What Is an Advance in Close Protection Operations?

Arguably one of the most valuable methods, an advance in close protection operations serves to anticipate, plan, and prepare for contingencies. Through various action items, it readies the principal and close protection team for unpredictable scenarios. 

Those who have been part of the security industry for a long time are glaringly aware that some high-net-worth individuals and business executives do not take physical safety seriously. In fact, some will travel the city, country, or world without spending too much time considering the increased chance of victimisation while travelling alone. 

Understandably, the high-level individual will concern themselves with business, the occasional vacation, or quality family time. Yet, they rarely engage a proficient security team to: 

  • Handle logistics and travel arrangements, 
  • Implement extra precautions, and 
  • Advance the location, as it is often said in the close protection industry. 

Most importantly, a skilled protective team will assist the VIP in maintaining their schedule. They do so by conducting an advance in close protection operations that averts embarrassment, accidental injury, harassment, or planned assault. 

The practitioners providing CP services and those on the receiving end must be cognizant of the following.  

First, the attackers are likely well-prepared, with a plan in place. Secondly, they have an unfair advantage. This means that they get to select the place, time, and method of the attack. Therefore, implementing an advance in close protection operations helps restrict and deter almost all — except the most determined attackers. 

According to security expert Dale L. June, “In over 90 percent of cases in which an attack has resulted in death of the protectee, the security personnel have also been killed!” 

How to Conduct an Advance in Close Protection Operations

Apart from their personal assistants, the protective agent is the principal’s second most important professional confidant. By this, we mean that the security team must have access to plenty of vital information about the protectee.  

For this reason, the CPOs ought to collaborate closely with the principal’s personal assistant, other essential company staff, and family members. The end goal of this should be to help inform the CP team about the principal’s movement and travel habits. 

For example, when the CEO or their associates schedule meetings, the security team should receive the information as soon as possible. Preferably, they need to know about this well in advance. The reason is that the protective agents may want to travel ahead of the business executive and take care of hotel reservations and similar items. 

Note: Conducting a quality advance in close protection operations entails not hindering the day-to-day workload or personal obligations of the principal, their entourage, or family. It means creating an enabling environment where the high-net-worth individuals and the people they work and live with can proceed with their ordinary business uninterrupted. 

advance in close protection operations

Understanding an Advance

Most security teams have trouble explaining to the HNWI or CEO all the details that encompass an advance in close protection operations. As a result, some executives may feel that their freedom of movement has been restricted. Others may conclude that a simple trip to the countryside private residence does not necessitate severe pre-planning. 

Whatever the objection, it fails to consider the essential aspect of having a protective team onsite. And that is the security and safety of the protectees and their immediate environment. It is the job of the close protection operatives to ensure everything runs smoothly with the least possible amount of uncertainty. This includes corporate meetings, flights, leisure activities, and other items. 

By implementing an advance, the security team organises enjoyable trips unobstructed by hecklers or crowds. In fact, a properly executed advance can minimise or entirely prevent most emergencies.  

Succinctly, the central aspects of this method of safeguarding the business executive entail: 

  • Obtaining the HNWI’s itinerary — with information on places, dates, and times of travel, arrival and departure, means of transportation, addresses and phone numbers, and all other relevant information, 
  • Arranging ground transportation and baggage pickup, 
  • Handling lodging considerations, including checking in the HNWI before arrival, 
  • Conversing with hotel staff to establish escape routes, locations of fire extinguishers, and parking considerations, as well as liaising with housekeeping to determine when they can enter to clean the suite, etc., 
  • Establishing ingress and egress points, whether staying in a private residence or a hotel, and 
  • Selecting the most direct and safest routes to travel back and forth. 

Although this is not a complete list, it covers vital aspects of an advance in close protection operations. 

Complex and Simple Advances

According to one recent study conducted with security, legal, and compliance executives, “91% of respondents agree that physical security needs a technology-driven industry standard for actively identifying, investigating, assessing, monitoring and managing physical security threats.” 

Any experienced advance professional will know how to take advantage of technology. By doing so, they increase the likelihood of a smooth CP operation. For instance, using gear and technology may comprise: 

  • Managing a security operations centre,  
  • Mounting CCTV cameras,  
  • Installing tracking devices, or  
  • Gathering protective intelligence. 

That is why we recommend hiring a proficient advance team comprised of two or more individuals. That way, they can cover more ground faster and reduce the potential for attacks or assaults. 

In addition, it may be important to note that not all advances require strenuous planning. In this sense, we can divide advances into simple and complex ones. 

A complex advance entails multiple protectees, several venues, many transportation elements and occurs during three or more days. Usually, a complex advance in close protection operations is necessary for participation at the Olympics, G20, Grand Prix, and other high-level events. 

Conversely, a simple advance can be implemented for less risky trips. For instance, let us consider a journey to a far-off place in the countryside or a private residence with no one in sight for miles. Then, it may be unnecessary to conduct a complex advance. Actually, in this case, it is usually recommended to apply a simple advance. This action entails a few phone calls and liaising with the destination team.  

Nevertheless, whatever the method’s scope, we recommend: 

  • Finding out as much information as possible, 
  • Practising extra precaution, and 
  • Handling logistics and travel arrangements to the letter. 

Companies like Panoptic Solutions support individuals and organisations in enhancing productivity and peace of mind by offering unmatched close protection services.  

Appropriate Dressing in Close Protection 

Many in and outside the security industry continue to maintain erroneous beliefs about how protective agents should dress. Usually, they make assumptions about dark business suits, white shirts, and conservative ties. This outfit may be acceptable and relevant in some instances. However, appropriate dressing in close protection is a substantially more complex topic than mere apparel. 

First and foremost, foul or inappropriate language and abusive slogans are unsuitable for all occasions. In fact, we are familiar with a case of a protective agent showing up for work in a T-shirt showcasing indecent vocabulary. Suffice to say that the principal was not happy about it. 

Yes, it is certainly worth considering the attire for the sake of the principal and their entourage. But in addition, appropriate dressing in close protection should also focus on the sensitivity of the general public. In this regard, many people identify strictly black suits with funerals or nightclub security. That is why the security team ought to be cognizant of all possible aspects affecting environmental perception. 

Secondly, it must be understood that some outfits are simply inadequate and unsupportive in specific settings. For instance, corporate and field assignments carry with them particular attires. Thus, dressing to the environment comes to the fore in this regard, and here are a few examples: 

  • Corporate environment: we recommend RM Williams, Aquila, or similar shoes. 
  • Field assignments: we suggest comfortable wear such as Scarpas, Merrels, or similar hiking shoes. 

If the protective agents dress incompatibly with their surroundings, they could adversely affect the principal’s safety. Furthermore, if the principal requires them to change costumes for different functions, they should consider it. The reason is that the principal may be better informed of what “proper attire” entails at high-level events, especially if particular dress requirements are necessary. 

Blending Into the Environment

Interestingly, it is possible to overdress or excel in dressing, thereby drawing attention away from the principal. For example, some protectees may wear AUD200 ties, AUD700 shirts, and four times more expensive suits. Outdressing the principal is never a good idea as it will draw undue attention from both the principal and those around them.  

Hence, we recommend picking ties, footwear, and suits just a bit below the quality and style of the principal’s apparel. The same applies to casual dressing, when it may be necessary to wear jeans and T-shirts. For instance, during an NGO visit to a distant village, it is helpful to dress for the occasion and the environment and not prepare as if securing a corporate event in downtown Brisbane or Jakarta. 

But what happens if it is necessary to carry a firearm during an assignment? There are many quality covert conceal holsters on the market which should be trailed on the range in similar attire as one would wear on a security detail to ensure that it meets the standard required for protection.  

