Executive Protection Detail – Skills, Prevention, Reaction

Recognising attacks before they occur or meeting them in their earliest steps constitutes an essential component of safeguarding high-net-worth families and individuals. Prevention rather than reaction is the optimal solution for an executive protection detail operating in either routine or dynamic and changing environments.  

This “pre-recognition” of an incident is sometimes known as a “combat indicator.” More commonly, specialists refer to it as “situational awareness.” Indicators can be as evident as verbal threats from a potential assailant or more challenging to spot to the untrained eye. That could mean an overdressed person on a hot summer’s day, or a car parked at an odd angle, or an out-of-place location.  

An executive protection detail well-versed in its trade is constantly observing for indicators and warning signs. To recognise an attack before, or just as it unfolds, is the difference between a delayed response and a proactive counteraction.  

But what is an executive protection detail? Broadly speaking, an EP detail is a team of security and risk mitigation specialists who aim to ensure the safety of individuals and groups, including:  

  • Executives and CEOs,  
  • Political figures,  
  • Professional athletes,  
  • Wealthy individuals,  
  • Dignitaries,  
  • Celebrities,  
  • Musicians and performers, and  
  • Very Important Persons (VIPs).  

Due to their elevated personal risk profile, these individuals, their families, and entourage require reliable protection to remain productive and at ease.  

For these reasons, an executive protection detail employs tactics and strategies to anticipate, plan, and prepare for any eventuality.  

Proactive Counteraction  

An attacker or intruder typically hopes to meet little to no resistance. Assuming to be the aggressor in the confrontation, the potential malefactor envisions catching the EP detail off guard.  

But since violent persons are dangerous by nature in any circumstance, early attack recognition can often be complex. That statement especially holds true if they are familiar with certain close protection and executive protection techniques.  

To deter or avoid an attack before it converts into physical aggression, first and foremost, the EP detail must recognise it. That is, as opposed to merely reacting to a fully-fledged assault. Vigilance and discipline by the EP team may be the first layer which any assailant observes and may decide to find a “softer target.” 

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The Principal’s Role  

In some cases, the intended target may experience a fight-or-flight response. That is a reaction of the sympathetic nervous system, whereby a large amount of adrenaline releases into the body. Unfortunately, one of the side effects of this response, particularly for those who have little training, is to freeze up.  

For that reason, a well-run and mentally aware executive protection detail should plan for this reaction. Clear and calm communications with the principal will assist in this instance. Planning and preparation are paramount for any executive protection team.  

For example, a straightforward yet valuable technique to consider in terms of proactive counteraction is pondering about “what-if” scenarios or “actions on.” Unfortunately, a failure to be ready for all possible events can, at worst, prove deadly.  

Apart from the role of the executive protection detail, the principal ― i.e., the person on the receiving end of protective services ― also has a part to play. Paying attention to that “gut feeling,” listening to their inner voices, feelings, and intuitions and conveying those to the security team is sometimes just as helpful as many other techniques.  

That said, a quality EP team will fall back on to their training rather than rely solely on the principal. They will also understand the significance of planning and training and the philosophy that “You don’t rise to the occasion. Rather, you simply fall back to your level of training.”  

How Local Support Tips the Scales  

Security experts argue that local knowledge and local support are invaluable in any operation. Therefore, managers and officers should always consider a few items when travelling to Australia or Asia from a different country or continent. Most notably:  

  • Difference in exchange rates, time zones, units of length or distance, and units of weight (such as miles, kilometres, kilograms, pounds),  
  • Vehicle selection for the Australian and Asian landscapes, possibly involving 4X4 vehicles,  
  • Local advances prior to the arrival of the foreign EP team to clarify the roles and responsibilities of the hotel staff, event staff, and logistics staff,  
  • Laws, customs, regulations, and firearm licensing.  

For instance, foreign EP agents do not have legal permission to work as security operatives or agents within an Australian-based close protection program 

Engaging a local licenced and reputable security company that specialises in executive protection and then providing oversight and management as an “adviser” is permitted without an Australian security licence.  

That may sound strange to some. But that is precisely the reason why having access to local knowledge and support could prove essential. Not the least because any local operation may fail if the suitable local operators are not contacted on time.  

Proper Size of an Executive Protection Detail  

A question that security companies get asked frequently is this: How many members does my protection team need? Unfortunately, the answer is not straightforward.  

In fact, an executive protection detail can be as small as one person. However, it may include many more individuals. Depending on the assignment, an EP detail could consist of:  

  • Paramedics and medics,  
  • Security driver,  
  • Escort team,  
  • Advance Team/Party,  
  • Personal protection officers (PPOs) and other roles.  

Suppose a security assignment solely involves travelling from point A to point B. In that case, pending the risk profile and a threat assessment, perhaps hiring ten protection officers would be excessive.  

Additionally, they may have trouble blending in with their environment. And this technique constitutes one of the most desirable qualities of an EP detail. In contrast, a complex security assignment with multiple venues and meetings may require a larger team with several skills.  

There are times where, in order to complete a mission, protective agents/operatives must blend in, become part of the crowd and remain inconspicuous. This way, they can spot gestures that could reveal the early stages of an attack.  

Still, there is one more type of blending in that many principals favour. It entails a near-invisible posture in the presence of the client and their surroundings. They need to dress and behave in line with the current environment or assignment. All this implies quick adaptation to dynamic situations.  

Note: Boutique security companies need to be flexible to travel the globe. Those intending to partner up with Asia-based or Australian security companies typically ask for EP details sensitive to diverse environments. That entails security specialists who can swiftly shift from addressing high-profile CEOs in the board room to talking with their kids. The language and tone must suit the environment.  

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Acting on Threat Assessments  

The most solid level of protection means offering appropriate security and being as non-intrusive as possible toward the everyday lifestyle of the principal, their family, and entourage. The key to achieving this goal is conducting threat assessments, the main elements of which include:  

  • Identifying a potential perpetrator,  
  • Assessing the risks of violence that the perpetrator presently poses, and  
  • Managing the subject and risks that they present to the target.  

As security author Peter Consterdine infers in his book, The Modern Bodyguard, “Once prepared, the assessment is not concluded or static. Rather, it forms the basis of a dynamic, ever-changing assessment as more current information comes to light. A threat assessment can be as broad-based as simply the political stability or otherwise of a whole country. Or conversely, it can be as narrow as the threat posed to a client by simply one person.”  

In fact, the principal can be at risk from various individuals and entities. Moreover, some of the following motivations may be driving their actions:  

  • Financial gain,  
  • Political and religious beliefs,  
  • Personal vendetta,  
  • Competitional, and  
  • Motives of mentally disturbed individuals and those with a sense of grievance.  

A threat assessment helps an EP detail establish the facts, motivations, and situations pertaining to the safety of their principal.  

In Conclusion  

This article explored avenues of prevention and reaction in the everyday work of an executive protection detail. As a result, we have established that preventive measures coupled with determination can increase the principal’s level of safety and security.  

Practical points to explore in day-to-day operations include:  

  • Pondering what-if scenarios and planning “actions on,”  
  • Considering the right size of the EP detail,  
  • Practising de-escalation,  
  • Estimating and rehearsing for the use of violent force when necessary, and  
  • Preparing a threat assessment.  

