Physical Security and “Lone Wolf” Terrorism

International Security Management Update: Terrorist Attack in Canada

On Oimgsecurity.net/lonewolfct 22, 2014 a gunman fatally shot a Canadian solider guarding the Canadian War Memorial in Ottawa, Canada. The assailant then attempted to assault the Canadian Parliament building but was shot dead before he could continue his rampage. Although an investigation is still ongoing, the shooter was identified as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, a radicalized Muslim convert and ISIS sympathizer. The attack in Canada has caused many in the media to speculate that so-called “lone wolf” terrorists present the most significant terrorist threat today.

Lone wolves are self-radicalized individuals who have few formal connections to the terrorist groups they support. Rather, they are inspired by these groups to commit acts of violence. This lack of formal affiliation means that lone wolf attacks are generally less sophisticated. Unfortunately, it also means that there are simply no channels of communications that security services can intercept and exploit. As a result, lone wolves are more unpredictable.

While lone wolf attacks are certainly a concern, they are not as unique a threat as many in the media suppose. Disgruntled employees, mentally ill individuals, and radical political groups have been a part of the security landscape for a long time. Indeed, theses examples are similar to lone wolves in that they commit acts of violence that are unsophisticated, yet difficult to anticipate. From a security perspective, lone wolf violence is similar to many other types of violent acts.

Fortunately, international security managers have a reasonably effective tool to deal with such threats: Physical Security. Metal detectors, security guards, physical barriers, CCTVs, and access controls are very common, yet very capable security methods. When managed well and in concert, these techniques can do much to mitigate the threat of lone wolves and other dangers.

Obviously, physical security is not a full guarantee. As every risk manager knows, few risks can be eliminated entirely. To be sure, lone wolf attacks are difficult to predict, and could become more common. However, this does not make them impossible to defend against. Well-executed physical security measures are designed to deal with the unanticipated, and are tried and tested tools to meet the threat of lone wolves and other security challenges.

Learn More About IMG’s Experience in Physical Security and International Security Management

IMG has extensive experience in physical security and international security management. To learn more about the solutions offered by IMG, please visit: http://www.theimg.com/internationalthreatassessment.html

About the IMG Group

The IMG Group is a leading international security management firm, with considerable experience in physical security. Corporate or business organizations concerned about their need for detailed international security management planning can reach out to the IMG Group for assistance. The company’s expert security consultants provide services such as employee security, VIP and executive protection, risk and threat assessments, workplace violence prevention, protective services, crisis management planning, and more.

Web. http://www.theimg.com and http://www.globalsecur.com

Tel. (877) 887-9914 or (352) 460-4731

For more information, please Contact Us

Aviation Security, Executive Protection & Enhanced Succession Planning

Executive Summary: Succession Planning and Corporate Travel Security

Succession planning is a standard risk management technique practiced by many companies around the world. Succession planning is the process that ensures key roles within a company can be quickly filled in the event of injury, death, or untimely departure of a company executive. Normally, firms produce a succession planning document that lists the individuals able to take on key roles within the company. In the event that there are no personnel on-hand to step in, a succession planning document should detail the necessary experience, background, abilities, education, and temperament of suitable replacements. While every company needs to engage in succession planning, firms should also attempt to mitigate risk through executive protection and corporate travel security strategies. Basic safeguards can do a lot to increase the safety of employees and executives. Furthermore, these strategies can help a business assess the risks facing its staff. One component of both executive protection and corporate travel security is aviation security.

Executive Protection and Aviation Security

Aviation Security, Executive Protection & Enhanced Succession PlanningCommercial aviation is becoming safer with each passing year. Despite some people’s trepidations about flying, it is far safer than other forms of transport. In fact, the odds of dying on any single airline flight stand at more than 1 in 4.7 million. However, this risk profile is not entirely uniform. For example, business jets, commuter flights, and charter flights are somewhat more risky than travel aboard big commercial carriers. It also should be noted, that flying between major metropolitan hubs is generally safer. For instance, remote airstrips located near overseas mining or drilling operations may simply lack much of the safety, air traffic control, and rescue infrastructure present at large airports. Given these risks, the executive protection professionals at IMG have provided advice to organizations in order to strengthen their aviation security posture. For example, IMG recommends that a company refrain from booking its entire management team on a single flight. This will ensure that the company will still be able to function in the event of a plane crash. Although private flying is popular, firms should be aware that general aviation is substantially more risky than commercial aviation. In fact, the rate of fatalities for general aviation is five times higher than the rate in commercial aviation.