When dressing to the environment, consider the following items of clothing: 

  • Sunglasses with polarised lenses and a UV rating of 300 or greater from functional fashion brands like Porsche Design, EyeDope, Banana Republic, or lower profile lenses from Oakley or Ray-Ban. 
  • Shirts should be 100% cotton, as they hold their shape and breathe better. 
  • Suit fabrics sometimes fall into categories of Super 100s, 140s, and so on. The higher the number, the lighter and more refined the cloth, including a higher price tag. This is especially important for warmer months due to its lightweightness. In addition, when trying on a suit in the store, the protective agents should make sure to look for a good fit in their “natural stance.” 

dressing in close protection

Briefcases and Dressing in Close Protection

Different security specialists will have to execute various tasks, hence the diverse outfits. For instance, a protective surveillance professional needs to engage in static and mobile activities in order to obtain information. For this purpose, they would immediately stand out if wearing a 511 tactical tuxedo. Yet, dressing in shoes, slacks, and a button-down shirt would make all the difference and assist in blending into the environment. Appearances matter! 

Similarly, briefcases are part of appropriate dressing in close protection. In fact, some protective agents carry a bag with support equipment, including AED, medical, spare ammunition (where appropriate), batteries, and others. In this case, we advise using a briefcase or backpack that does not appear covert or tactical. It may be appropriate, instead, to buy an ordinary leather briefcase and modify its inside to meet the protective staff’s requirements. 

The critical part to remember here is to keep the outside appearance of the bag intact and only transform the compartments inside. 

In addition, female executive protection agents are perceived as more natural when carrying bags, which the security team should use to its advantage. 

Note: A rule of thumb is to never stand out from the baseline, as that will make the security team be identified as just that – the security team. In some instances, it may prove beneficial for some protective agents to be conspicuous as visual deterrents and others to remain covert. Such events include music concerts and other live events featuring crowds. 

Final Thoughts

Casualness draws little interest. If the security staff cruises with the principal in a brand new, luxury-type SUV, they are more likely to bring attention to themselves. The same applies to appropriate dressing in close protection.  

For instance, suppose the protector assumes a casual posture in terms of clothing and an outward attitude toward the principal. In that case, they may appear to be their close friend, business associate, or companion. Such perception helps, as it raises no particular alarm in the general population, which could well happen if the on-duty security professional were perceived as such. 

In sum, here are the main takeaways from this article: 

  • Upholding the dress code for high-level events and checking for protocol items related to dressing well in advance, 
  • Considering sporting, informal activities, or beach functions as events for casual dressing, 
  • Do not overdress or out-dress the principal,  
  • Do not draw attention from the principal. 

Companies like Panoptic Solutions support individuals and organisations in enhancing productivity and peace of mind by offering unmatched close protection services.  

Dangers of Social Media in Close Protection Operations 

They allow us to communicate with each other instantaneously, share content, and expand the circle of associates, connoisseurs and friends. However, using social media in close protection and utilising it for private purposes are in stark opposition. Or is that really the case? 

What people outside of the executive protection industry post daily may be of no particular interest to anyone. However, what EPAs post on their company and personal pages makes all the difference, especially when clients are involved. 

Many security firms use social media solely to market their business. Others obsess over taking photos with their clients to showcase that they are in high demand. Thirdly, some take precautions in managing their online presence, paying attention to their clients’ security needs and concerns. 

Self-promotion is evident even in the EP industry. We can all recall the times when a photo opportunity for the security professional jeopardised the safety of protectees. 

According to one study, social media users post more than 3.2 billion images and 720,000 hours of video content every day. Moreover, these numbers will only grow in the coming years.  

With such a high quantity of information flow, how can CPOs manage their online presence in the 2020s? This article explains why monitoring the principal’s social media feed can help protective agents take pre-emptive measures and more. 

Protecting the Principal From Themselves

When executives and HNW families make travel arrangements, they sometimes share the locations with their massive online following. However, this approach is wrong, as it could inform bad actors about the routes and routines they might take.  

There is an ongoing debate in the CP industry regarding the use of social media by principals and security specialists. How should they intelligently and carefully approach it? 

One school of thought posits that the CPOs and EPAs should have a say about what and when the protectees post online. The second school of thought asserts that protective agents should create a threat and risk assessment so exhaustive that they can predict every possible contingency— thereby allowing the principal and their entourage to post as often as they like on any conceivable topic. 

Still, it is inadvisable to do the latter and expect to evade harm. Therefore, we recommend limiting the room for potential emergencies by restricting the outpouring of information. Or at least refraining from doing so until it is safe to assume that the principal is no longer vulnerable. Either by posting well after the fact or when the principal is in an alternative location. 

Real-Life Situation

Suppose the EP team travels to an off-road event in a remote area in Australia or Indonesia. Making this information freely available could be interpreted by bad actors as an invitation to surveil an enterprise leader taking part in the activity, which increases the likelihood of an impending attack. 

That is why the security staff should warn the principal, their family, and business associates about not posting any information that could reveal one of several things: 

  • Locations 
  • Routines 
  • Plans and schedules 
  • Routes 
  • Sensitive information 

In fact, every principal wants their security staff to be their “keeper of secrets” to some degree. Thus, protectors should be the corrective factor in this regard, not the ones causing disruption. 

social media in close protection

Introducing Policies for Social Media in Close Protection

Many security companies do not have appropriate social media policies in place. This can be harmful in the event of crisis situations, especially when they go viral — as they often do. 

But what do social media policies include? Generally speaking, this type of document covers the following aspects: 

  • Guidelines for employees who post both as a private person and as the company’s representative, 
  • Recommendations for workers to not intentionally or inadvertently harm someone’s reputation or contribute to a hostile work environment in any shape or form. 

As a matter of fact, the protective agent’s social feed must not contain any offensive content. This includes any discriminatory wording or false information based on sex, race, disability, religion or other status protected by company policy or the law.  

But there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all policy for social media in close protection. Instead, every security company should develop its own. At the same time, they must be aware that — without one — they are increasing the chance of poor employee behaviour on the internet. 

Nevertheless, that is not to say that all security professionals are unaware of their responsibility while posting online. In fact, most will likely resist sharing even the most exciting sights and avoid giving in to the most promising photo opportunity. 

Regulation in Action

At any rate, introducing policies for social media in close protection is the best course of action when it comes to regulating what goes and does not go online.  

In addition, a proper document of this kind should entail procedures for 

  • Addressing complaints, 
  • Writing and approving educational posts, videos, and information, 
  • Responding in conflict situations online,  
  • Outlining the basic steps for protecting the reputation of the security company, the principal, and accompanying individuals, 
  • Selecting employees in charge of managing social media accounts, 
  • Enforcing consequences, etc. 

The benefits of good social media policies always pay off in the long run, even though advantages may seem ephemeral at first. 

In Conclusion

The modern threat landscape is constantly evolving. In fact, bad actors have access to the same resources as close protection officers. And social media is one of many. But, it is a less known fact that those wishing to harm the CEO or HNW family will often employ cyberattacks targeting their social media profiles. 

In any case, oversharing and untimely sharing of content can lead to elevated risk levels for the principal and the security staff. It may seem benign, but the dangers of social media in close protection operations are many and various. 

For instance, a principal unaware of social media threats may fall victim to: 

  • Financial scams, 
  • Misuse of personal photos and data, 
  • Persecution and harassment, 
  • Malware, phishing,  
  • Numerous forms of violence, and 
  • Diverse harmful and illegal content (especially for children of principals). 

Bearing all this in mind will help the security team and principal’s entourage make better decisions while managing their online activities. 

Companies like Panoptic Solutions support individuals and organisations in enhancing productivity and peace of mind by offering unmatched close protection services.  

Handling Hostile Terminations Properly and Calmly 

Some well-known members of the security industry give armed agents precedence over unarmed ones. Yet, others believe that the latter can be equally valuable in protecting CEOs, managers, and high-net-worth individuals, especially in an office space. In any case, specific situations require more caution than others. Hence, this article will explore how to handle hostile terminations calmly and adequately. 

But first, let us look at some of the reasons for firing employees. Some of the instances why a company may terminate an employment contract include: 

  • Misconduct, harassment, discriminatory behaviour, 
  • Criminal activities, 
  • Poor performance, incompetence, insubordination, and 
  • Bad fit for the company or the position. 

In many examples, disgruntled employees are the first to lose their jobs. Consequently, they may seek retaliation by inflicting physical or reputational damage to the company’s assets or property. Others may go so far as to harm other employees or sabotage business operations. 