In the 21st century, media are jam-packed with reports of violent acts against high-level individuals in all industries and countries. Yet, many of them seem to be unaware of the looming threat and impact of crime, terrorism, and other types of dangers. This article assists in outlining and clarifying how EP details perform their daily duties. But also what it means to be under their protection.  

Companies like Panoptic Solutions support individuals and organisations to enhance productivity and peace of mind by offering unmatched executive protection services.  

Key Features of Remote Medical Services in Australia

Everyone wants to feel safe. It doesn’t matter if they attend an off-the-beaten-track sporting event or are stationed at a remote work site for extended periods. Whatever the environment, the safety and medical needs of citizens need to be met. Consequently, reliable access to remote medical services in Australia is all too important, even lifesaving at times.  

Consider ultra-high-net-worth families travelling on an outback safari in the middle of Australia. By doing so, they inadvertently limit their possibilities for emergency medical care. In other words, they increase the chances of either a mild or severe medical incident or an accident turning into a tragedy.  

With no hospitals or healthcare institutions nearby, one of the only ways to ensure their well-being is through onsite remote paramedics or expeditionary doctors on hand.  

In short, a remote medical service encompasses:  

  • Delivering healthcare services to individuals in distant areas,  
  • Monitoring the patient’s condition,  
  • Providing emergency medical care and primary healthcare, and  
  • Performing preventive and control check-ups.  

Every year, some 20,000 Australians suffer a cardiac arrest outside a hospital. According to estimates, a mere 10% of people actually survive cardiac arrest with no hospital in sight. That is just one consideration that is taken into account when preparing remote medical plans for clients travelling to or within remote locations of Australia.  

Take, for instance, a high-net-worth family cruising through the Whitsundays or other remote islands of North Queensland or an executive group conducting a tour in Australia’s outback. In all these cases, immediate medical support can help mitigate the risk of injury and illness. 

Reliable Help: Remote Medical Services in Australia  

Ideally, residents engaged in remote area-based activities should be able to confidently and conveniently access healthcare services 

Irrespective of their social-economic status, all residents and visitors to Australia can place themselves at risk if travelling to or attending events in remote areas.  

In addition, sporting contests such as motocross or environmental challenges like iron man or enduro style events typically occur in secluded locations. For this reason, doctors and paramedics need to be stationed onsite to be of assistance.  

Quick fact: The principal role of a paramedic is to provide pre-hospital emergency care and stabilise patients with life-threatening conditions.  

Further to this, extended scope and critical care paramedics are able to treat low to high acuity cases, which is a value add to any expedition or remote event. This ensures that simple primary health care matters can be attended to early, before they potentially become emergent or critical.  

For those visiting remote locations and unable to travel with a paramedic or doctor, we recommend that they carry medical stores and equipment with them. The items should be task-specific and may include:  

  • Automated External Defibrillators (AED),  
  • Basic airway devices (paramedics and doctors would carry Advanced Airway Devices),  
  • Over-the-counter (OTC) and primary healthcare medications under prescription (paramedics and doctors would carry emergency care drugs),  
  • Trauma packs and emergency stores,  
  • Splints, bandages, and a host of other means.  

For people in distant areas, timely access to remote medical services in Australia is of the utmost importance.  

remote medical services australia 1

Accessing Health and Support Services in Far-Off Areas  

The general public and experts believe mining sites are notoriously dangerous, and Australia is home to over 350 operating mines. Among the latest workplace accidents is when machinery crushed a 43-year-old from Adelaide’s south. Although other workers called emergency services, the man died at the scene.  

One among many, this incident proves that both established and soon-to-be-built mining sites need to ensure the safety of their staff. One of the most efficient ways to do that is hiring mine site paramedics, either short-term or permanently.  

Providers of remote medical assistance ― in Australia and abroad ― typically cover a particular set of services. For instance, these may include:  

  • Medical supplies,  
  • Emergency medical care,  
  • Primary healthcare, and more.  

Most importantly, since it is a large country, any company offering remote medical services in Australia needs to possess the ability to consult with additional health professionals, including:  

  • Doctors,  
  • Clinics and  
  • Hospitals.  

Paramedics must be well-versed in the latest training and clinical practices to be of genuine service ― including preparedness to travel alongside help-seeking individuals or reach them onsite in distant locations.  

Most high-net-worth families and individuals require short-term to long-term medical support, while this type of assistance also extends to their entourage or employees.  

Note: In the age of COVID-19, UHNW and HNW families and individuals necessitate a higher degree of health-related safety. This includes compiling COVID action plans and dealing with day-to-day safety measures, like disinfection and sanitisation, mask-wearing, and similar actions of visitors and support staff.  

Quick Case Study on Remote Help  

Highly trained medical professionals typically oversee all types of events: from adventure activities to music festivals. As a result of adequate and detailed planning, the likelihood of an injury ― or other emergency during an action-packed event or at a remote location ― decreases. This is where remote medical services in Australia prove tremendously helpful.  

There are many intricacies involved with safe event management that must be adhered to so everyone feels protected. First, appropriate and immediate medical care needs to be on hand if an incident were to happen.  

For example, during remote events, medics will stabilise any patient by initiating the first stages of treatment. The next step is to enact an evacuation plan, including road, fixed-wing or rotary-wing transport.  

One such event, the annual Frontline Safari motorcycle riding event, involves off-road motorcycle riders completing a double-crossing of the Simpson Desert over five days to raise much-needed funds for veteran charity Soldier On. Over its course, riders challenge themselves having to cross part of the world’s largest dune desert.  

In this instance, there is an emphasis on preventative health care: safety, hydration and ample rest. However, the extreme nature of the event necessitated registered and experienced paramedics on hand to ensure the safety and health of all riders and support staff. For example, during a recent incident where a support staff member experienced chest pain, event paramedics treated them appropriately. 

In addition to carrying appropriate medical stores and equipment, access to communication devices constitutes a significant benefit in these circumstances. Briefly, such devices include:  

  • Mobile/cellular phones,  
  • Satellite phones,  
  • InReach mini satellite devices,  
  • Emergency devices for SOS locating.  

Further, equipping riders with access to First Aid Kits is imperative. This ensures they are able to provide immediate first aid and care prior to the event paramedics arrival.  

The Takeaway  

There are many benefits to living, working, or spending time in rural and remote parts of Australia. However, the reality of frequenting or even rarely visiting the country’s distant places implies limited access to immediate healthcare.  

To counter that, paramedics travelling with their UHNW or HNW clients is one of the best ways to ensure their health care needs are met. Thus, an onsite paramedic far surpasses the best doctor in the world who is far away.  

Simply put, remote medical services in Australia, such as remote paramedics or expeditionary doctors, bridge the gap between people in hard-to-reach areas and their access to medical services.  

Companies like Panoptic Solutions help individuals and teams do their best work and enjoy relaxation time without worrying about far-off and unavailable medical support.  

Explained: Corporate Security and Risk Management

In today’s information-packed and vulnerability-prone world, there is no shortage of risks that threaten companies. Corporate security and risk management relates to strategies utilised by security professionals in order to avoid situations that pose threats by identifying, assessing, and controlling them. Therefore, for any company to function properly, corporate security and risk management must be at the forefront of its operations. 