Aviation Security and Succession Planning: List of Notable Plane Crashes

Many people are familiar with the notable air disasters of the past 50 years. Some of the incidents involving sports teams have garnered significant media attention. There was the 1972 plane crash in the Andes Mountains involving a Rugby team that was captured in the movie “Alive.” Also, there were two plane crashes in 1970 that devastated the college football teams of Wichita State and Marshall. Yet, there have been lesser-known accidents that have had an outsized impact. For instance, there have been several crashes that have led to large disruptions to the operations of large businesses. In some cases, whole countries were impacted. Some notable incidents include:

  1. In 2010, a plane crash in the Republic of the Congo resulted in the deaths of the entire executive board of Sundance Resources, an Australian mining company. The crash was also responsible for the death of Ken Talbot, a well-known Australian billionaire.
  2. In May of 2014, a plane ran off the runway in Hanscom Field in Massachusetts. The victims of the crash include Lewis Katz and several of his philanthropic partners. Mr. Katz was the owner of the NBA’s New Jersey Nets and the NHL’s New Jersey Devils.
  3. A crash off the coast of Denmark in 1989 killed 50 employees of Wilh. Wilhelmsen, an international shipping company. Included in the dead, was the company’s entire management team.
  4. In 1991, a plane went down in Georgia carrying 5 company executives of Bruno’s Inc., a grocery store firm operating in the Southern United States. The company’s chairman and vice-chairman were both killed in the crash.
  5. A Polish Air Force flight carrying the Polish President and his entourage to the Russian town of Smolensk in 2010 crashed killing all 96 people aboard. In addition to killing the President, the crash also resulted in the deaths of the head of the Polish National Bank, the Deputy Foreign Minister, the Chief of the General Staff, multiple military leaders, and 18 members of Parliament.

Learn More About IMG’s Experience in Aviation Security, Executive Protection, and Corporate Travel Security

IMG has extensive experience in executive protection and aviation security. To learn more about the full range of services offered by IMG, please visit: http://www.theimg.com/travel-executivesecurity.html

About the IMG Group

The IMG Group is a leading corporate travel security firm. Corporate or business organizations concerned about their need for detailed corporate travel security planning and executive protection can reach out to the IMG Group for assistance. The company’s expert security consultants provide services such as executive, employee, VIP, expatriate travel security, executive protection, risk and threat assessments, workplace violence prevention, crisis management planning, and more.

Web. http://www.theimg.com and http://www.globalsecur.com

Tel. (877) 887-9914 or (352) 460-4731

For more information, please Contact Us

Employee Travel Security: What to Know About the Ebola Virus Outbreak in Africa

Summary: Employee Travel Security, Africa, and the Ebola Virus

The most recent outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa has been the largest outbreak ever recorded. The virus has spread out of remote villages and killed over 2,000 people as of the date of this writing. Many observers are concerned that the outbreak will continue to spread, and several global health organizations admit that the disease has spread “out of control.” Given the scale of this particular outbreak, many companies are considering the potential impacts to employee travel security. IMG Group, a protective services provider, believes that some of the information below can assist organizations, as they weigh their employee travel security options.

  1. What is Ebola?

Employee Travel Security; What to know about the Ebola Virus Outbreak in Africa - CDC mapThe Ebola virus is one of the world’s most deadly, with a mortality rate of up to 90%. Although the most recent outbreak of Ebola is the largest recorded, it is less deadly, with a mortality rate of only 60%. The virus is believed to have originally been an animal-borne virus that mutated and began infecting humans living in West-Central Africa. Although there is some debate on its origins, many believe that the virus first appeared among fruit bats. The virus works by attacking internal organs and tissues, causing clotting and bleeding. Death often results from a loss of blood and eventual organ failure.

  1. Symptoms of Ebola

Symptoms of the Ebola virus normally appear within 2-21 days after initial infection. However, the virus can rapidly progress and has been known to kill its victims in under two weeks. At first, the Ebola virus resembles the flu. An infected person might experience a fever, sore throat, muscle pain, and headache. Later, as the virus progresses, the individual may suffer from diarrhea and a rash. During the advanced stages of the infection, victims will experience internal and external bleeding notably from the eyes, ears, and nose.

  1. Where is the Ebola Virus Prevalent?

Ebola outbreaks have historically occurred in remote villages located in West and Central Africa. For example, past outbreaks have occurred in the Congo, Uganda, Senegal, Liberia, Sudan, Gabon, Sierra Leone, the Ivory Coast, and Guinea. However, the most recent outbreak is different as it has reached urban centers and infected many more people. Currently, there are active cases of Ebola in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea. There have also been a handful of cases identified in Nigeria. Obviously, these countries present a heightened risk to employee travel security and organizations should review their travel policies in West and Central Africa. However, there is a fear that this outbreak could spread the virus globally. This is because this outbreak has not been contained and has already reached urban centers and global transit hubs. Given the risks of an uncontained outbreak, employee travel security professionals should continue to monitor the situation.

  1. How does the Ebola Virus Spread?

Although the Ebola virus is very deadly, it is not yet an airborne virus like the flue. Bodily fluids such as blood, urine, saliva, feces, vomit, and semen are the primary medium for the transmission of Ebola. Additionally, contaminated needles and unsanitary conditions at health clinics are thought to have hastened the spread of the disease. However, the virus is also believed to be capable of jumping from animals to humans as well. For example, pigs, monkeys, and fruit bats are thought to carry the disease and may infect humans that come in contact with them.