Such a situation mandates the introduction of security staff to handle hostile terminations. This type of team can be either in-house or outsourced. However, many employers are unaware of the process of pre-planning a cessation of contract obligations. For example, it means providing the employee with written final notice or warning, conducting investigations, and documenting reasons for ending their work relations. 

At the same time, the company in question should notify the security staff of the potential for hostile terminations. Conversely, the protective agents should themselves prepare for any contingencies in advance. 

If we examine the benefits of a security team preventing individuals from affecting a company adversely during hostile terminations, here are a few: 

  • Minimising risks of violence, 
  • Limiting interruptions, and 
  • Protecting other employees’ mental, emotional, and physical health. 

Simply put, proficient and trained security staff can help avert business discontinuance.  

hostile terminations

Tools for Managing Hostile Terminations

Many disgruntled workers and those who have received a letter informing them of being laid off do not know how to handle the situation professionally. Some may turn violent immediately or behave erratically in the process. Others could try to damage the company in a week, month, or even a year into the future. It all depends on the person and their mental acumen. 

For this reason, it is vital to determine upfront if the employee should leave the workplace as soon as the termination happens. Or if they are allowed to stay through to the close-of-business on a particular day.  

Understandably, not all employees will behave poorly or threaten the firm in any way. However, those that do can inflict irreversible harm, especially if they have access to company data, tools, and confidential client information. Additionally, they may blackmail the company leaders by threatening to sell important knowledge to the competition or making it available online to bad actors. 

To preclude such behaviour, it is helpful to institute a plan of action before it becomes a typical hostile terminations situation. Succinctly put, the procedure may include: 

  • Establishing a severance pay appropriate to that person’s position, 
  • Asking the employee politely to hand in all keys and remove relevant software from their personal devices before leaving the workplace, 
  • Ensuring that other employees cannot overhear or observe the meeting, 
  • Documenting the whole process, 
  • Contacting the human resources department to help prepare for potential issues, 
  • Allowing the employee to express their feelings and ask questions, and not simply handing over the termination letter to them, 
  • Refraining from debating or defending the decision,  
  • Removing the employee’s access to company systems and property, and 
  • Checking their phone and personal computers for any information obtained from the company illegally. 

The Possibility of Escalation

However, let us assume that the employee in question reacts badly and turns physical. To control this situation, the company’s security staff should be present at all times. By doing so, they present as a kind of visual deterrent.  

When the violent former employee notices that the protective team remains on-site, they may restrain themselves from escalating further — apart from a raised tone of voice or insults thrown at the manager and other staff members. 

Next, the security team must react swiftly and remove the person and their belongings from the company premises. If necessary, it is worth reaching out to law enforcement to avoid having the former employee contact business personnel outside the office. 

Yet, the possibility of escalation does not only refer to physical violence. In fact, the laid-off person can, later on, try to influence their now ex-colleagues to become accomplices in criminal acts against the company. For this reason, it is of vital importance to sit down with the rest of the workforce after the hostile terminations situation. 

We recommend doing some of the following things to improve trust among the remaining team members: 

  • Informing employees of the expectations and rules of the workplace, 
  • Conducting face-to-face meetings to clarify misunderstandings, 
  • Speaking openly about the former employee and why the company dismissed them — to prevent rumours and address inadequate behaviour of other employees, unless for legal matters preventing this discussion, 
  • Reassigning tasks of the ex-employee to other team members and creating a job posting to fill the position, and 
  • Organising team-building activities, including retreats and exercises, to boost employee morale and have them bond together. 

Although this is not a complete list, it entails the most frequent and effective actions employers can take to reduce the likelihood of similarly challenging situations. 

hostile terminations

In Conclusion

Most companies will, at some point, face hostile terminations. But, equally important, many will reasonably want to reduce potential company liability in the process. Therefore, employers need to engage trained and proficient security teams to maintain a productive environment and give peace of mind in terms of uninterrupted business. 

The protective staff handling hostile terminations can comprise two or more individuals. But most importantly, the company needs to inform them upfront about the intention to lay off workers. Doing so will allow the security team to prepare for emergencies and potentially poor behaviour by the ex-employee. 

Finally, by hiring skilled protective staff, the employer: 

  • Improves overall security and safety in the office during the transition, 
  • Shows respect to terminated individuals by using professional, fair, and discreet security personnel, and 
  • Demonstrates leadership and protection for the company brand. 

Companies like Panoptic Solutions support individuals and organisations in enhancing productivity and peace of mind by offering unmatched hostile terminations services.  

Office Security in a Corporate Environment 

With plenty of physical security techniques that require the presence of protective staff, it can be easy to overlook the benefits of well-designed offices. Although most businesses increasingly concern themselves with information security, they rarely stop to rethink their office security to avert physical breaches. As a result, disgruntled employees, protesters, and malicious individuals may perform acts that can adversely impact: 

  • High-ranking executives,  
  • Company assets,  
  • Client files,  
  • Confidential data or all of the above. 

Unlike what some may believe, the physical security of devices is as vital as the information held within. Yes, hackers can access your work environment to a certain degree. Nevertheless, they cannot remotely access the immediate company vicinity, thereby inflicting permanent damage. If the latter were to happen and bad actors find their way in and around a company’s premises, the results can be devastating. So, let us explore more. 

What Is Office Security Exactly?

Succinctly, office security comprises securing access to company equipment, facilities, and resources. Further, it means introducing measures to keep unauthorised personnel away 

Typically, it is considered that malicious actors have compromised office security when property and personnel are threatened in any way.  

Overall, office security entails 

  • Detective measures: alerting security guards to threats of potential intrusions, such as using video surveillance, 
  • Protective measures: preventing intrusions from taking place, the likes of access control 
  • Deterrent measures: discouraging bad actors, as in using physical barriers and security lighting. 

Coupled together, these three types of actions can significantly decrease the risk of physical breaches. Conversely, the absence of a single of these elements can disrupt the workflow of executives and their staff ― and even put them in harm’s way. 

But equally important, office security usually starts in the company’s parking lot and surroundings. Those intending to harm the company in any way often have full access to its vicinity. In fact, many security teams fail to address the importance of surveilling the parking space and nearby buildings that can be used in an impending attack. 

Yet, arguably the essential aspect of office security lies in the security guards. They are the ones who regularly monitor and act upon the signals obtained from cameras, detectors, and other equipment. In fact, they are primarily in charge of physically inspecting individuals entering and exiting.  

office security

In addition, adequately trained security guards need to be able to read psychological and corporeal signs in bad actors. To name a few, these may include: 

  • Sweating and blushing, 
  • Avoiding eye contact, 
  • Fidgeting, 
  • Pacing or swaying, and 
  • Leaning. 

A complacent security guard may ignore these signs that could be an indication of ongoing criminal activity. 

Hostile Terminations and Threat Assessment

Another critical point while considering office security relates to hostile terminations. It is something that can quickly turn into the proverbial nightmare for company leaders. In this case, we recommend hiring an experienced and trained security team to deal with potentially disgruntled employees well before the company delivers the termination letter.  

Furthermore, a skilled executive protection team will know to conduct a threat assessment and evaluate whether the person in question could pose a danger. That is why prevention is much more valuable and practical than merely reacting after the fact. For instance, the EP team’s threat assessor could suggest remotely terminating a potentially aggressive employee instead of in person. 

Additional advice could include: 

  • Making the termination as respectful, thoughtful, and safe as possible, by also having security staff pose as visual deterrents, 
  • Arranging for the termination to occur in the early to late afternoon mid-week in an area that does not entail parading the employee through the work site after the layoff occurs. 

By considering these items, the company ensures fewer people are present if the employee turns violent. Secondly, the worker will suffer less embarrassment after exiting the building or going to their desk to collect their belongings. Thirdly, the employee’s coworkers will pay less attention to the situation due to a certain physical distance. 

In conclusion, the security team needs to enact specific post-termination measures. For instance, revoking passwords and access codes would be the first step. In addition, it could be necessary to change locks to which they had access. Last but not least, the protective staff would have to keep monitoring the company surroundings for future contact by the former employee. 

By implementing these and other safeguards, the security team ensures optimal office security. 