We can also refer to these types of strategies as intelligent handling of uncertainties. Worryingly, most companies are experiencing an escalation of physical and cyber threats. One study shows that physical security concerns are prompting 40% of organisations to adjust their security strategies.  

According to the Bureau of Statistics, Australians saw a 23% decrease in unlawful entry with intent or other theft. This could sound reassuring to corporate Australia ― until we notice that the decline in illegal activity coincides with COVID-19 lockdowns. In fact, crime is not decreasing in scale lastingly but only due to sudden events such as the ongoing public health crisis. 

The current pandemic has considerably impacted how we view corporate security and risk management. For one, some organisations now spend more on physical security as it relates to personal health. These expenditures include gloves, sanitisers, masks, and testing, to mention a few. 

Furthermore, other companies had to reduce their physical security headcount as a result of the pandemic’s economic impact. Due to this problematic fact, the Ontic Center for Protective Intelligence states that as many as 32% of organisations worry about threats to the physical security of their company leaderships and C-suite members. 

As a matter of fact, the Ontic Center’s survey found that many fear physical security breaches hindering business continuity. And we agree that no organisation should understate the importance of proper corporate security and risk management services. 

Which Firms Need Corporate Security? 

If a company possesses property, assets, and employees, then it requires corporate security services. Fending off criminal acts against any of the three is essential when considering business prosperity. Besides physically protecting the CEO and managers, corporate security also deals with protecting technologies and customer data from fraudsters. 

Although there is no one-size-fits-all solution for every company, some similarities could lead us to specific answers.  

The year 2020 and the years preceding it presented multiple trends that complicated the competitive landscape, including: 

  • Increased focus on responsible and sustainable business, 
  • Heightened geopolitical tension, 
  • Faster technological change, and 
  • Radical shifts in consumer buying expectations and behaviour. 

COVID-19 proved to be an accelerant of those developments. Expectedly, this distress pertains to corporate security and risk management. In other words, now it is as unclear as ever who is transmitting the virus and whether individuals pose threats to CEOs and managers at corporate-level meetings. Thus, assessing the risks has become extremely difficult, and corporate-style events are suffering the consequences. 

On a different note, organisations worldwide lose approximately 5% of annual revenues to fraud. Unsurprisingly, most of it traces back to a lack of corporate security and risk management. 

Therefore, the short yet practical answer to the question of whether companies of all sizes need corporate security is this: Yes, and it’s overdue! 

corporate security and risk management 1

The Essential Quality of Risk Management 

Risk management has gained plenty of traction in the past two decades, not the least because of accidents such as the Deepwater Horizon explosion. Since the event, experts have used this incident to accentuate how risk management can go wrong and fast. 

Closer to home, the Esso Longford gas explosion killed two workers and injured eight. The event devastated Victoria, causing a halt to primary gas supply chains, with around AUD 1,3 billion lost in the process. In the aftermath, a Royal Commission blamed the accident on Esso Longford, the company in charge.  

As many experts believe, all this could have been prevented if risks were managed better. 

Despite all of the money and rhetoric around risk management, executives and managers often treat it as a compliance issue. They claim that creating a multitude of rules and having employees follow them will inevitably increase productivity and safety. Truth be told, some risk requires alternative approaches, not a rules-based model. 

Types of Risk 

Generally, three types of risk generate the most significant problems in corporate Australia ― and really anywhere else in the world. 

Preventable risks are those that a company can either control, eliminate or avoid. These include risks from unauthorised, unethical, illegal, inappropriate or incorrect actions by managers or employees. Companies can counter this type of risk by guiding people’s behaviours and decisions toward desired norms and monitoring operational processes. 

External risks are those found outside the organisation and are beyond its control or influence. These risks include political and natural disasters, as well as major macroeconomic shifts. In this case, managing risk efforts should focus on identifying and mitigating their impact rather than trying to prevent it. 

Strategy risks are those that a company voluntarily accepts to generate extensive returns from its strategy. For most companies, this means taking on risks through research and development activities. Unlike preventable risks, strategy risks aren’t inherently undesirable. For example, to capture the potential gains, the oil and gas company BP accepted the high risks of drilling below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico. 

For strategy risks, the traditional rules-based control model is ineffective. Events such as this necessitate a system to reduce the probability of risks materialising and enhance the company’s ability to contain or manage the risk events. 

In Conclusion 

People in all positions of power tend to overestimate their ability to influence events that are profoundly determined by chance. Similarly, no matter their rank, everybody feels confident about the accuracy of their risk assessment and forecasts. 

Interestingly, organisational biases also hinder our ability to discuss failure and risk. In fact, the biggest problems arise when teams engage in groupthink. As soon as a course of action gathers support within a group, those not yet in agreement with the majority tend to fall in line. This proves to have crippling effects on any company. 

For these and many other reasons, corporate security and risk management services must not be observed as a compliance function but a real-world human-centric issue. 

Companies like Panoptic Solutions help organisations enhance productivity by offering unmatched corporate security and risk management services. 

Corporate Protection Australia: What You Must Know 

There is no shortage of physical hazards and cyberattacks threatening the very survival of your company. In 2020 alone, the latter cost the Australian economy USD 3.5 billion or AUD 4.8 billion. In fact, the two are intertwined and can hardly be untangled as damage done to one spills over into the other. For this and many other reasons, corporate protection Australia finds itself increasingly among the top search engine results. 

It’s not that companies are letting their guard down. Instead, the issue lies with those malicious actors going the extra mile to: 

  • Steal, delete, or manipulate data, 
  • Weaken infrastructure, 
  • Take control of internal systems. 

As a matter of fact, infrastructure security is probably among the chief targets of malefactors nowadays. Although experts claim that cybersecurity costs are on the rise, the layperson’s experience is that their data is as unsafe as ever. And we can’t blame them. According to researchers, the digital risks we all face will increase as more devices share data worldwide. 

That is only one side of the coin we call corporate protection Australia. The other side mainly focuses on physical security threats that are predominant in the country’s larger cities.

Australian National Security lists 26 terrorist organisations on its website. Some of them state their goal as “destroying the West and democracy.” 

Crucially, one element of a democratic westernised system is the corporate world we have grown accustomed to in the past few decades. Professed intentions of terrorist organisations occasionally manifest in attacks against heads of companies and institutions alike. 

However, other attacks are just meant to be humiliating for the CEO. For example, when Qantas’s Alan Joyce was hit with a pie by Tony Overheu back in 2017, the assailant had to pay a fine amounting to USD 3,600 or AUD 4,900. Still, security experts are always left wondering: What if the attacker had carried a deadly weapon instead of a pie? 

The Inevitable Impact of Corporate Protection Australia  

People often mistake tailor-made security for something that requires plenty of engagement by the person receiving those services. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.  

Security services anywhere in the world, including corporate protection Australia, have only one goal. And that is to help ensure maximum productivity and peace of mind for you ― the principal ― and the company as a whole.  

But, of course, corporate security isn’t so straightforward, as it entails the prevention of workplace crimes, including: 

  • Property damage,  
  • Thefts, and  
  • Assaults. 

As it already happened with dozens of organisations worldwide, a single employee could be the end of an enterprise built for decades. One illustrative example is someone entering their office and simply plugging in a removable storage device, such as a USB stick. If the device contains so much as a shred of unusual software, that could very well be the company’s demise. 

