not simply in terms of demographics, but in attitudes, opinions, and ways of thinking. Diverse ideas can fuel innovation and create radical change, leading to new levels of success. While diversity can strengthen an organization, strong or extreme beliefs in the workplace can be a two-edged sword. An employee’s passion for a belief or cause might manifest itself as a real commitment to their employer or a project, but it can also create friction, erode workforce cohesion, and consume valuable resources when dealing with conflict.

Finding the right balance between welcoming diverse views and minimizing tension between those who hold those views and others can be tricky, but it is necessary. Left unchecked, extreme beliefs can not only threaten cohesion and productivity, they can compromise safety and raise the risk of disruptive behaviors, even violence. In this polarized and adversarial climate, it will be important for leaders to recognize and respond to extremism in the workplace.


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Watch the short slide show introducing Homeland Security Human Factors 

(Approx. 5 mins.)

Now More than Ever

Give yourself a strategic and tactical advantage by applying accurate behavioral assumptions in all of your emergency and security-related preparedness, response, and recovery efforts. Register for individual classes or the certificate program today or contact us for more information at