The Role of CCTV in Office Security

The abbreviation CCTV stands for closed-circuit television. However, the general population commonly refer to it as video surveillance. Notably, the phrase “closed-circuit” relates to transmitting broadcasts to a limited (or closed) number of monitors. This is unlike regular television, which is broadcast to the whole public.  

On our point, the positive effects of CCTV are many and various. From increased public safety to improved office security, this equipment is a cornerstone of a sense of safety in any enterprise, large or small. Moreover, with more than one million CCTV cameras in Australia presently, security experts expect these numbers to rise, increasing the peace of mind of executives and their employees. 

Although seemingly expensive at first sight, this type of video surveillance can produce the most tangible evidence should the need arise. But most importantly, CCTV cameras afford 24-hour-a-day monitoring outside and inside a residence or company headquarters. This way, even if the security staff do not notice a crime instantly, they can utilise the camera footage subsequently. 

However, we advise using this type of video surveillance alongside other equipment. This includes fire alarms, intrusion detectors, and other measures of protection.  

In the words of security author Dale L. June, “Overlapping and integrating the systems increases the capability of any particular portion to support another, extending and increasing the effectiveness of the whole system. For example, the lights and cameras instantly activate and trace the movements of the violator in whatever sector an alarm is activated.” 

office security

How Office Design Promotes Security

Placing the executive’s office door close to the entrance is not the same as putting it in a harder-to-reach place inside the building. Distance matters greatly in this regard. The time it takes to arrive at the company leader’s immediate surroundings does play a role in protecting them, as it would take a malicious individual longer to reach them and inflict harm. In the meantime, the relevant security staff could react.  

Still, this is only one aspect of security. 

Additionally, “protectee insulation” should play a significant role. It entails erecting barriers and introducing procedures between the intruder and the targeted executive. In simple terms, it could mean having a counter to separate the reception area from the business section.  

Equally important, it promotes security when designing the office in a manner to have CCTV cameras in stairwells, elevators, and above main doors leading into the corporate building 

As we know all too well in the security industry, design matters, but largely for different reasons than in other sectors. 

In Conclusion

All in all, office security is a topic that continues to attract attention in corporate circles. As a result, companies seek to find ways to protect their assets, employees, and executives, whether it be in response to disgruntled workers, hostile terminations, or violent protesters. 

To ensure office security in a constantly changing work environment, a company needs to: 

  • Implement protective, deterrent, and detective measures, 
  • Mount CCTV cameras in the most relevant areas, 
  • Design the office in a manner consistent with optimal safety, and 
  • Hire a security team to conduct threat assessments and put all necessary measures in place. 

Companies like Panoptic Solutions support individuals and organisations in enhancing productivity and peace of mind by offering unmatched office security services.  

Vulnerability Assessment – The What, How, and When

A vulnerability assessment ― also known as threat and vulnerability assessment (TVRA) ― evaluates existing security programs, identifies vulnerabilities, and provides recommendations on how to manage them. In the field of executive protection, it is a standard tool that protective agents and teams use when a principal’s family moves into or takes over a residence, among other things. 

Overall, proficient protective staff use TVRA to prevent and predict an emergency before it arises. If the principal needs to call in their security team to report an issue ― the vulnerability assessment has already failed. The reason is that it should have anticipated the problem and not allowed for it to occur. Therefore, a vulnerability assessment entails protecting the principal and their: 

  • Family, 
  • Property, and 
  • Business interests and business secrets. 

Using this tool, the security team gains detailed knowledge of the outhouses, buildings, vehicles, garages, entrances and exits. In addition, protective agents can also utilise it to better understand the formation of inner and outer perimeters and ascertain potential perimeter/cordon weaknesses.  

As a detailed, in-depth tool employed by professionally trained personnel, a vulnerability assessment centres around establishing the facts. More importantly, it provides the basis for planning an operation and introducing deterrents. 

Unlike a risk assessment, which primarily serves to do plenty of guesswork about something that may happen, a threat and vulnerability assessment focuses on threats that someone has made or problems that undoubtedly exist (but have yet to escalate). 

In a nutshell, the team leader will scrutinise worst-case scenarios and share them with all protective staff members. Also, there may be some elements of the assessment which could cause concern to the principal. Still, it is important to be transparent with the report and ensuing advice. Full transparency will provide the principal insight into why certain recommendations are being made. It is then up to them to decide if they wish to implement them.  

vulnerability assessment 1

Asking the Right Questions for a Vulnerability Assessment

As with any other type of evaluation, it is crucial to ask the right questions. Secondly, the protective staff must thoroughly assess internal and external variables 

According to security expert and longtime CP practitioner Kevin Horak, there are several questions that protective teams should consider while developing a vulnerability assessment: 

  • Have threats been made? 
  • What would potentially happen if these threats were successful? 
  • Can the threat change? How many threats are there, and how do they impact the principal’s daily life? 
  • Who is the principal: What is their line of work and professional life, and what is their public status? 
  • What are the principal’s assets, such as residences, vehicles, and offices? 
  • Who else is affected by threats and vulnerabilities? 
  • What is the medical history of the principal? 

It may be especially critical to find answers to these questions when the principal’s family relocates. They ― the principal, their family, and their entourage ― may be particularly susceptible to assaults or attacks during this time.  

Thus, it is vitally important to secure the vicinity before they arrive at the new location. For instance, it can be helpful to check the surrounding roads and establish the potentially dangerous hotspots in the area.  

In less regulated corners of the world, including some regions in Southeast Asia, it could prove invaluable for the security team to: 

  • Collect sufficient local connections, 
  • Establish if the principal has a good relationship with the local authorities and law enforcement, and 
  • Verify if the local community has a favourable view of the principal, their associates, employees, family members, etc. 

These considerations may not necessarily apply to most westernised nations. Yet, it certainly makes sense to explore the three above items when visiting or staying in less safe areas of places like Indonesia. 

Security Awareness

While conducting a vulnerability assessment, the executive protection team needs to have full access to information that has the potential to endanger the principal. However, sometimes it is challenging to establish what kind of details could prove excessive. Thus, we recommend signing a written agreement that obliges the protective staff or security company to not share the obtained information with third parties. This document is also known as a Non-Disclosure Agreement or NDA. These are common practice within the security industry when working with a family office or corporates. 

By doing so, the EP team can have access to a variety of data that could help improve the security of the principal. Still, some principals may be hesitant to share this information. At this point, it is vital to note that the executive’s security also depends on their action or inaction. Further, it partially depends on their family, staff, close associates, and employees. 

Unfortunately, some protective agents neglect this fact, mistakenly believing that they are the only responsible actors. Thus, they cater to the principal’s actual or perceived needs (and threats) as if they were equally important. 

For instance, suppose a principal requests the protection team leave them alone in a neighbourhood with questionable safety. In this case, it is the responsibility of the EP team to attempt to indicate otherwise. If the principal is persistent in this request, there are ways in which protection can be provided other than overtly. In fact, either covert protective surveillance should be considered in this case or some form of proximity cover. 

In other words, the principal and their entourage can significantly enhance the efforts of the protective team by taking precautions. Thus, the individual’s safety also depends on their own security awareness. 

vulnerability assessment 2

The Takeaways

It’s unlikely that too many enterprise executives and HNWIs would look down on the practice of conducting a TVRA. It can seem like something that consumes plenty of time that the protective staff could have otherwise invested in “actually protecting the principal.” However, this cannot be farther from the truth. The vulnerability assessment itself is part of “actually protecting the principal” and sets a road map for security to follow and cover.  

As Kevin Horak put it in his Practical Guide to the Close Protection Industry, “A good threat assessor must have the ability to communicate with the principal as well as other authorities and must handle all situations and communications with tact and absolute discretion.”  

Ultimately, the role of a vulnerability assessment is to identify weak spots and provide recommendations on how to manage them. For example, suppose the security team gains no insight into the daily workings of the principal, their business, residence, and family. In that case, one cannot realistically expect them to complete their assignments to the best of their abilities. 

Simply put, protection is a two-way street that requires buy-in from both the protector and the protectees. 

Companies like Panoptic Solutions support individuals and organisations in enhancing productivity and peace of mind by offering unmatched threat and vulnerability assessment services.  