The malefactor ― in this case, the average worker ― either intentionally or unintentionally contributed to: 

  • Installing malware, 
  • Impacting external sites, thereby creating public damage to the company’s brand, 
  • Preventing systems from functioning correctly, and 
  • Selling or stealing business trade secrets or intellectual property. 

All this occurs more or less in one fell swoop. 

The protection of company assets is at the forefront of the interests of any competent board and CEO. Sometimes, that first line of defense is literally at the organisation’s front doors.  

In fact, companies like Panoptic Solutions offer platinum-level services that do just that: make sure that all lines of defense remain impenetrable. Our unobtrusive corporate security officers stand at your company’s frontline, protecting that which matters the most: your business’s well-being and continuity. 

Whether it’s board rooms, offices, concierge, hotels, or black-tie events, we go where you need us. 

corporate protection australia
Corporate Protection Australia to the Rescue 

Companies throughout the world offer either products, services, or both. The moment they cease offering them and earning is when they are under attack.  

Therefore, their physical and virtual standing is at stake all the time of doing business. It’s a continuous, never-ending sequence that requires protection 24/7, and your company is no exception. 

Moreover, the thing is that nobody can actually predict a crime. Yet, many preventative measures pose as a deterrent to potential attackers. Briefly, the point is to dissuade them from striking in the first place. 

Typical security systems consist of: 

  • High-decibel alarms or sirens, 
  • Door, window, and motion sensors, and 
  • Wireless or wired security cameras. 

Astonishingly, as many as 40% of employees steal from the workplace. From equipment to workplace supplies to intellectual property, employees target their company for various reasons. Nevertheless, using typical security systems may not be enough to deter them from harming your company’s assets.  

In fact, hiring corporate security guards may be the next step to ensuring that thefts, assaults, and property damage are minimized. Although some wrongly perceive them as simply “standing there,” their actual value is often underrated. In truth, corporate security guards are one of the best deterrents to criminal activities. 

Pro-tip: Employees can also be targets of attacks against your company, as they are its living and breathing image.  

In Conclusion 

Most businesses neglect the importance of corporate protection until a crime occurs in their backyard. Unfortunately, this is a reactive rather than a proactive approach to safeguarding your company’s assets. As a result, it can ruin your firm’s reputation and prospects for good. 

Furthermore, corporate protection is not as clear-cut as many would want it to be. For instance, whenever things go south, the CEO’s responsibility is to make amends with the affected party, i.e., the employee, or try to fix the issue caused by the malicious attacker. 

The spectrum of people that can potentially be affected by a virtual or physical intrusion is as large as the company itself. And while you cannot afford to lose your company assets, the cost of not hiring a security firm is even higher, as it could hinder your business’s growth and prevent you from fostering a culture that is optimal for work and productivity. 

Ultimately, corporate protection Australia is a term that we will see be used more in the years to come. Hopefully, in titles and articles abounding in positive outlooks toward the future. 

What Is Infrastructure Security?

Infrastructure security relates to the provision of security services to safeguard organisational structures and facilities. The goal is to limit the exposure of systems and structures to threats and risks of sabotage, terrorism, and contaminations. Hence, infrastructure security experts maintain it is at the root of corporate security plans. 

Although the elements vary to some extent on the country or business in question, it involves specific procedures, policies, and techniques that aim to protect so-called critical infrastructure such as: 

  • airports, 
  • highways, 
  • rail transport, 
  • hospitals, 
  • bridges, 
  • transport hubs, 
  • network communications, 
  • media, 
  • the electricity grid, 
  • dams, 
  • power plants, 
  • seaports, 
  • oil refineries, and  
  • water systems. 

Due to technological advancements, these infrastructures have become highly interconnected and interdependent; and heavily reliant on IT. In turn, this has made them more vulnerable to intrusions and disruptions.  

Most significantly, since disruptions in one infrastructure can adversely affect and provoke failures in another, their security has become a key concern. 

Potential Threats to Infrastructure Security 

Since critical infrastructure is vital for countries and organisations to function properly, damage can seriously impact the economy and the provision of services. There are several intentional and unintentional risks from which infrastructure needs to be heavily secured and protected:  

Terrorism – the deliberate targeting of critical infrastructure for political gain.  

Theft – breaking into sites, like electrical substations, to steal materials or equipment. 

Sabotage – this includes the activities of competitors, ex-employees, or political groups against organisations or governments. 

Cyber-attack – hacking to gain information or damage national or company infrastructure.  

Natural disaster – hurricane or natural events that damage oil pipelines, water supply, and power grids.  

Global Trends of Attacks on Critical Infrastructure  

In December 2015, the BlackEnergy malware hit three utility companies in Ukraine. In its wake, hundreds of thousands of people were left without electricity and the world witnessed the first known power outage caused by a malicious attack by hackers. 

Since then, the energy sector has remained a favourite target for cyber-attacks. However, these attacks are not limited or isolated to that one industry. In fact, transport, public sector services, and telecommunications also present appealing targets. 

In 2013, a group of hackers from Iran breached the Bowman Avenue Damn in New York, USA, gaining control of the floodgates. That same year, damage caused by a sniper attack at an electrical substation in California threatened power distribution throughout Silicon Valley.  

More recently, the 2020 car bombing in Nashville, Tennessee, injured three people and destroyed a section of the city’s downtown region, causing significant damage to a key AT&T transmission facility. As a result, wired networks were brought down across parts of Tennessee, Kentucky, and Alabama, and briefly grounding flights.  

Critical Infrastructure in Australia 

PwC survey from late 2020 warns of an increased risk of cyber-attacks targeting local, critical infrastructure. Business leaders are expecting more cyber-attacks in the next 12 months than their global peers. Reportedly, 56% of Australian executives anticipate attacks on the nation’s critical infrastructure which could shut down vital services such as hospitals.  

According to everything we have seen so far, those fears appear to be well-founded. 

infrastructure security

Eastern Health Attack 

One of Melbourne’s largest metropolitan public health services, Eastern Health, had to postpone several elective surgery procedures following a cyber-attack. Even though patient safety was not compromised, the category two and three elective surgery procedures were postponed. 

Western Australia’s parliamentary email network 

Earlier in March 2021, Western Australia’s parliamentary email network was hit by hackers as part of a massive global cyber-attack involving Microsoft software. The cyber-attack was detected in the middle of the state election campaign, with the hack affecting thousands of Australian servers. 

False Claims of COVID-19 cases on ANU campus 

Staff at the Australian National University (ANU) received a scam email, falsely claiming that the Canberra campus recorded COVID-19 cases. In fact, multiple members of different departments at the university reported receiving the email, including a link that the reader was advised to follow. 

This institution had also fallen prey to a 2018 attack, when hackers infiltrated the university’s systems, sparking a months-long process to shut the attack down. 

Tamim Khaja Plot 

Sadly, cyber-attacks seem just to be the tip of the iceberg against critical infrastructure in Australia. Similarly, endangering the proper functioning of society, terrorist attacks and plots can be equally deadly.  

In 2018, 20-year-old man Tamim Khaja was sentenced to 19 years in jail. He pleaded guilty to planning and preparing a so-called lone-wolf terrorist attack in Sydney. 