  1. How to Protect Against Ebola

Firms can protect themselves from Ebola by closely monitoring the health status of their workers and seeking immediate medical attention if a problem is suspected. Organizations can also try to postpone or cancel travel to Ebola affected regions. Additionally, workers returning from travel to affected areas should seek medical advice from a physician before returning to work.

Despite the danger for individuals working in Ebola affected regions, there are safeguards that can be taken. Travelers should avoid contact with pig farms and not consume any meat from monkeys or apes. Additionally, all other consumed meat should be cooked thoroughly. Unless absolutely necessary, clinics and hospitals treating Ebola patients should be avoided. Travelers should also avoid contact with any items handled by Ebola victims, and maintain high-standards of cleanliness and sanitation. Finally, individuals should drink bottled water and wash their hands regularly, using only treated water sources.

Learn More About IMG’s Experience in Protective Services and Employee Travel Security

IMG has extensive experience in protective services and employee travel security. To learn more about the solutions offered by IMG, please visit:

http://www.theimg.com/employee-travel-medical-assistance-service.html

About the IMG Group

The IMG Group is a leading employee travel security firm, with considerable experience in protective services. Corporate or business organizations concerned about their need for detailed employee travel security planning can reach out to the IMG Group for assistance. The company’s expert security consultants provide services such as employee security, VIP and executive protection, risk and threat assessments, workplace violence prevention, protective services, crisis management planning, and more.

Web. http://www.theimg.com

Tel.         (877) 887-9914 or (352) 460-4731

Malaysia Airlines Flight 17: IMG’s thoughts on air travel safety and security.

Executive Summary: Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 Shot Down Over Ukraine

imgsecurity.net/malaysiaflight

On July 17th, 2014 Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was en-route to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam when it crashed in eastern Ukraine. All of the 298 people aboard the flight were killed after the aircraft was shot down by a surface-to-air missile. Although no one has claimed responsibility, US intelligence believes that pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine are responsible for the downing of the aircraft.

This tragedy follows months of fighting between Ukraine’s pro-Western government and pro-Russian separatists in the country’s east. In fact, several Ukrainian aircraft have been shot down in the past few months including a transport plane carrying 49 Ukrainian troops.

Many Western observers believe that Moscow is arming the separatists with increasingly sophisticated weapons, including advanced anti-aircraft missiles thereby threatening aviation security. Some also believe that Russian Special Forces may be advising the Ukrainian rebels. In fact, just before the Malaysia Airlines tragedy, President Barack Obama pushed for further sanctions against Moscow for failing to halt the flow of weapons to the separatists.

A New International Travel Security Threat?

Many observers are questioning why a passenger aircraft was allowed to fly over a known conflict zone in the first place. Eastern Ukraine has experienced heated fighting for the past few months, and separatists have already shot down several Ukrainian aircraft. However, flying over conflict zones is a common practice for many international air carriers. For example, many airlines continued to fly over Iraq and Afghanistan at the heights of these conflicts. However, in these instances, aviation security authorities felt that high altitude flights were safe due to the limitations of insurgent anti-aircraft weapons. Increasingly, weaponry in the hands of terrorist groups is now posing more of a threat to international travel safety.

Yet, aviation security authorities did have concerns about the conflict in Ukraine. On the day of the tragedy, there was a no-fly zone over eastern Ukraine. However, it was capped at 32,000 feet, meaning aircraft could still fly so long as they remained above this altitude. It is probable that officials believed that aircraft flying at these heights would be safe from more common, but less capable, anti-aircraft systems.

However, what officials failed to take into account was that both sides in the Ukrainian conflict had access to advanced anti-aircraft systems capable of hitting aircraft flying above 32,000 feet. This has resulted in a change in international travel safety awareness and a new approach to aviation safety.

Some airlines, such as British Airways, chose to avoid flying over the conflict zone in Ukraine. Many other airlines did not divert flights. After all, the area above 32,000 feet was deemed clear by Eurocontrol, a European Air Safety Organization, and diverting flights away from the area would prove costly. In fact, the flight path over eastern Ukraine is known as airway L980, a popular conduit between European and Asian hubs. It is no surprise then, that many airlines were reluctant to change their routes.

Implications for Aviation Security

When it comes to aviation security, there is no central authoritative organization. Although the UN’s ICAO is recognized worldwide, its powers are limited. As a result, regional or national bodies generally determine if a no-fly restriction is necessary or not. Yet, airlines still have quite a bit of latitude. While some areas such as Syria, North Korea, and Somalia are almost universally avoided, airlines often make their own decisions on flight paths. As a result, air carriers should take steps to increase security awareness and monitor the security environment of the areas they fly over and take mitigation efforts when appropriate.