Risk and Security Management in Australia 

People often hear in the news how a public event’s security went sideways. From time to time, we even read that protective agents did something wrong while on an assignment. However, we rarely get a chance to see in the media how risk and security management (sometimes known as security and risk management) measures helped protect a person, property, or company. As a result, the public seldom gains insight into the process behind ensuring safety for high-net-worth families and business executives.  

No wonder then that some people tend to look upon risk and security management as something they could do without. Psychologists call this phenomenon the negativity bias. Negativity bias is the notion that “something very positive will generally have less of an impact on a person’s behavior and cognition than something equally emotional but negative.” 

We can find the negativity bias everywhere around us, in decision-making, attention, learning, memory ― and as part of risk considerations.  

For instance, if media audiences are fervently exposed to proof of how some politicians are corrupt, they will become rooted in their belief that all politicians are corrupt all the time. They will, however, miss contrary information that refutes this belief because it is positive and not readily available. 

Interestingly for the topic of risk and security management, some enterprise leaders could mistakenly conclude that their company does not need security measures just because they have read countless media reports of how numerous corporations have been successfully targeted by disgruntled workers, bad actors, protesters, or any number of malicious individuals.  

Notably, these same companies have been boasting about their risk and security management safeguards for years. Thus, some sceptics would inquire: Why even bother? 

So, how should you go about risk and security management in Australia? Do you genuinely need it, and why? 

Planning and Assessment: The Cornerstones of Actioning

Worryingly for corporations, as many as 41% of Australians feel unsafe at some point at work. This fear is present chiefly among females. Yet, high-level executives are not immune to this trend, while fear of violence has been linked to decreased productivity in companies. Fortunately, there is a way ― one of many ― for businesses to address this matter. 

First and foremost, risk and security management serves to identify security weaknesses and shortfalls. Consequently, this enables the security provider to deliver mitigation measures and strategies.  

But before doing anything, protective agents need to have a plan and assessment. However, if reliable information is not available, this affects the quality of both items. For instance, to enhance risk and security management measures, a security company or protective staff need to know everything there is to know about: 

  • Locations, timings, and meetings, 
  • Available assets, 
  • Budgets,  
  • Threats, 
  • Principal profile, and 
  • Staffing strength, involving the number, roles, capabilities, and training background of the protective staff in charge of the operation. 

Speaking of responsibilities, the team leader usually collects and consolidates information. Secondly, this person creates a solid plan and transforms it into an efficacious practical operation. By this, we mean that every member of the security team becomes clearly aware of their roles and responsibilities before the assignment starts. 

risk and security management

Levels of Protection

Plans exist to anticipate worst-case scenarios, not prevent them permanently. In other words, Mike Tyson famously remarked that “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” Likewise, in the world of close protection, planning and assessment foresees the “punching in the mouth” and acts to forestall and mitigate the outcomes. 

In terms of assessments, the security team decides on the levels of protection that they will afford to the protectees. For instance, this could entail: 

  • Technical surveillance countermeasures,  
  • Electronic countermeasures,  
  • Armoured vehicles,  
  • Dedicated medical assistance (such as remote medical support), and 
  • Protection of residences and places of work. 

Similarly, some high-ranking officials and executives may require a more strategic approach, such as concentric circles of protection. This safeguarding method entails multiple physical layers of obstacles and security rings. In fact, concentric circles of protection are best known for their objective to dissuade, deter, and delay the assault on the client. 

At any rate, thorough planning and assessment prior to implementing or actioning the plan are critical to a well-executed operation.  

Training and Qualifications for Risk and Security Management

In Australia, as in most Western nations, it is necessary to attend training and obtain qualifications to provide this service. In fact, Certificate 4 is the minimum qualification for the provision of risk and security management services. However, more widely, hiring companies accept a diploma in security and risk management. 

As for the corporate area and multinational sectors, tertiary qualifications are helpful and result in providing state-of-the-art services. These may include bachelor’s or master’s degrees in risk and security management. For context, to obtain these qualifications, a protective agent must first attend courses and learn about: 

  • Coordinating security operations, 
  • Assessing security and risk management options, 
  • Managing quality customer services, people performance, and personal work priorities,  
  • Planning professional development, and  
  • Ensuring team effectiveness. 

The primary considerations concerning risk and security management in Australia stem from the country’s Strategy for Protecting Crowded Places from Terrorism. Apart from being familiar with this landmark document, a security risk specialist must maintain a high level of autonomy while evaluating the changing threat environment. 

For example, a high-net-worth individual may have been trapped in a corporate building due to protesters blocking the entrance and exits. We call this a “changing threat environment,” something that a plan and assessment must have considered ahead of the business meeting. 

Interestingly, however, risk and security management in the corporate environment does not solely depend on traditional hard security skills. In fact, commercial skills and experience are slowly starting to take the lead. 

According to some security authors, risk and security management has now begun incorporating areas such as disaster planning, business continuity, corporate and social responsibility, but also brand and reputation risk management — a reason more to get the team leader and other protection staff members involved. 

In Conclusion

Risk and security management comprises the ongoing process of identifying security risks. That is only the first step, while the second entails implementing plans to address them.  

According to different reports, it is evident that there is a need for increased safety in Australia due to a myriad of concerns. 

Reading the ASIAL Security Industry Licensing Report 2021, we may notice an increase of almost 4% in licensed security personnel for the past 12 months. Conversely, an Australian-based security index concluded that 36% of Australians feel unsafe during daylight hours. But even more worryingly, this number rises to 53% after dark.  

As expected, the citizens of Australia fear robbery, physical and sexual assaults, as well as terrorist attacks. These make up their biggest concerns.  

But moreover, as high-level members of society, enterprise directors and business executives may be frequently targeted by malicious actors inside and outside their organisations. 

Overall, chief executive officers are in charge of running companies, while security managers protect their immediate environment. But allow us to ask the obvious question here. What CEO would not wish for a trusted security expert skilled in operational resiliency by their side at critical moments? 

Companies like Panoptic Solutions support individuals and organisations in enhancing productivity and peace of mind by offering unmatched risk and security management services. 

How a Close Protection Officer Keeps Executives Safe 

The general public holds many misconceptions pertaining to the close protection officer and the industry as a whole. For instance, some people scorn protective agents due to mistakes or oversights made by a small percentage of the workforce. 

Basing their assumptions on what they have seen or heard in movies or on TV, the general public usually lacks an understanding of the complexities of the job of a close protection officer. Thus, this article clarifies how CPOs help protect high-net-worth individuals, CEOs, families and other notable persons. 

The Changing Threat Landscape

In the age of COVID-19, when many countries are enforcing lockdowns, executives were not required to be present in the office. Thereby, their exposure to threat during commutes underwent a decline.  

Although COVID has altered the threat landscape to a certain degree, and for the better in terms of physical assaults, many western countries continue opening up, bringing the situation back to pre-COVID, but with some restrictions (such as face masks and disinfectants) and the return of attacks against high-ranking individuals. 

According to one study, respondents, who were made up of senior security leaders, stated that almost half of all physical incidents could have been prevented if only cybersecurity and physical security intelligence were synced in a way to allow the sharing of information. This data points to a conclusion that is all too evident: security is often a confluence of cyber and physical protection. 

Nevertheless, that is not to say that high-level executives face no threats any longer or that dangers exclusively lurk online. Conversely, it is true to assert that news of cyberattacks are dominating headlines, leading us to believe that enterprise leaders are as safe as ever. Although the former is accurate, many CEOs are upping their security budget nonetheless.  

According to the above study, as many as 24% of security leaders confirmed that their CEO and/or their family members received threats and/or were harmed while travelling or when working from their private residence. 

Selecting Small Teams

Fortunately, protective services have evolved to such high expertness that many business executives choose smaller, two-person or three-person teams. In fact, the advent of modern gear and improved tactics and procedures has proven invaluable, resulting in a review of the number of protective staff members. For example, instead of needing a team of 10+, CEOs can often now have the same level of protection with just two CPOs and security trained drivers, with the assistance of modern technology, communication devices and revised techniques. 