In fact, he intended to target the Timor Army Barracks and Sydney West Trial Courts. Claiming to derive his inspiration from the Charlie Hebdo terror attack in Paris, Tamim Khaja hoped to encourage others to perform similar acts. 

Conclusively, NSW Supreme Court Justice Desmond Fagan said of the case: “He expected his actions would encourage others of the same mind to undertake similar atrocities leading to police and security services being overwhelmed, the institutions of democratic government being weakened, and the Australian people being forced to live under Islamic law, sharia.” 

Infrastructure Security and Risk Management 

Infrastructure security risks are unique to sectors within a particular industry.  

Organisations within the healthcare industry most often face breaches to patient records security, or worse, harm to the patients. Conversely, chemical companies are vulnerable to terrorists releasing hazardous chemicals. Due to this, mitigation strategies should also be unique and adaptable to the evolving threats. 

In terms of infrastructure security, the risk management strategy involves five main functions: 

Planning – Being prepared means staying watchful and having clear guidelines on how to properly identify, assess, and avoid risk. Despite many of these risks often being difficult or impossible to predict, having a plan goes a long way when disaster strikes.  

Prevention – Risk is often thought to lead to the greatest benefits. However, this does not hold true for infrastructure security. Potential harm will always outweigh probable benefits, and because of this prevention and avoidance policies are best practices. 

Quick Response and Operational Efficiency – A high level of operational efficiency is essential to critical infrastructure security. In turn, this facilitates quick response when a disaster or security breach occurs. 

Disaster Recovery – This involves measures taken to maintain operations during a crisis, as well as minimisation of time needed to recover from the damages. An efficient recovery plan is crucial to production resumption and overall business continuity. 

Reinforcement – A company’s initiatives to support infrastructure security need to be shared with all stakeholders through all channels at one’s disposal. Furthermore, cultivating a risk-aware culture in the company, from top to bottom, plays an important role in infrastructure security. 

Conclusion 

The responsibility of critical infrastructure security lies with the government. Still, organisations need to implement adequate practices in order to guard against infrastructure security risks. In fact, this requires multiple layers of protection and different stages of evaluation. 

Hence, companies should collaborate with a preferred security partner and choose a programme that can enable and deliver business success. Alternatively, delays in implementing proper security protocols can expose a business to evolving threats of a very unpredictable nature. 

Therefore, organisations with an integrated approach to security can successfully mitigate the risks of infrastructure casualties.  

Security experts – like Panoptic Solutions – can help you identify vulnerabilities and improve your security to future-proof your company. You can have the safety and security you need, as well as the peace of mind you deserve. 

Corporate Security Guards: A Benefit to Any Organisation

Corporate security is an often-ignored management function. Yet, directors and executives are experiencing a growing need to properly understand the risks that their organisations face. The authors of Corporate Security in the Asia-Pacific Region inform us that in Australia it is a director’s duty to make sure that the company has and maintains risk management. So, executives need to involve themselves and demonstrate appropriate action with small margins for error. Security matters are an inextricable part of their duties – and some of the most fundamental considerations and concerns made when employing corporate security guards.  

Ensuring the protection of company facilities and its employees is a matter of the utmost importance. Sometimes, it can even seem daunting. It is unrealistic to expect managers and executives to patrol the grounds themselves while managing the business. It is likewise unworkable for them to expect to trust just anyone to look out for their company with as much investment as they themselves have.  

In order to keep their people safe and protect company assets, more and more businesses are employing the services of corporate security guards. Often misperceived as simply “standing there,” their intrinsic value is often underestimated. Corporate security guards are a competent deterrent to criminal activities and are well-equipped and trained to protect an organisation’s investment. 

Using Professional Corporate Security Guards vs. Hiring Internally 

Let’s suppose that an organisation realises that it would benefit from additional security. In this event, they still have to decide whether to use a third-party security company or hire a security guard from within your company. Yes, hiring internally seems like a quick and easy solution. Still, the benefits of outsourcing and employing external corporate security guards outweigh appointing a current employee to oversee security matters.  

An immediate benefit is the peace of mind of having qualified and trained professionals protecting their organisation. Also, any professional security company will make it standard practice to run extensive background checks on all of their guards. This would include criminal history checks, licence and character checks, as well as speaking with previous employers or military/law enforcement units.   

Additionally, outsourcing often proves the more cost-effective solution. Organisations will save money that they would otherwise spend on proper training for novice security guards, as well as their certifications. Then there are the costs of equipment and maintenance.   

Lastly, corporate security guards from a private security company generally come from a rich background of security work. Typically, this includes years as a professional security guard or previous military or law enforcement experience. Organisations that hire their services will generally find that outsourced guards will consist of those with a broad range of experience and likely have the necessary skills to protect their facilities and employees. 

Additional Considerations on Corporate Security Guards 

In this context, security outsourcing as a concept provides companies with more room to concentrate on their core business. Also, it allows them freedom and the opportunity to cut costs, while feeling completely protected.  

However, apart from some default competencies – like security skills, knowledge, personal integrity, flexibility, adaptability, and commitment, corporate security guards should possess certain business expertise, such as:  

  • understanding corporate culture,  
  • business acumen,
  • management skills, and  
  • communication and presentation skills. 

corporate security guards 1

Imagine the unlikely situation where a director has the capacity to employ as many guards as they want. In this case, professional expertise and the size of the corporate security firm are not necessarily crucial factors when it comes to producing results. 

It is far more important to have a coherent team, working toward a common goal. So, when hiring corporate security guards, it is vital to concentrate on features that are crucial for team dynamics. Some of these include: 

Performance – they need to possess the appropriate skills and have correct instructions pertaining to their tasks, as well as the ability to execute them.  

Company interests — the candidates’ interests and motivations need to align with the rest of the organisation’s structure. 

Character — executives need to consider their corporate security guards not only in a professional sense but as individuals with whom you are going to interact. 

Corporate Security Guard Duties and Responsibilities 

As previously mentioned, most executives deal with the companies of the outsourced workforce in terms of the quality and quantity of the services performed. In general, corporate security guards may perform the following duties: 

Reception – Meet and Greet, Directing Visitors, handling postal mail, and in some cases, answering calls. However, security staff should not be seen as a replacement for a dedicated receptionist. 

Access control – making sure that people or materials do not pass through a particular point and assist, escort, or direct those who are permitted access.  

Patrolling – identifying, observing, and intercepting suspicious behaviour and objects. 

Handling of security and fire equipment – they operate any equipment intended to detect, prevent and mitigate incidents. 

Cash in transit – these include security measures aimed at protecting transported funds. 

Regardless of whether an organisation employs a dedicated security manager to manage the corporate security guards or those duties fall within the scope of a company director, that person is in charge of: 

  • Maintaining regular communication with the outsourced company, 
  • Reviewing and checking invoices for their services, 
  • Measuring performance and setting KPIs, 
  • Keeping a record of incidents, 
  • Keeping track of dates and information that could affect security,
  • Creating the budget for the guard services, 
  • Creating procedures and work instructions and ensuring that the staff follows them, and 
  • Making sure that all physical security elements are maintained and operational, etc. 