Unfortunately, the tragedy of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 is not unique. Aviation safety and security has long been an issue over conflict zones and there have been several instances of passenger planes being shot down over conflict zones. For example, Iran Air flight 655 was shot down over the Persian Gulf by the USS Vincennes in 1988 and Libyan Airlines Flight 114 was shot down by Israel over the Sinai Peninsula several months before the 1973 October War. The unfortunate fact is that militaries occasionally mistake passenger planes for military aircraft. This risk is most dangerous during a conflict or over a contested area, as belligerents may not have the time or the resources to confirm the identity of aircraft. As a result, airlines should remain cognizant of the international security climate and understand the potential anti-aircraft threats in the areas they fly.

Learn More about IMG’s Experience in Aviation Security and International Travel Security

IMG has extensive experience in international travel security management and aviation security. To learn more about the full range of services offered by IMG, please visit:http://www.theimg.com/services.html

About the IMG Group

The IMG Group is a leading international travel security firm, with considerable experience in aviation security. Corporate or business organizations concerned about their need for detailed international travel security planning can reach out to the IMG Group for assistance. The company’s expert security consultants provide services such as executive, employee, VIP, aviation security, executive protection, risk and threat assessments, workplace violence prevention, crisis management planning, and more. Web. http://www.theimg.com

Brazil World Cup-Travel, Security Firm Releases Visitor Safety Information

Executive Summary: Security and Safety for Visitors in Brazil

http://imgsecurity.net/wp-content/Brazil World CupThe 2014 World Cup in Brazil will be hosted in 12 cities across the country from 12 June 2014 to 15 July 2014. These World Cup matches will present a host of security challenges to a country that has no shortage of security issues. Indeed, many American and European visitors will find that Brazil has a number of safety and travel security concerns.

According to an article released by Business Insider, 15 of the 50 most dangerous cities in the world are in Brazil. This includes the World Cup host cities of Brasilia, Belo Horizonte, Recife, Cuiaba, Manaus, Fortaleza, Salvador, and Curitiba. To put this in perspective, Brazil’s most dangerous city, Manaus, has a homicide rate 25% higher than New Orleans. In fact, Brazil’s murder rate is 4 times higher than the US average.

However, crime is not the only safety concern for visitors to Brazil. There have been frequent demonstrations across the country in the run up to the 2014 World Cup. In a country with high poverty, many demonstrators are protesting the billions spent on preparations for the Cup. Meanwhile, other groups of varying stripes are taking advantage of the worldwide attention to host demonstrations. In some cases, police have had to break up these protests, using tear gas and riot squads.

While Brazil has multiple travel security concerns, there are other issues visitors may face. For instance, the hosting cities seem to be experiencing a shortage of hotel rooms and there are reports of fake ticket sellers and other scams that prey on visitors. Furthermore, there are some lingering concerns that the stadiums may not be fully completed by the start of the games. Despite these issues, there are precautions that travelers can take to keep themselves safe.

Travel Security and Safety Tips for World Cup Visitors

Prior to departure, visitors to Brazil should ensure that they are up to date on all their vaccines. In most cases, travelers should be vaccinated against Hepatitis A and Typhoid. Malaria is also present in the country, including the host cities of Manaus and Cuiaba. For their safety, individuals traveling to these cities should talk to their medical professional about malaria medication. Additionally, visitors traveling to Brasilia, Belo Horizonte, Manaus, and Cuiaba should consider getting vaccinated against yellow fever.

Crime is probably the number one travel security concern for those visiting Brazil. Muggings, pickpocketing, and ATM robbery are all potential threats to visitors. To keep themselves safe, travelers should avoid wearing expensive clothing or displaying valuables, like smartphones, in public. While visitors need to be watchful at all times, they should be especially mindful around tourist areas. Pickpockets tend to be most active around the beaches, bars, nightclubs, public transit, and the World Cup stadiums.

Robberies and muggings also occur in Brazil. In fact, sometimes criminals engage in “quicknapping,” the temporary kidnapping of an individual. In this crime, the criminal detains an individual for a short period of time, forcing them to withdraw money from ATM machines until the withdrawal limit is reached.

Visitors should also use caution on and around Brazil’s roads. Many Brazilian drivers can be quite aggressive, posing a danger to pedestrians and motorists unfamiliar with the driving customs of the country. While Brazilians themselves frequently use unlicensed travel vans, visitors should stick to licensed taxi services, as these are safer and more reliable.

Visitors should be especially aware of Brazilian favelas. Favelas are urban slums that lie on the periphery of many of the country’s large cities. Favelas are largely lawless and are sometimes controlled by local militias and drug gangs. Some favelas are so dangerous that the police even fear traveling there. Visitors should know that these areas are highly dangerous and should avoid these areas at all times. Similar to the favelas, the satellite cities that surround the city of Brasilia should also be avoided by visitors for many of the same reasons.