Note: According to the Verizon 2021 Data Breach Investigations Report, phishing attacks have increased by 11 percent. Therefore, malicious actors are increasingly shifting to the online world, leaving many high-ranking individuals poorly aware of their immediate, physical surroundings.  

A similar subpar security mindset has led to accidents like the pieing of Qantas Airways chief executive Alan Joyce during a public address. Unfortunately, many top echelon directors tend to disregard the necessity for upping their security. 

On that note, a tried-and-true process that close protection officers use include: 

  • Anticipate – what could, would or might happen to jeopardise the place, person or thing receiving protection, 
  • Plan – the itinerary of the protectee, the means and method of protection provision, alternative plans and emergency contingencies, 
  • Prepare – by visiting and learning about the specific location or locations where protective services will be offered, including timings, exits and entrances, people, heating and air conditioning, facilities, parking, weather, etc. Essentially, this means conducting an “advance.” 

Notwithstanding the importance of hard skills, a close protection officer follows these three steps to help ensure high-end security services. 

Regulation, Training, and the Close Protection Officer

The negative reputation that afflicts most of the close protection field primarily stems from celebrity protection. This is primarily due to the nature of celebrities making a living off of being in the spotlight. This inherently brings often unwanted attention to the close protection officer or close protection team. Therein, some unqualified staff or those maintaining a particular “look” or “image” are often in charge of protecting the high-net-worth individual, singer, athlete, entertainer, etc.  

Incidentally, the celebrities with such protective staff are extensively televised and reach the general population as the model of what it means to be a CPO. 

Still, plenty of positive change has ensued over the years, including in 2021, when the close protection industry has made significant leaps to regulate the field of protective services, at least within the United States.  

Similarly, the United Kingdom has regulated the provision of physical security services by requiring individuals to obtain a Security Industry Authority licence to work as security operatives. In fact, the UK licencing process entails five types of manned guarding licences: 

  • Close protection, 
  • Cash and valuables in transit, 
  • Door supervision, 
  • Public space surveillance, and 
  • Security guard. 

Australia’s Laws

Finally, depending on the jurisdiction, Australia has various licencing requirements for security personnel operating in its territory. Generally speaking, there are six security titles that individuals need to acquire through a lengthy process of certification, including: 

  • Unarmed guards, 
  • Bodyguards, 
  • Crowd controllers, 
  • Guard dog holders, 
  • Monitoring centre operators, and 
  • Armed guards. 

Within the Australian Qualifications Framework, Registered Training Organisations have the ability to offer certificate III in close protection operations. The qualification details are outlined within training.gov.au regulations and training programs. 

In order to gain this certification, a close protection officer operating in Australia needs to complete 14 units of competency, divided into core and elective units, including but not restricted to: 

  • Managing conflict and security risks through negotiation, 
  • Determining and implementing response to a security risk situation, 
  • Carrying out vehicle inspection, 
  • Coordinating provision of quality security services to clients, 
  • Providing advanced first aid, 
  • Providing advanced resuscitation, 
  • Controlling persons using empty hand techniques, 
  • Planning provision of close protection services, 
  • Implementing close protection services, 
  • Maintaining work health and safety, 
  • Responding effectively to behaviours of concern, 
  • Gathering, organising and presenting security information and documentation, 
  • Implementing security procedures in order to protect critical infrastructure and public assets, and 
  • Applying safe car driving behaviours. 

It is worth noting that being assessed and qualified does not always equate to being competent. Competency comes with ongoing experience and continued training. The above qualification should be seen as the minimum standard and a starting point for those without previous experience or close protection training in other government agencies.  

close protection officer

How CPOs Plan For Success

The public face of the close protection industry features most evidently the following two elements: suits and sunglasses. However, far away from the public’s eye, large swaths of the CPO’s job responsibilities lie in pre-planning and planning arrangements 

To bring home the point, security expert Dale L. June speaks to the importance of this component in the role of a close protection officer: 

“An advance man must plan for any eventuality! This means anticipating everything that could happen and plotting a course of action to respond. For a simple example, all carpeting and cables must be soundly taped down. Walkways must be inspected for cracks and loose stones that could cause the VIP to stumble or fall. In the extreme case, a protectee may be attacked or suffer a medical emergency.”  

In addition to planning, the modern CPO is a proficiently trained and sophisticated protector. This person relies primarily on preventing trouble rather than responding ad hoc in a crisis.  

Interestingly, according to a famous pyramidal structure that some security experts popularised, the close personal protection specialist ― i.e. close protection officer ― stands on top as the best-trained, educated professional. Next in line are: 

  • Bodyguards (limited training, one-person focused), 
  • Security officer (interacts with people and property, better trained than the security guard), and 
  • Security guard (protects property, limited training). 

Yet, this nomenclature must not be the determining factor of whether high-ranking executives hire individuals with specific titles but serves more as orientation. 

Last but not least, proficient CPOs carry with them a stature of dependability, demeanour and discretion that seeps into every aspect of their service ― including the relationship with the protectee or client. 

Guns and Good Service

In conclusion, let us address weapons and good customer service in the close protection industry.  

CPOs do not need to carry weapons in most cases, as their communication, de-escalation, and hand-to-hand combat skills may suffice, specifically in countries and regions where the carriage of weapons is prohibited.  

According to Australia’s strict gun laws, a person must have a firearm licence to use or possess a gun. In line with government policies, “handguns used in the private security industry must be registered to a cash-in-transit or armed guard security business.” As such they are not permitted for use within close protection at this time. 

Thus, HNWIs and CEOs travelling to Australia are best off hiring a local close protection officer or team. By doing so, they exponentially increase the security level in their surroundings and the immediate environment of their family and entourage.  

In many cases, foreign CPOs travelling to Australia may have difficulties adapting to or upholding local regulations. This will significantly hinder their ability to provide prolific security services, thereby adversely impacting the protectee. 

Similarly, high-profile individuals are increasingly seeking close protection services in Indonesia. In a country that some statistical offices label “moderately safe,” it is extremely difficult to obtain a gun permit, while some experts call the country “the most anti-gun nation in the world.” In fact, the Indonesian Police Force conducts thorough background checks and psychology tests for those wanting to obtain the permit to carry a gun. 

However, unlike Australia, high-risk areas still exist in some parts of Indonesia, inevitably requiring the carriage of firearms. In this sense, executives travelling through or visiting Indonesia may need to hire protective escorts accompanied by local armed forces, as this is sometimes the only way to safely conduct business in this diverse Asian country. 

In Conclusion

Speaking of services, the ultimate goal of the close protection officer is to be responsible for the safety, health, well-being and life of a person or corporate entity. Making “best friends” with the client often proves disadvantageous in a professional setting. And so it does in close protection. 

Accordingly, protectees expect the very best from their protection team. In fact, negligence, error, or omission have no place in the vocabulary or mindset of an experienced CPO. Ensuring that the protectee is healthy and comfortable while not even noticing the actual position of their protective staff members ― that is the ideal that many CPOs strive for. 

Companies like Panoptic Solutions support individuals and organisations in enhancing productivity and peace of mind by offering unmatched close protection officer and bodyguard services.  

Close Protection in Indonesia: Challenges and Resources 

Experts define assets in several ways. Usually, they think of them in relation to physical, economic, institutional, and human assets. As for the CP industry, local assets are seen as one of the most valuable items for a security team travelling to a foreign country with distinctive demands. If you were to require services of close protection in Indonesia, you would need to engage a proficient team of security specialists offering a wide range of services, including:  

  • Transport and logistics, 
  • Risk management, and 
  • Remote medicine. 

Apart from the obvious need for physical protection, foreigners travelling to Indonesia want to feel unimpeded by security concerns while conducting business. As the world’s fourth most populous nation and a member of the G-20, the Asian country has plenty on offer to investors looking to spend and grow their wealth. These include high-net-worth individuals and families, executives, and business leaders. 

Speaking of which, the Indonesian economy has been steadily rising over the last few years. In fact, some of the biggest industries in the Asian country include: 

  • Petroleum and natural gas, 
  • Textiles and apparel, 
  • Mining,  
  • Footwear, and others. 

In other words, plenty of room for foreigners and locals seeking to invest. Nevertheless, many high-profile individuals do not stop to consider their security and safety, with only a relatively small number hiring experienced teams. We see proof of this in numerous news reports and hear compelling stories in the security industry. 