Conclusion 

When clients and employees are confident that an organisation is properly guarded and implements adequate security protocols, business runs smoother. However, company security isn’t just the concern of a single individual. A sound security strategy needs to be embedded in the organisation on multiple levels and across departments.  

Each agency or business comes with a unique set of security needs and requires a custom plan of protection. A good corporate security service company is able to incorporate their professional security guards into their business place with minimal disruption. 

By working with the company, professional corporate security guards will be able to come up with several security tactics. These are tailor-made to fit the company’s specific needs, while at the same time addressing any special challenges that the facility may face. 

Security experts – like Panoptic Solutions – can help you identify vulnerabilities and improve your security to future-proof your company. You can have the safety and security you need, as well as the peace of mind you deserve.  

What is Executive Protection?

The term executive protection (EP) has been very popular since the turn of the last century, especially in corporate circles. It is used to refer to specific and exclusive protective services aimed at crime deterrence, risk mitigation and management, and security in general.  

The exact definition has taken on many meanings through years of misuse – both at the hands of amateurs and security professionals who have no idea what executive protection really entails. It became a misnomer because some of its practices and techniques are not limited to EP, but are applicable to anyone with a need for personal security. 

Still, we can say that executive protection is a security programme specially designed around the specific lifestyle, environment, and family of the Principal. Sometimes called close protection, it includes practices and concepts such as:  

  • determination of actual and potential vulnerabilities,  
  • analysis, planning and preparation,  
  • implementation of a comprehensive security plan,  
  • advance security arrangements, and  
  • provision of a safe secure environment. 

Simply put, it entails anticipating and preparing, as well as planning for any contingency that could put the Principal at risk. Therefore, the goal of Executive Protection is the removal of potentially harmful circumstances, with direct confrontation as a measure of last resort. Executive protection agents’ duty is to deter attacks, not to expose their Principals to danger. 

A Brief Historical Overview 

Executive protection as we know it today is a rather young service industry. It was born somewhere in the last four decades of the twentieth century. Specifically, in the 1970s, after several corporate and political kidnappings and terrorist attacks – like that of Richard OetkerPatty Hearst or Aldo Moro, to name a few – companies began providing bodyguards to vulnerable executives, politicians and their families.  

Soon enough, celebrities and other public figures recognised the increased need for protection specialists to keep them safe. The police simply could not provide the protection that they needed due to limitations in terms of manpower and funding. Also, depending on the jurisdiction, law enforcement faced a number of legal restrictions.  

Another defining moment came with the onset of the Iranian Revolution, when a small but very significant change happened in the security business. An increasing number of Iranian expatriates immigrated to the USA.  

Many of these were wealthy and influential people in their own country. They created a niche for protection specialists, who previously worked in agencies such as the Secret Service, FBI, U.S. Marshall’s Office, and founded businesses specialising in executive protection. 

So, after the turbulent and violent seventies, executive protection outgrew the sweeper-mentality bodyguard or the martial arts trained bouncer. EP agents became highly professional and trained personal protection specialists. 

executive protection 02

The Need for Executive Protection 

So, why do companies and high net-worth individuals need executive protection? In the simplest terms possible: to avoid and manage risks that threaten their lives, businesses and reputations. This is a very complex matter since threats and vulnerabilities are not “created equal.” There is no one-size-fits all solution. 

A number of factors, circumstances and considerations enter into the calculation. However, when assessing risks, we can say that the goal is to provide answers and solutions to the following questions: 

  • What would be the consequences if a certain risk is realised and the Principal is harmed? 
  • What is the probability of that event happening? 
  • How to avoid that threat in the most effective manner possible? 

A major company can suffer a number of negative consequences if, for instance, their CEO is harmed.  

Firstly, of course, this concerns direct consequences to the CEO and their family – potentially this person can lose their life. Secondly, there is the impact that such an event would have on shareholder value and the financial interests of the company. Thirdly, an organisation’s reputation and competitiveness would be severely damaged since they are often directly related to the well-being of high-profile company members.  

This means conducting risk assessments entails more than simply looking at actual threats. A number of factors such as income inequality, threats of terrorism, local crime rates – or traffic accidents, come into play. 

Then, there are the celebrity or infamy elements to consider. The more spotlight a certain company or individual gets, the greater the likelihood of them attracting the attention of persons of interest – i.e., people who present a threat. 

The Benefits of Executive Protection  

Executive protection takes a holistic approach to security. This entails a full and complete security service. EPAs provide protection services, but also conduct all the advance work, surveillance, logistics, and driver duties if needed. 

Every organisation and individual has their own unique preferences, engages in specific activities or leads a distinctive lifestyle. Because of this, EP programmes are tailor-made to fit the needs of the client with minimal intrusion into their regular, daily goings-on.  

On the other hand, this type of service can also be seen as a competitive advantage. Namely, an organisation that utilises an executive protection program will have a meaningful edge in comparison to one that does not. 

Its executives can travel more and be completely safe during their travels. This is an important factor, considering McKinsey’s findings that by 2025 half of the Fortune 500 companies will be located in emerging markets where travel risks are higher.  

However, whether at home or on the road, Principals can enjoy increased productivity. Executive protection is not an interference to their everyday life, it happens in the background of the Principal’s attention. Executive Protection agents/operatives limit or completely eliminate many of the interruptions that would otherwise be inevitable. 

Conclusion 

Executive protection continues to evolve through the years, with changes in training techniques and procedures as well as with enhancements in technology. It has proven to be an effective resource for executives and high-profile personalities and families. It is a service industry which should be considered by individuals with a significant risk profile. 

Security experts – like Panoptic Solutions – can help you identify vulnerabilities and improve your security to future-proof your company. You can have the safety and security you need, as well as the peace of mind you deserve. 

Corporate Security: The Risks Threatening Your Business 

All companies, regardless of their headcount or stock value, have a duty to keep their property and their most valuable assets – their employees, safe from harm and criminal acts. So, corporate security relates to properly recognising and mitigating risks that could put a business in danger, whether physical, financial, or reputational. 

In fact, corporate security is frequently defined as the sum total of strategies directed towards identifying and managing any situation or development that could potentially harm the survival of an organisation. It covers everything from physical protection, to guarding a company’s reputation, its data and systems or finances.  

How do you and your team evaluate if your company needs corporate security, and to what extent is it required? What considerations need to be taken into account? Do you need to consider your company size or the industry you’re in? The short answer is yes, however, there is more to it than that.  

Building a risk profile around your company, its and executives, employees and the industry and the landscaping surrounding it makes up part of the risk assessment. Once you have identified the risk, the solution may simply be to engage a security firm, and hire corporate security guards, or buy security software or switch to more advanced technologies that protect your company’s tangible and intangible assets.  

Common Corporate Security Risks to Your Business  

As previously outlined the level or type of corporate security that you need will depend on your company’s unique threat landscape, however, there are risks that all businesses share. One being frauds or fraudsters – i.e. dishonest individuals who engage in illegal activities in order to achieve advantageous financial outcomes. 

In fact, according to a report by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, businesses globally experience a loss of more than AUD 4.74 trillion (USD 3.48 trillion) each year due to fraud. Which is just the tip of the iceberg.   

With that in mind, here is a list of some of the most common risks that could threaten your organisation. 