If US travelers become victims of crime, fall ill, or encounter other difficulties they should reach out to the nearest American Embassy or Consulate. The contact information for these facilities can be found here:

http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/country/brazil.html#more_embassies

Learn More About IMG’s Experience in Conference Security and Executive Protection

IMG has extensive experience in international travel security and safety. To learn more about the full range of services offered by IMG, please visit:

http://www.theimg.com/international-security-consulting.html

About the Incident Management Group, Inc. (IMG)

Incident Management Group, Inc. is a leading international travel security firm. Corporate or business organizations concerned about their need for detailed travel security planning can reach out to the IMG for assistance. The company’s expert security consultants provide services such as executive, employee, VIP, expatriate travel security, executive protection, risk and threat assessments, workplace violence prevention, crisis management planning, and more.

Web: http://www.theimg.com and http://www.globalsecur.com

Telephone: (877) 887-9914 or (352) 460-4731

Securing Your Next Big Meeting or Conference: 5 Tips on Event & Site Security

Executive Summary: Event Security and Site Protection

Conferences, meetings, and tradeshows can be a great way for organizations to showcase themselves to the public, discuss important issues, and boost employee morale. However, high profile events can present operational and reputational risks if they are not conducted effectively. Security issues, in particular, can hamper operations and raise challenges to event organizers. If not handled deftly, these issues could lead to incidents that prove both embarrassing and costly to the hosting company.

http://imgsecurity.net/Event SecurityTo ensure the seamless integration of security into an event’s operations, the security professionals at IMG believe that security personnel should be involved in event planning from Day 1. By including security personnel during the preliminary stages, event planners will ensure that security is incorporated into planning at every stage of the process. This will help avoid unforeseen complications and last minute alterations.

Event security planning can be an involved and complicated process, and some outsiders may underestimate the challenges involved. Additionally, some may question why security personnel need to be included in so many aspects of event planning from venue selection, to guest lists, to hotel booking. To provide more clarification on security’s role in event planning, IMG (http://www.theimg.com/) has released 5 tips on event security and site protection. This information should provide non-security personnel with an overview of event security planning.

5 Tips on Meeting Security and Site Protection from a Leading Executive Protection Firm

Event Security Tip #1: Venue Selection

One of the most important tenets of meeting and conference security is the involvement of security personnel from the start of the event planning process. This is especially true when it comes time for an organization to select a venue. Prior to site selection, security personnel need to conduct a threat assessment of the proposed site to identify potential threats, challenges, and risks. Involvement at the early stages also gives security personnel an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the site and identify any resources, such as floor space or rooms, that will need to be reserved for security purposes.

Event Security Tip #2: Proprietary Information Planning

Another core tenet of conference and meeting security is the identification of sensitive or proprietary information that will be disclosed during the course of the event. For example, some conferences are used to unveil new technology or discuss corporate strategy while some company meetings may involve sensitive issues such as layoffs and acquisitions. In each of these cases, organizations need to think hard about how they want this information disseminated and whom they want to disseminate this information to. Once this determination is made, security personnel can construct plans to protect this data. Additionally, they will be able to provide guidance on the transportation and storage of sensitive materials and designate secure meeting areas for sensitive discussions.

Event Security Tip #3: Access Controls

Another fundamental component of site protection is the development of access controls. At the site itself, security will control physical access by designating points of entry/exit and manning these points appropriately. However, security should also be involved in the formulation of the guest list and the selection of invitations and ID badges. This will allow security personnel to prevent unauthorized access and help identify any event “crashers.” It is also important to note that guests may have different levels of access based on their relationship to the hosting organization. For example, the Media may be given one level of access, company employees given another, while company executives may be given more wide-ranging access. Security will help ensure that guests are given the appropriate level of access and may compartmentalize the area according to access level.

Event Security Tip #4: Transportation, Logistics, and Emergency Planning

It is important to note that comprehensive conference security is not limited to the event site itself. Security personnel should be involved in coordinating transportation to and from the venue. They also may choose to conduct threat assessments on the hotels being used by attendees. Additionally, security may determine if VIPs require special vehicle access or foot escort. This is because VIPs are often at there most vulnerable when traveling to and from a well-publicized event. Finally, the security staff will develop contingency and emergency plans. This often involves identifying the police, fire, rescue, and medical resources in the area so that they may be quickly called upon in the event of an emergency.

Event Security Tip #5: After-Action Reviews

One of the most important, but often overlooked, components of conference security and site protection is the after action review. These reviews are held after the completion of a conference, meeting, or event and should be attended by all of the event organizers. One of the major benefits of these reviews is that they can be used to discuss challenges and target areas for future improvement. Furthermore, these reviews can also be used to assess the impact of possible security breaches. For example, during an after action review event organizers may report incidents such as suspicious behavior, the loss of sensitive material, or access to an unauthorized area. During the review, these issues can be fleshed out in detail as a group and follow on plans developed.