For this and a plethora of other reasons, we shall explore close protection in Indonesia. In addition, this article will investigate how this type of service can benefit high-ranking business people and government officials alike. 

close protection in indonesia

Indonesia: The Center of Global Attention in 2022

The current year promises to be eventful for the Indonesians. Especially bearing in mind that G20 will be taking place there toward the end of the year. For those not too interested in the news, G20 comprises 20 countries representing more than 80% of the world’s GDP, 60% of the world population, and 75% of international trade. 

Simply put, the strategic multilateral platform will summon heads of state and governments of some of the most powerful countries. They shall travel to Indonesia to sign trade and financial arrangements, furthering their interests. Expectedly, hundreds of high-ranking government officials will gather in Bali, the Indonesian province and island. As a result, security forces will be on high alert. 

Moreover, the memories of the 2002 Bali bombings and the 2016 Jakarta shootings are fresh in the minds of many.  

Note: Another major event in Indonesia is this year’s motorcycle Grand Prix. It is an exquisite event and a constituent part of the motorcycle racing World Championship. In other words, a prominent happening that will attract dozens of thousands of racing lovers, including business executives and government officials. 

The gathering of such large crowds calls for increased vigilance to secure the immediate surroundings of some of the most influential people in attendance. In the event of traffic congestions and floods in some parts of Indonesia ― including Bali as the country’s most-visited island ― it may be easier for malicious actors to plan and execute kidnappings, assaults, and robberies. 

To combat this issue, high-profile individuals need to engage security teams with experience as: 

  • Security drivers, 
  • Risk management specialists, 
  • Close protection officers, and 
  • Security medics. 

A combination of these skillsets is bound to help make their stay in the Asian country safe and sound. 

Expat and Local Resources

In a globalised world, skilled workers and educated professionals are increasingly taking up positions outside their home country. These arrangements are set up either independently or by their employers. And Indonesia is no exception to this trend. 

Accordingly, numerous CEOs and enterprise leaders travel to Indonesia to conduct business. Furthermore, many have now settled there, mainly in the capital city of Jakarta. According to local authorities, around 350,000 expatriates live in Indonesia, with approximately 20,000 Australians and 10,000 Americans. 

A considerable number works in the sectors we described above. But most importantly ― while living or staying in this Asian nation ― one must consider their physical security, especially those working for foreign companies with branches in Indonesia. These individuals are particularly vulnerable to assaults, attacks, and robberies of all kinds. 

Conversely, many expats work for security companies in Indonesia. In fact, some estimates suggest that more than 100 safety and security companies operate in the country. However, not all of them are well-versed in the art of close protection in Indonesia. Therefore, identifying a firm that has access to those trained in this space is imperative when travelling to the Asian nation.  

Economic Resources

Apart from being a significant exporter of natural gas and crude petroleum, Indonesia is one of the world’s leading suppliers of coffee, cocoa, rubber, and palm oil. With its manufacturing sector contributing to 20% of GDP, the government intends to propel Indonesia into the top 10 largest economies globally by 2030.  

These are only some of the economic resources and sectors that attract foreign investments and companies. For instance, as the refinery production has been under control by the government-owned petroleum company Pertamina, foreign oil companies operate as part of a production-sharing formula. As per this arrangement, the Indonesian government remains the sole owner of the oil, while foreign companies act as contractors who provide the necessary capital. 

In addition, private domestic and foreign banks operating in Indonesia are among the most suitable Asian countries to invest in and grow the wealth of HNWIs, executives, and business leaders. In fact, with more than 120 commercial banks, there are plenty of growth opportunities. 

close protection in indonesia

The Challenges of Providing Close Protection in Indonesia

Switching back to delivering close protection in Indonesia, we want to address the security outlook in the country as a whole. Since the nation declared independence in 1945, it has been mainly focused on internal security issues. These include, but are not restricted to: 

  • Secession, 
  • Communal and religious violence, 
  • Ideological tension, and 
  • Political conflict among the elites. 

The four issues produce a substantial impact on internal order and political stability. In 2016, an alleged Islamic State group claimed the lives of an Indonesian and a Canadian in the capital of Jakarta. What’s more, 20 people were also injured, including an Austrian, German, Algerian, and a Dutchman. The series of shootings and explosions took place partially in a shopping area popular among foreigners and close to the United Nations offices. 

It is unclear whether the foreigners, in particular, were on the receiving end of any protective services. However, what is clear is that the challenges of providing close protection in Indonesia are many and various. From terrorism to internal conflict, foreigners and locals find themselves almost equally exposed to the dangers present in the Asian nation of 273 million. 

The Reliability and Dependability of Personnel

It is always challenging to come by protective agents who will meet all the security needs of the principal. The person receiving protection expects to be able to rely on the security staff at all times. For example, the protective agent needs to stand in the proper position and be responsive for all possible situations ― and not enjoy a cup of coffee in a nearby restaurant while the executive conducts business in a corporate office. 

In addition, they must attempt to blend into their surroundings but also have some control over it, discreetly scanning for any potential threats. For example, if the principal enters a shop to buy groceries, the security staff does not need to necessarily follow them everywhere. The risk and principal will dictate the level of proximity of the protection staff.  

In any case, we recommend engaging a multi-gender security team so that either females or males can be close in all situations, including apartments, restrooms, etc. 

Furthermore, the Principal, i.e., client, wants to be confident that the protective staff is ready to implement assignments ― that do not impede the principal’s safety, that is. Because, after all, the well-being of the client comes first. 

As one protection expert notes: “Clients like to know that assigned tasks will be carried out to their satisfaction, without any hesitation or lapse of confidence.” 

Especially in Indonesia, it is vital to know who you are hiring and why. Therefore, reliability plays a crucial role in the process, particularly in a climate where many presumed protective agents claim to be someone they are certainly not. 

Communication Challenges

On a similar note, the security staff needs to be well versed in the art of communication. In this instance, it is not only necessary to have CPOs who are proficient in using words to de-escalate. As a matter of fact, the protective agents must know how to read expression, posture, and tone of voice to derive meaning. 

Therefore, they should comprehend this information to best respond in certain situations, especially those that require de-escalation. In fact, the security staff needs to attend proper training to learn how to talk down a potential attacker. 

Within major built-up areas, telecommunications tend to be semi-reliable. On that note, messaging services are utilised commonly in Indonesia due to low costs. In addition, floods and other natural disasters can also affect communication channels while operating in Indonesia. However, most people work across multiple networks to ensure continued access.  

Further, the disruption of electricity provision implies that protective agents need to use a satellite phone. In Indonesia, there are no restrictions on satellite phones. Hence, we highly recommend that CP teams or personnel carry one, especially when operating outside of major cities. 

More worryingly, however, the frequent power cuts can leave some cities in darkness during long periods. All this can promote the conditions for jeopardising the security and safety of the protectee, their entourage, and their family. 

To say the least, the country is facing various issues that influence the provision of close protection in Indonesia. Communication challenges are only one among many. 

Governmental and Administrative Challenges

According to one report by the Asian Development Bank Institute in Tokyo, five major issues continue to plague Indonesia due to poor regulation, social unpredictability, and other issues: 

  • Role of the state and government vis-à-vis the people, 
  • Capacity and resources available to the Indonesian government, 
  • Separation of powers between the administration, judiciary, and legislature, and how they operate internally, 
  • Manner in which the political system functions, and 
  • Relationship between state and markets in Indonesia. 

All these issues serve as destabilising factors of the situation on the ground. Yet, the proclaimed goal of the government’s decentralisation efforts since 2000 was to decrease corruption in governmental institutions. Regardless, Transparency International’s 2020 Corruption Perception Index ranked Indonesia 102th out of 180 countries, a drop from 96 in 2019. 