Protests  

Recent years have seen a rise in the number of protests, rallies, mass public gatherings and direct action – especially in the Western world. These events represent a challenge for corporate security because it can be difficult to predict when an otherwise peaceful gathering can go out of control and turn into a very violent situation without adequate or timely intelligence. This represents a danger to your property and your employees – putting everyone in the building at risk.  

If you are aware that a protest is likely to take place, organisations and companies should consult with the police in order to gain further information or intelligence about any timings and locations of the event, as well as information which may lead your organisation to increase security measures. 

Generally speaking, no two protests are the same. Although, they may follow a similar pattern where they may start peaceful and can turn hostile or even violent with mob mentality. Having sound security procedures and communicating them to every member of the organisation is an excellent step to mitigating the risks from hostile protests and avoiding any disruption to your operations. 

PRO TIP: Have your security technicians conduct regular checks and tests of all security cameras and CCTV. Test your company’s physical security protocols regularly so there are no unpleasant surprises in the event of an unplanned protest. 

Corporate Sabotage  

Damage to your company’s property can range from minor incidents to major vandalism – which can delay or halt operations and productivity leading to significant financial impact.  

Making rounds and conducting regular inspections of the premises, property or site allows corporate security teams to quickly identify the incident and respond accordingly. Corporate security strategy against such incidents should include these 4 phases:  

  • protect/patrol,  
  • detect,  
  • respond, and,  
  • recover or replace.  

Your first line of defence should always be to protect your premises by conducting regular patrols (either physical or visual), this will allow you to detect any issue or incident and respond accordingly. Finally, recover or replace the damaged property.  

Insider Security Threats  

Insider threats are a corporate security risk that comes from within the targeted company. Typically, this involves current or former employees, or perhaps associates that have access to sensitive information, and who misuse that access.  

The problem is that, traditionally, a company’s security strategy generally deals with and plans for external threats. This leaves them lacking in terms of properly identifying or mitigating risks that emerge from within an organisation. 

The most common insider threats include:  

The Turncloak – a person that intentionally abuses their credentials, whether for their own personal reasons or for financial gain. 

A Careless insider — this is usually an innocent employee who unwittingly falls prey to a scam and exposes the company to outside threats.  

A Mole — someone from outside the organisation who poses as an employee or partner in order to gain access to privileged information or access.  

Cyber Security Threats 

With the shift toward remote work, cybersecurity is becoming a major concern for many corporates. However, this concern and prioritising online safety practices is somewhat reactive and comes post-fact: 

  • S&P Global reports that the global pandemic in 2020 caused a 238% increase in cyber-attacks of financial institutions, and, 
  • According to Threat Post, more than 80% of corporates experienced at least one cyber-attack in the past two years.  

CSO Online reports that 94% of malware gets delivered via email, with phishing attacks making up more than 80% of corporate security breaches. So, as organisations decide their budgets for 2022 or beyond, they should plan for technological solutions that will help them mitigate at least some of the most pressing cybersecurity risks. 

Hostage Situations & Kidnapping, Ransom and Extortion (KRE) 

Generally speaking, the risk of kidnap for ransom in developed or first world countries is low, however, economic and political instability in developing or third world countries means that travel can be an element of risk for corporate employees and executives. KRE and hostage situations may lead to serious harm and even death.  

A report by Constellis states that globally there have been 1,193 kidnappings of foreign nationals in 2020. Additionally, ransom payment demands have increased by 30% with regard to the first half of 2020, averaging approximately AUD 312,000.  

A recommended corporate security practice that companies or security teams should consider implementing is operational security, or in lay terms, only working on a need-to-know basis especially when travelling, specifically as it relates to schedules and itineraries. The less that is publicised the safer the traveller/executive/worker will be.  

Additionally, performing a travel risk assessment ahead of time including, becoming familiar with any potential high-risk zones or “hot spots” and identifying safe zones which may be local law enforcement, recommended hotels, hospitals or trusted local partners will all assist in will minimising risk.  

If an employee becomes a victim of a KRE event, the early hours are essential in deciding all the facts of the situation. In such cases, apart from your corporate security team, other stakeholders should include law enforcement, government officials, the victim’s family, and a specialist security firm that handles kidnap for ransom cases.  

corporate security

Terrorist Incidents  

As part of an organisations threat and vulnerability risk assessment, terrorist attacks or incidents should be considered. The head of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, General Mike Burgess, warned in April 2021 that a terrorist attack in Australia is likely in the next 12 months. The type of organisation the company will dictate how likely, possible or probable a terror-related incident will be. 

 The organisation’s corporate security team should take this into consideration and ensure it has adequate protocols and responses in place. This response could be a simple as a report, evacuate and cordon, or it may include more involved and direct response up to and including physical force.  

Any corporate security strategy should include a clear security protocol that is communicated to the entire organisation in the event of an evacuation or a lockdown. 

The organisation’s corporate security team needs to be able to communicate clearly with local police and work to ensure the safety of all employees. Failure here leads to much worse results than just loss of revenue and business interruption.  

A report by Trackforce Valiant outlines that 27% of corporate security teams lacked adequate communication interfaces, resulting in unnecessary miscommunication. Therefore, it’s imperative that corporate security teams are appropriately trained and equipped with an effective means to relay relevant and real-time information to emergency services in these incidences.  

Conclusion – Corporate Security Challenges in 2021 

There is no doubt that 2020 will go down in history as one of the most challenging years the world has been through. In addition to the personal challenges and sacrifices, there have been many challenges within the corporate security sector. Challenges have also led to some positive changes and reviewing of systems and protocols.   

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed flaws in the alignment of people and corporate processes that we may not have identified previously. It has also revealed that workforce security training and accountability measures in some corporate workplaces require a serious overhaul.  

New and specific types of incidents need new management protocols, as well as reporting standards. Risk to business can be mitigated with the right plan in place. so, while the events of 2020 mainly revolved around reaction, the theme for 2021 is all about proactive prevention 

If you’re unsure how secure your organisation is, security experts – like Panoptic Solutions, can help you identify vulnerabilities and improve your security to future-proof your company. 

coronavirus impact on the security industry

Coronavirus Impact on the Security Industry and Our Clients

Unless you’ve been living in a vacuum ― in which case you will be immune to the matter at hand ― it would be hard to miss all that is surrounding COVID-19. Especially in terms of the coronavirus impact on the security industry and our clients.

The fallout is far-reaching and not just isolated to clinical space. Misinformation coupled with 24/7 news cycles and social media have made this the perfect storm. Doomsday preppers are buying up bottled water, hand sanitiser, and toilet paper like it’s a commodity. 

Incidents are turning violent, including assaults, and ― in one case ― somebody flashed a knife in what the news described as a communication issue. Further, there are reports of strain on supplies of PPE for health care workers due to panic buying and hoarding by companies, suppliers, and the everyday public. 

At the time of writing this article, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) predicted a 19% loss in worldwide passenger revenues. As we know, this has a flow-on effect on many other industries. 

However, now in hindsight, it appears the figure is far greater given that QANTAS has laid off over 30% of its workforce and reduced its fleet. Additionally, Virgin Australia is cutting 90% of its flights temporarily. In fact, the COVID-19 pandemic hit hard many industries, including hospitality, liquor, gaming, and travel industries, to name a few. 

