Aim: To categorise threats according to given criteria, in particular: subjective, objective and time related.

Methodology: In order to achieve the desired purpose, categories were exposed and theoretical approaches harnessed to differentiate threat groups.

Results: The discourse concerning threats is complex. Threats emerged in the past, occur now and will prevail in the future. They accompanied humans in different forms and scale for many years. One element which is changing concerns the intensity of threats. The aforementioned scenario is the consequence of the changing environment, at national and international level. A pre-requisite to the eradication of threats is the conduct of research. The changing state of security in the environment will contribute towards a change in classification of threat criteria. There will be changes in the nature of threats and, correspondingly, threat categorisation criteria will also vary. Only a part of today’s model will be unaffected by such variations. Most probably subjective, objective and time related threats will prevail as they are. Any variability will require monitoring and, on that basis, will call for the conduct of cognitive processes. The processes involving classification of risks requires constant updating to the extent where the aggregate of classes will represents the whole. The criteria list should incorporate the following: source of threat, location of the source of threat, presence of a military factor, verity of threat, knowledge of threat, time, frequency, intensity, range, symptoms, number of threat elements as well as the degree and range of destruction. The criteria list is constantly exposed to validation and updating, in tandem with the changing environment. This identification process is continuous.

Conclusions: Research of threats is accompanied by identification and classification of discrete criteria. This is necessary so that the extent of a threat can be examined further. The process is complex and difficult, but not impossible. Discourse concerning this issue is found in a range of scientific research disciplines. Consequently, this indicates an interdisciplinary character of the problem. Scientific exploitation of problems associated with threats, does not allow for fragmentation of criteria which, are common to many fields of science and which, could benefit from a common approach to the classification of threats. Encountered difficulties, do not relieve researches from an obligation to search for solutions. The review contained in this article, provides an attempt at such an exploitation. The basis for such a view is contained in solutions exposed by the article which, reproduces research conclusions determined by experts from a range of science disciplines. This article highlights a clear need for a joint expert approach in many areas dealing with safety. Presented material is simply a voice in a discussion which, may provide a springboard for further research of the topic.

Keywords: safety, threat, classification

Type of article: review article