Corruption specifically impacts how the country’s justice and civil service sectors operate. Furthermore, the complex bureaucracy and unpredictable regulatory and legal environment tend to adversely affect the country’s locals, expats, and people visiting Indonesia for a short period. Expectedly, those offering close protection in Indonesia need to bear all this information in mind to plan for contingencies and corrupt officials who may want to take advantage of the principal. This is another argument as to why it is so important to utilise a quality local team specialising in close protection in Indonesia.  

close protection in indonesia

Climate Challenges

One of the biggest challenges facing Indonesia pertains to environmental conditions. In 2020, Indonesia ranked 9th out of 106 countries with the worst air quality in the Air Quality Index. A factor to consider for principals with respiratory or health issues affected by this. This is largely due to the heavy use of transportation by such a large population. However, additional factors such as industrial use of fossil fuels and volcano activity, impact the environmental conditions as well. 

With an exceptionally varied topography, climate, and geography, the Asian nation is highly vulnerable to climate change impacts. These include extreme events like floods and long-term changes, including shifts in rainfall patterns, increasing temperature, and sea-level rise. 

For instance, Jakarta has a high risk of flood as more than 40% of the capital city is situated below sea level. According to one report, “Another source of flood hazard is due to the 13 rivers that pass through the area. Different low-lying parts of the city experience flooding on an annual basis resulting in disruption of local economic and social activities.” 

Flooding significantly impacts road movements. Not only does the actual water create a safety risk. But it leads to large amounts of congestion on already overcrowded roads. Information such as this is valuable while doing close protection in Indonesia. Proficient protective agents know how to constantly obtain the latest updates, including meteorological data.  

By meticulously reading the news in search of potential threats to their client, the close protection officer tries to predict adverse events and respond to them appropriately. 

Road Challenges

In terms of its road infrastructure, Indonesia ranks 60th out of 138 economies, according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report. An unsatisfactory ranking, the poor state of its roads contributes significantly to how the country functions ― including its business sector. 

Many categories of the population experience trouble driving around and working properly. Likewise, HNWIs and executives are not exempt. Notably, foreign investors sometimes hesitate to invest in Indonesia. The reason being high logistics and transportation costs resulting from poor road infrastructure. In fact, the state of the country’s roads also has the potential of endangering the security of people. 

Besides, Indonesia does not have a sufficient number of roads, airports, harbours, and bridges, while the existing infrastructure is weak. Therefore, protective agents must consider this while planning transportation and logistics. 

In Conclusion

The problems that Indonesians and foreigners experience whilst living or working there are manifold. Thus, it is up to the close protection industry to offer creative solutions that take into consideration all the variables. From natural disasters to political unrest, and other relevant elements of day-to-day life in the Asian nation. 

Finally, we hope this article has helped shed light on the complexity of doing close protection in Indonesia. Furthermore, it is worth stressing that local quality teams are probably the number one asset in delivering state-of-the-art CP services. 

Companies like Panoptic Solutions support individuals and organisations in enhancing productivity and peace of mind by delivering unmatched close protection in Indonesia. 

The Overlap Between EP and First Aid Training 

According to the Heart Research Institute, a heart attack is a leading cause of death and hospitalisation in Australia. On average, it claims 21 lives daily, with as many as 57,000 Australians suffering a heart attack every year. Yet, business executives and high-net-worth individuals hire executive protection staff without excessively thinking about their first aid training. However, it is too important a topic to disregard. 

Many people think of executive protection agents and close protection operatives as these bulky, black-dressed individuals with earpieces. Still, their physical posture does not necessarily reflect their skills level. Actually, some EPAs and CPOs maintain an exceptional understanding of first aid training and responding to medical emergencies. 

The international journal Annals of Emergency Medicine defines a medical emergency as a sudden injury or grave illness that could cause severe harm or even death if not treated immediately. That is precisely where executive protection agents with a background in first aid training or additional more advanced medical training may prove invaluable. 

As with many western countries, some chronic conditions plague Australia too. Thus, here are the most common chronic conditions where first aid could save lives: 

  • Asthma, 
  • Diabetes mellitus, 
  • Heart, stroke, and vascular disease, 
  • Chronic obtrusive pulmonary disease, 
  • Kidney disease and others. 

Regarding the risk factors that contribute to these conditions, medical experts usually blame poor diets, smoking, insufficient physical activity, excessive alcohol consumption, obesity, and others. 

Yet, this is only one side of the coin. The other is concerned with injuries that are an inseparable component of off-road racing and other activities in remote areas. In addition, hiking, fishing, and dining also comprise events that usually take place in inaccessible regions. 

Having said that, many Australians ― HNW families and business executives included ― may fall casualty to these predicaments. Therefore, this article will explore the intersection between executive protection and first aid training. 

Why Hire EP Teams with a Background in First Aid Training 

Executive protection agents have numerous roles. To name a few, they are the protector, confidant, logistics planner ― and emergency medical responder. 

Aside from their assistants, employees, and family, high-ranking individuals are frequently surrounded by their security staff. This fact makes the perfect case for hiring EP teams with a background in first aid training or higher clinical experience. Although the security staff may not always be within arm’s reach, they are the most responsive in emergencies. 

Instead of rushing to the hospital and wasting valuable time, the relevant EP staff member can apply medical interventions and techniques on the spot or while underway. When employed immediately, lifesaving procedures can sustain life until the patient arrives at a medical facility. For instance, control of bleeding and cardiopulmonary resuscitation comprises the standard techniques. 

In relation to the inevitability of accidents, security author Dale June writes that “Many things can befall a protectee (i.e. the person on the receiving end of protective services) that have nothing to do with the activities of terrorists, crazies, or anyone who would want to intentionally harm him. In spite of the very best preventive measures taken by a protection agent, accidents, injuries, and other life-threatening medical emergencies occur.” 

Fortunately, EPAs and medics can apply various procedures depending on conditions, injuries, or other health issues. For instance, a person suffering from choking, another experiencing head trauma, and a third individual undergoing burns will have to be treated entirely differently. For this reason, the executive protection team must possess a resourceful first aid kit with all the relevant drugs and equipment, including advanced resuscitation devices. 

Finally, an experienced medic or EP staff member with at least a minimal working knowledge of first aid can use their calm demeanour and experience to assure bystanders and the casualty or patient that everything will be alright shortly. 

first aid training

What to Do Before Help Arrives 

Nevertheless, the question persists: How will the situation develop before an ambulance arrives or the security team transports the patient to the nearest hospital? How do these crucial minutes look like after sustaining a wound or suffering the consequences of a chronic condition? 

As any member of security with a background in first aid training or a higher degree of clinical training knows, several things should ensue immediately at the scene: 

  1. Call or have someone call 000 before beginning lifesaving procedures, 
  1. Ensure that the patient is in a safe area to avoid further injuries, 
  1. Speak softly and reassuringly to the patient, as they are experiencing thoughts of impending death, and their mental posture can actually deteriorate their overall condition, 
  1. Convince the patient that the injury is treatable, as this could significantly increase their chances of survival and full recovery, 
  1. Identify the patient’s health problems and recognise those requiring swift attention.  

Medical experts and EPAs well versed in first aid provision refer to the last item as the primary survey or patient assessment. Therein, the relevant staff physically examines the patient. In fact, this tool is essential as it entails controlling and checking for immediate life-threatening issues, such as: 

  • Stoppage of blood circulation, 
  • Loss of blood, 
  • Absence of breathing, and 
  • Blocked airways. 

By conducting a methodical and systematic patient assessment, the relevant staff can obtain valuable information that is beneficial in later treatment. For example, the onsite personnel could collect empirical data about the environment and the cause of the trauma or injury. Later on, treating physicians could use this information to prescribe the most suitable therapy.  

Lastly, here are other data points that onsite staff could record: 

  • Time of the accident or the onset of illness, 
  • The treatment provided in the first minutes after the event, 
  • Pulse, respiration, temperature, and 
  • Appearance and condition of the patient. 

In Conclusion 

Security staff has long been perceived as merely “standing there” or solely reacting when an attacker or intruder physically threaten the principal. In contrast, this article explored how executive protection agents who have attended first aid training can benefit their protectees immediately after a trauma or injury.  

Apart from the agent’s day-to-day role, EP services have expanded to include responding to medical emergencies. Naturally, it may seem overwhelming for a person to simultaneously provide physical protection and medical emergency services. However, many proficient EPAs have gotten used to this workload and are constantly upgrading their skills. 

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