Weathering the Storm

So what is the actual coronavirus impact on the security industry and our clients?

We spoke to a friend, author, travel designer, anthropologist, and one of Forbes List of 25 most influential women in travel, the esteemed Lisa Lindblad of Lisa Lindblad Travel Design. She states that the luxury travel industry has been impacted across the board with “cancellations or deferments.” This left concerns that only the “large corporate players” will remain and that the “specialists will struggle.”

Roger Hyde of the high-end luxury sustainable travel company, Dulabab Travel, believes that there will be several phases to this crisis. But only with an end in sight for those who can weather the storm.

He suggests that the final phase will be when this crisis is on the wane. In fact, principals are again turning to re-booking their spring/summer 2020 postponed trip or to use the 2020 travel budget and embarking on a more extensive journey for 2021. 

There could be significant opportunities for companies that are happy and capable of playing the long game and with the capacity to hold out for this anticipated longer-term boost.

He adds: “Finally, as with SARS in the 2000s, there will be a future when the direct and indirect threat presented by COVID-19 has passed… Our business approach is to see beyond this exceptionally challenging period and plan in good time for extraordinary journeys later this year or 2021.”

coronavirus impact on the security industry

Rethinking the Modus Operandi

The security industry is not exempt from the uncertainty and volatility that is occurring with the COVID-19 virus. The coronavirus impact on the security industry is vividly real. Venues and major sporting events have been cancelled, leading to large-scale layoffs of security guards

Corporate and office personnel are now working from home. As such, corporate security officers find themselves on an indefinite leave period. In other words: coronavirus impact on the security industry in action.

Furthermore, with concerts cancelled, entertainers no longer travelling, Olympics rescheduled, families and VIPs no longer vacationing or travelling for business, executive protection and close protection companies have also been forced to rethink their modus operandi.

Secure travel has now evolved to include a greater emphasis on health and hygiene. All the while, drivers and executive protection personnel are focussing even more on cleanliness. This includes:

  • Following strict handwashing regimes, 
  • Cleaning vehicles with antibacterial wipes, and 
  • Donning protective equipment such as masks and respirators.

Traditional executive protection and close protection have also evolved to meet clients’ needs in this current isolation environment. The procedures now include running logistics and creating a “sanitised” and healthy ecosystem for them to wait this period out. 

Accommodating Our Clients 24/7

Since its inception, Panoptic Solutions has taken a holistic approach to our clients’ safety and security to incorporate a strong focus on medical and health and their physical security needs. For us, there is no change here, just an added layer of planning.

As with other companies and industries within the security and risk management sector, we need to do what we often do best: 

  • Conduct an assessment of the situation, 
  • Identify the weaknesses, and 
  • Find ways to mitigate them. 

Consider how we can best provide a safe environment for our clients. Think outside the box. It’s not all physical.

With all this social distancing, it is likely clients are going to be spending more time online. As such, the client’s digital footprint will increase. Do they have a cybersecurity plan? Is this something that you can offer or partner with others who do? Direct some of the physical security protocols towards the health aspect of what we do. 

Apparently, the coronavirus impact on the security industry is diverse and expanding.

coronavirus impact on the security industry

Therefore, identify safe areas for our clients and be diligent about what goes in:

  1. Sanitise as the requirements suggest, 
  2. Conduct thermal temperature checks at venue entrances, 
  3. Provide supportive measures through logistics, tailor ops and medical evacuation plans to consider COVID-19, and 
  4. Prepare for actions you need to take if it all goes south. 

What medical capability will you and those around you require? Is basic first aid going to cut it? Will that two-week medical course be enough, or will the client need more advanced support such as Paramedics or Doctors? Can we offer up risk assessments or crisis management plans (pending your know-how)? 

As a matter of fact, each client’s risk factors will be different.

In Conclusion

We are fighting the war on two fronts here; medical and economic. Both are devastating. Many people are hurting, and no doubt more pain is to come. 

However, for those of us who can, let’s take a deep breath and try to see through the misinformation. Let’s adapt to the crisis and provide a professional solution to the problem at hand. Who knows, in the process, we may even be able to engage our security colleagues who require some assistance.

One thing is for sure, the coronavirus impact on the security industry won’t go away quickly.

Panoptic Solutions delivers tailored security and risk management services with a holistic view on health and safety. This unique approach allows us to provide you with a bespoke plan that meets your specific needs.

Our team of professionals has backgrounds within specialized law enforcement, paramedic, and military services. We provide unparalleled experience and ensure your peace of mind.

Our services are ideal for corporate clients, events, high-profile personnel, celebrity, and family offices. To learn more about our service offerings, give us a call or email us.

 

What Steps Should Employers Take in Response to COVID-19?

As the pandemic rapidly spreads across the globe, it’s important to ask what steps should employers take in response to COVID-19? We’ve been seeing some of our clients with a multi-country presence, plan ahead to ensure the health and safety of their employees.

The most important thing is not to panic or create such ambience within the organisation. Since this is a rapidly evolving topic, employers should ensure that all staff seeks information from a single source of truth i.e. credible websites or government institutions.

Here’s a list of sites we have been following since the outbreak:

US https://www.cdc.gov/
AU https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts
UK https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public
CA https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/being-prepared.html
Global reported cases and recovery Interactive map
WHO Official website https://www.who.int/southeastasia/outbreaks-and-emergencies/novel-coronavirus-2019

 

Given the proliferation of information on social media around this rapidly evolving topic, combined with the uncertainty about the virus, we wanted to share five guidelines that we’ve curated across our clients that you could consider implementing in your own business. Integral steps employers can take in response to COVID-19.

 

1. Identify a point of contact in each office location or a central team
The individual or team must be responsible for monitoring official daily updates, disseminating this information to all employees, and reinforcing good hygiene practices through posters and email comms.

 

2. Have a flexible business continuity plan.
Questions to address within this plan could:

    • How prepared is your business for employees to work remotely?
    • What does the next 6-month organisation travel calendar look like and can you identify and eliminate all non-essential travel?
    • Emergency action plan in the event of an employee testing positive for the virus.
    • Maintain an adequate supply of hygiene products in each office.
    • Maintaining financial security while always ensuring employee safety.

 

3. Limit non-essential work events that promote large staff gatherings
Businesses should review all upcoming events and consider rescheduling them or arrange for such events to take place virtually.

 

4. Reconsider limiting client or visitor meetings in high-risk locations
Instruct employees to report to the designated representative if they have recently been to a high-risk destination or been in contact with someone who has.

 

5. Promote and maintain workplace hygiene and good hygiene practices among employees
Cough and sneeze etiquette, hand hygiene, staying home when sick, routine cleaning of all frequent traffic and touched surfaces.

The Takeaway

Employers need to implement effective practices in response to COVID-19. For one thing, it wouldn’t be unusual for employers to receive a high number of work-from-home requests.

Furthermore, the key to mitigating risks as an employer is to provide constant communication to staff, stay on top of all updates from credible institutions, have an emergency plan, and take action when needed and most of all stay calm.

However, if you or your employees have a scheduled (essential) travel to the APAC and need insight on travel and security arrangement amidst the current situation in the APAC region, give us a call or email us.