Learn More About IMG’s Experience in Conference Security and Executive Protection

IMG has extensive experience in conference security and executive protection. To learn more about the full range of services offered by IMG, please visit:

http://www.theimg.com/International-meeting-conference-and-event-security.html

About the IMG Group

Incident Management Group, Inc. (IMG) is a leading international security firm with extensive experience with meeting security and site protection. Corporate or business organizations concerned about their need for detailed and robust event security planning can reach out to the IMG Group for assistance. The company’s expert security consultants provide services such as executive, employee, VIP, expatriate travel security, executive protection, risk and threat assessments, workplace violence prevention, crisis management planning, and more.

Web. http://www.theimg.com

Tel: (877) 887-9914 or (352) 460-4731

Russian Aggression Against Ukraine and its Effect on Employee Travel Security in Eastern Europe

imgsecurity.net/Russian AgressionExecutive Summary: Russian Aggression and the Ukraine

The deposition of Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych in February proved a critical turning point in Russia’s relations with Ukraine. No longer would Russia rely on the influence of pro-Russian factions within Ukraine; instead, Moscow would start to exercise its military power. This new view led directly to the annexation of Crimea in March 2014. However, some analysts believe that Russian aggression could go even further, fearing that Russian forces massed along Ukraine’s eastern border could be preparing for an invasion.

This renewed Russian aggression has caused a stir in many former Warsaw Pact countries such as Poland, Moldova, Bulgaria, Romania, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and the Baltic States. Citizens in these nations fear that if Russia is left unchecked, Moscow will continue to try to re-impose Russian influence on its former dominions. As such, these countries are looking for reassurance from the West, particularly the United States.

Yet, the people of Eastern Europe are not the only ones concerned about recent Russian aggression. Many multinational companies have operations in the region and are concerned about the integrity of their corporate operations and state of employee travel security in Eastern Europe. To aid this effort, IMG (http://www.theimg.com/), a leader in executive protection and travel security, has released guidance on the subject.

Employee Travel Security in Eastern Europe

Employee travel security in Eastern Europe is normally not a large safety concern. Ukraine and Moldova are at an elevated risk, but most of the countries in the region are roughly comparable to other EU nations in terms of security. For example, the countries of Poland, Czech Republic, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovakia and the Baltic States are generally pretty safe. Visitors should be concerned about the potential for scams and petty theft, but violent crime directed against visitors is generally uncommon.

However, an escalation of Russian aggression could have negative implications for employee travel security in Eastern Europe. For example, increased tensions could lead to more Cyber attacks on Western organizations based in the region. These attacks could be carried out by the Russian government or by rogue pro-Russian elements. One such organization, dubbed “Cyber Berkut,” has already claimed credit for an attack against NATO’s website, and may seek out other pro-Western targets.

Additionally, an escalation of tensions could lead to a Russian energy embargo. After all, much of Europe is dependent on Russian oil and gas. An embargo could lead to shortages and civil disorder in the region, especially if such an embargo took place in winter when demand for natural gas is at its highest. Furthermore, an energy crisis could affect the operations of companies doing business in the region, especially those that rely on fuel to conduct their day to day operations.

Given these threats to employee travel security in Eastern Europe, what is an organization to do? Luckily, there are many options for firms. Firstly, professional security consultants can provide advice tailored to an organization’s unique needs. This can help firms develop policies and plans should the security situation deteriorate. Moreover, companies can continue to monitor the situation through the media and daily intelligence briefings. Professional security consultants normally have access to such briefings and can recommend a reputable service. Finally, organizations need to develop an evacuation plan in the event there is an emergency or a catastrophic deterioration of the security environment. Although such a scenario is unlikely, it is a possibility, and organizations need to be prepared.

Learn More About IMG’s Experience in Employee Travel Security and Executive Protection

IMG has extensive experience in employee travel security and executive protection. To learn more about the full range of services offered by IMG, please visit: http://theimg.com/travel-executivesecurity.html

About the IMG Group

The IMG Group is a leading firm in the employee travel security industry. Corporate or business organizations concerned about their need for detailed and robust travel security planning can reach out to the IMG Group for assistance. The company’s expert security consultants provide services such as executive, employee, VIP, expatriate travel security, executive protection, risk and threat assessments, workplace violence prevention, crisis management planning, and more.

Web. http://www.globalsecur.com

  1. (877) 887-9914 or (352) 460-4731

The Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight and Stolen Passports: IMG Releases Guidance on Travel Security Passport Protection

Executive Summary: Malaysia Airlines Flight 370

On March 8th, 2014 Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared while enroot to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur. Tragically, the flight was carrying 239 people and there are no indications of any survivors. In the aftermath of the Malaysia Airlines disappearance, it was revealed that at least two people on board were carrying stolen passports. This revelation has raised many security questions about passport protection and shed light on the illegal passport trade.

