Many of you will have seen the photo of the Dallas shooter outside of the Federal Building. Now ask yourself if this was your Office, School, or House of Worship how prepared would your company or institution be to recognize the signs of trouble as those Federal Officers did and deny access and ultimately defeat the shooter?
Many newcomers in the protection business have a completely different idea of what the profession is, based on what they have heard or what Hollywood tells them it is. This lack of “truth” either leaves them disappointed or leaves them vulnerable to making mistakes while on duty.
It is common in our industry to see many of our colleagues posting pictures on the internet social media sites of “selfies” taken in first-class airline seats or the client’s private jet. More selfies show them with their feet up on a suitcase claiming ‘’another flight”, or posting from 5 and 6-star hotel rooms, or fine-dining restaurants, or next to a limousine parked in front of a private jet.
In this article, I’ll take a look at artificial intelligence, particularly the machine learning area, a basic overview of how it works, and the dangers of over-reliance on an algorithmic approach to analysis.
The Circuit Magazine held a Virtual Learning and Development Forum on September 4, 2020, that was attended by Executive Protection specialists and experts from around the globe, including the UK, US, Europe, Latin America, Middle East and West Africa.
Before you build your company’s or personal brand lets first take a moment to reconcile what branding is and how it differs from marketing. Branding is the process involved in creating a unique name and/or image for a product or service in the mind of the consumer. The goal of “Branding” is to establish a significant and differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers. What differentiated message have you created in the mind of your desired clientele?
The tabloid said it had evidence that Bezos has been “whisking his mistress off to exotic destinations on his $65 million private jet.
“Jeff Bezos is the founder of the online retailer Amazon and one of the richest people in the world. He has just made public that he will be getting divorced from his wife of 25 years after an extra marital affair was made public, that’s his personal business… The divorce could cost him 50% of his wealth including his stocks in Amazon, which could lead to control issues for the company and shareholders, this is company business… Again, someone’s personal life has gotten them and their company into big trouble!
The “workout” is only a part of the overall Physical Fitness picture. Give or take 8 hours a day for sleeping, that leaves 16 waking hours that require physical activity. I use the word “require” because if we want to stay active for the long game, then it really isn’t an option and it must be a priority. This is where I feel the missing link is for most people, a basic understanding of true Physical Fitness and how to apply it to everyday living without just viewing it as a workout period.
Have you ever noticed how we throw around words nonchalantly, without a giving a second thought as to their perceived meaning?
How many of us use the word “fan” on a daily basis, possibly without realizing that the word is derived from the word “fanatic”. Webster’s Dictionary defines a fanatic as a person who is extremely enthusiastic about, and devoted to, some interest or activity. In the entertainment world, fans are a necessity, because if there are no fans, there is no one to buy the tickets, the music, the books, movies, or the merchandise. In essence, without fans, there is no celebrity. Fans are however, not limited to the typical entertainment realm of musicians and actors, politicians, company executives, news personalities, and even private citizens can also attract their own set of fans in today’s society.
In the world of protective services, we are often charged with the responsibility of having to manage and reconcile between safety and access for our protectees.
As business owners, employees, independent contractors or just private citizens we too are challenged with the dichotomy of managing our personal and professional lives on social media.
As is common with us all, we love our gear and we can’t get enough. A common discussion in our Facebook group, The Protective Security Group, is travel gear and equipment.
While not meant to be a comprehensive or ‘cookie-cutter’ list, below I share a typical packing of my ‘go-bag’ which I hope you all find useful; at least as a good baseline to add/subtract from for your travel needs.
It often comes as a surprise just how much is available, and the nefarious uses it can be put to. OSINT can be applied towards defensive purposes, but we will be looking only at malicious purposes. One of the biggest challenges of OSINT is not merely recognising it as a threat, but encouraging the behavioural change needed to protect against it widely enough. It is not enough simply for a principal to stop posting Instagram pictures of their travels in order to hide them – their colleagues, friends, family, and employees also need to be aware of the need to take care with information which could be misused.
These challenges can take the form of unintentional harm coming by way of a prop, stage equipment, or something as simple as a slip and fall caused by a long dress and high heels.
Whenever we can, we as Protectors must try and anticipate, correcting or counteracting the occurrences that can cause this harm. This is usually done during the Site Advance at which time we do a walk-thru of the areas that the VIP will be visiting, in this scenario, the stage. It is at that time we will perform a visual inspection of the stage and the props, go hands-on with items the Protectee might come into contact with, such as the guard railing, and enlist the help of experts to answer questions that are beyond our realm of expertise, such as how the overhead lights are connected to the scaffolding.
The ‘tactical culture’ had flourished over the last few years, mainly due to the proliferation of video cameras and increasing engagement with social media platforms, which I believe is causing the lines between reality and the ‘tacticool’ entertainment world to become very, very blurred…
It takes very little these days to be a part of the tactical sub-culture that is trending, here’s how to do it. Simply, purchase a gun, where legal, get your hands on some tactical clothing, buy a bunch of ‘black op’ accessories, plug into ‘Soldier of Fortune’ social-media channels and perhaps even take some no-fail tactical training courses, then after a few months, hey presto, you’re an expert! Whereas, in the good old days, the only option, if you wanted this lifestyle, was to join the military – preferably the Infantry!
Social media can quickly become all things to all people meaning that one can find exactly what they’re looking for at any time, anywhere, and at the stroke of a key, or swipe of a computer screen. However, the technology can also work against you when someone is negligent in their use or management of it.
Connecting your device to the World Wide Web isn’t an issue when you’re at your place. It’s relatively safe, simple to do, and free of crowded traffic. When you leave the safety of your home to a public area, the story changes. When you connect to public Wi-Fi in different places, making certain you can still connect with people, read online news, and work remotely, are you aware of the risks?
regret that comes from knowing that you could have done more to support a person in life, even if just by offering a kind word or two. Some might think a topic like this has no place in an Alpha industry like Close Protection but consider that a large part of our ranks are pulled from both law enforcement and the military. We can all see how helpful positive reinforcement has been for those stressful careers.
Risk and Retaliation at the World Cup and Beyond. On 3/26/2018, the United States joined 20 nations including the UK, Canada, and Italy in what is said to be the largest coordinated expulsion of Russian intelligence officers in history.
Over 100 Russian diplomats were told to leave their foreign postings in response to the poisoning of a former Russian spy living in the UK. Russia promised to retaliate against this “provocative gesture”.
The best protection against such SIM swapping methods is simple. Buy a dual SIM phone with a second pay-as-you-go number on a separate provider, which is used only for these authentication purposes. Since nothing is tying the number directly to you, it becomes much more challenging for an attacker to carry out a SIM swap.
It’s the final wrap up of the last day of your Close Protection training course. It’s been a long, and at times grueling, process but ultimately rewarding on multiple levels.
Along the way you’ve met some people you have really gelled with (and a couple that you have no plans on staying in contact with once class ends.) Overall, you enjoyed the experience, feel like you have gotten your moneys worth, and can say that you have some new, “tools for the toolbox.”
Although the underlying principle of understanding ‘capability and intention’ and the objective of ‘forewarned is forearmed’ have not dramatically altered overtime, the sheer scale of intelligence available in the Open Source environment means that the greatest risk today is information overload rather than information scarcity.
It is in this context that in order to acquire and analyse asymmetric and potentially outcome-defining intelligence, analysts are required to think more laterally than ever and be able to draw both strategic and tactical conclusions from intelligence which may be independent and accurate as much as it may be deliberately misleading or presented through an emotional prism. SOCial Media INTelligence (SOCMINT) is one such instance of lateral thinking. FINancial INTelligence is another.