Soft targets are called soft for a reason — they're easy for a terrorist to strike, and nearly impossible for well meaning businesses and individuals to defend.
But terrorism experts say there are things that companies and people can do to derail a terrorist attack such as the one seen in Paris last week — well before the attackers can even fire a shot.
Part of the solution is aggressive but polite monitoring of the area surrounding a concert hall, stadium or other venue, said William Braniff, the executive director of the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism and a former instructor at West Point's Combating Terrorism Center. He said American companies can look to security experts in Israel for tips on how to handle inbound threats.
"Instead of just having passive security guards who stand still," he said, security teams should "engage in conversation, to move around outside of a sports venue, outside of a shopping mall, and engage with people. And by doing this you're not off-putting, you're not menacing. You're, instead, just probing a little bit."