Stolen passports can fetch a high price on the black market. The two passports used onimgsecurity.net/Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight the Malaysia Airlines flight are believed to have been pilfered in Thailand. Stolen passports are used by criminal gangs, intelligence agencies, and individuals hoping to immigrate to a new land. In some cases, they are even used to commit identity theft. Given their importance, travel security professionals often stress the necessity of proper passport protection. To aid this effort IMG, (http://www.theimg.com/) a leading travel security firm, is releasing guidance on passport protection, which should help individual travelers avoid any unfortunate incidents.

Travel Security Guidance on Passport Protection

Passports are an essential part of international travel. Without them, individuals may not be able to return to their country of origin. Given their importance, travelers should keep their passports on their person. However, in some instances it may be more suitable to secure the document in a safe. If individuals chose to stow their passports in purses or travel bags, they should keep positive control of these items at all times as they are common targets for thieves.

Travelers should also make a copy of the main page of their passport and laminate it. One trick used by travel security experts is to use this laminated copy as the primary identification document. When possible, travelers should avoid handing over their original passport. Additionally, it is good practice to retain other copies of the passport elsewhere. These copies can come in handy in the event a traveler loses their original document.

Another staple of basic passport protection is to utilize a passport cover. Some criminal and extremist groups may target individuals from specific countries. By covering the front of the passport, travelers can make themselves a harder target. Furthermore, travelers should be aware that there are many scams that involve criminals posing as police. These con-men will ask for identification from individuals and then demand payment before returning it to the owner. Travelers should be aware of these scams, and be sure to make use of the laminated passport copy whenever possible.

Despite sound passport protection practices, some travelers will still lose their passport while abroad. Fortunately, embassies and consulates are able to provide individuals with a new copy. In most cases, a traveler will need to produce a payment, photo ID, and birth certificate in order to obtain a new passport. Since these can all be lost in a burglary, travelers should have a way to access these resources in such an event. For example, copies and/or originals should be given to a trusted friend or family member prior to departure. If everything is lost, this trusted associate could ensure that all necessary documentation can be sent to the appropriate authority at the embassy or consulate in a timely matter. Such preplanning can make replacing a passport significantly less difficult.

Learn More About IMG’s Experience in Executive Travel Security and Passport Protection

IMG has extensive experience in executive and employee travel security. To learn more about the full range of travel security services offered by IMG and its partners, please visit: http://www.theimg.com/travel-executivesecurity.html

About Incident Management Group, Inc. (IMG)

IMG is a leading firm in employee travel security. Corporate or business organizations concerned about their need for detailed and robust travel security planning can reach out to the IMG Group for assistance. The company’s expert security consultants provide services such as executive, employee, VIP, and expatriate travel security, risk and threat assessments, workplace violence prevention, crisis management planning, and more.

Web. http://www.theimg.com

Tel. (877) 887-9914 or (352) 460-4731

The Sochi Olympics: 7 Corporate Travel Security Risks of Doing Business in Russia

The Sochi Olympics has shed worldwide attention on the Russian security environment. While security at the Olympic Games in always a concern, the Sochi Olympics seems to imgsecurity.net/Sochi Olympicsbe at heightened risk. To date, most coverage of Russian security has highlighted the threat of terrorism. The media has particularly focused on the possibility that a female suicide bomber from Chechnya, known as a Black Widow, has infiltrated the Games.

While the threat of terrorism at the Sochi Olympics is real, it is not the only security concern in Russia. After the games end, many foreigners will continue to visit Russia as business travelers and tourists. Given the country’s geopolitical importance, many corporations and firms will maintain operations in the country for years to come. Even so, Russia continues to harbor many security risks that firms need to be aware of.

In response to security concerns in Russia, Incident Management Group (IMG – http://www.theimg.com/), a worldwide security solution provider, is releasing a list of 7 corporate travel security risks that firms doing business in the country should know. This article can help companies mitigate some of the risks associated with the Russian market.

The Sochi Olympics in Russia: 7 Corporate Travel Security Risks

1. Cyber Security

Organizations and individuals should be wary of Russian communication networks. According to the US State Department, there is no expectation of privacy on these networks, and individuals should avoid transmitting personal or sensitive data through Russia’s technology infrastructure. In fact, many journalists covering the Sochi Olympics have reported that their cell phones and computers have been hacked since arriving in the country. As a result, visitors to Russia should use sanitized cell phones and laptops during travel, wiping them completely after returning home.

2. Corruption

Transparency International places Russia as 127th in the world in terms of corruption, making it significantly more corrupt than most Western nations. The bribery of public officials and law enforcement officers in Russia is a common feature of the business landscape. In some cases, police officers may extort money from businesses by demanding “protection” payments.

3. Terrorism

Coverage of the Sochi Olympics has highlighted the threat of terrorism in Russia. In late 2013, Russia experienced 3 suicide bombings. While Westerners are generally not the targets of these attacks, they could find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. Furthermore, the threat of terrorism will continue to persist in Russia after the Sochi Olympics. This is primarily due to the unrest in North Caucasus region of Russia, which shows no signs of abating.

4. Crime

While violent crime in Russia is higher than average, it affects native Russians more than foreigners. However, international visitors are commonly the target of mugging, pick pocketing, theft, and the spiking of drinks. Luckily, most corporate travel security professionals can provide training to travelers that will mitigate the risk of these types of incidents.

5. Minority Discrimination

According to the governments of the US and UK, discrimination against minorities is a known problem in many parts of Russia. There have been reports of harassment, intimidation, and occasional acts of violence against those of African, Asian, or Jewish descent. Additionally, recent legislation in Russia makes it unadvisable for homosexuals to talk openly about their sexuality or advocate for LGBT rights. Given this environment, firms should make extra effort to prepare and safeguard workers that could be affected by such prejudice.

6. Health and Safety

Corporate travel security managers should also be aware of Russia’s health and safety risks. The CDC advises that all visitors to Russia obtain a Hepatitis A vaccine due to the country’s higher than average incidence of the disease. Travelers are also cautioned against drinking tap water as it is generally unfit for consumption. Finally, pedestrians in Russia are encouraged to be extra cautious around streets and roadways. Pedestrians make up 40% of the traffic fatalities in the country, and many drivers will not yield to pedestrians, even at crosswalks.

7. Corporate Espionage

After China, Russia is one of the most active nations in the field corporate espionage. According to the US National Counterintelligence Executive, most of this activity occurs in cyberspace, although human agents have also been used. Companies working in the fields of clean energy, medical technology, military technology, and IT are common targets and should take extra precautions against this threat.

Learn More About IMG’s Experience in Worldwide Corporate Travel Security

IMG has extensive experience in international corporate travel security and has partnered with distinguished organizations worldwide. To learn more about the full range of corporate travel security services offered by IMG, please visit:

http://www.theimg.com/international-security-consulting.html

About the IMG Group

The IMG Group is a leading firm in worldwide corporate travel security. Corporate or business organizations concerned about their need for detailed and robust corporate travel security planning can reach out to the IMG Group for assistance. The company’s expert security consultants, available worldwide, provide services such as executive, employee, VIP, and expatriate travel security, risk and threat assessments, workplace violence prevention, crisis management planning, and more.

Web. http://www.theimg.com

Tel. (877) 887-9914 or (352) 460-4731

International Security Firm, IMG Group, Releases a 2014 Threat Assessment

imgsecurity.net/2014 Threat Assessment2014 will bring a host of challenges to firms and international security professionals. The global security environment is a constantly changing landscape and requires continual adaptation. 2014 will present an array of threats and challenges to organizations across the globe. In response, IMG (http://www.theimg.com/), a long-established corporate security firm, has identified 5 international security challenges for its 2014 threat assessment. While each organization faces a unique situation, IMG believes these 5 threats will be relevant to most global companies operating over the coming year.

International Security Threat Assessment

Below are the five challenges to international security annotated in IMG’s 2014 threat assessment.

1. The Middle East

The turmoil caused by the Arab Spring has made the Middle East a volatile place over the past several years. 2013 witnessed a continuing civil war in Syria, a military coup in Egypt, and a deteriorating situation in Iraq. These events demonstrate the region’s continued volatility. In fact, some observers think that instability could spread to other areas of the Middle East, posing further challenges to international security.

2. Cyberspace

No 2014 threat assessment would be complete without covering cyber threats and vulnerabilities. As is becoming widely understood, a comprehensive cyber security infrastructure is becoming a must-have for large organizations. Yet, as the recent data breach at Target demonstrates, even well established companies have a lot to lose if they do not make every effort to protect themselves. That is why cyber vulnerabilities need to be considered in corporate threat assessments.

3. Intellectual Property

Even though the crime often goes undetected, intellectual property theft may be the most costly threat companies face. According to the Commission for Theft and Intellectual Property, IP theft costs the US economy $300 billion annually, most of it perpetrated by China. While much of this theft occurs through exploited computer networks, traditional industrial espionage methods continue to be used, making it a significant international security challenge in 2014.

4. Supply Chains

Most established companies have large, complex, global supply chains. As such, the international security environment can have substantial effects on an organization’s bottom line. Luckily, there is some good news. Maritime Piracy, for instance, has dropped by 70% since 2010. Even so, other threats still persist. Supply chains can be interrupted by many things including weather, dilapidated infrastructure, crime, labor disputes and other events. Given the importance of global supply chains, IMG is including them in this threat assessment and will continue to monitor their integrity in 2014.

5. Labor Disputes

Disagreements between management and workers can sometimes result in work stoppages, reputational harm, and lowered organizational morale. In many cases, these disagreements are exacerbated by class divisions, real or perceived. According to a Pew Poll, 31 out of 39 countries surveyed reported inequality to be a very big problem in their society. While inequality seemed to be a particularly large concern in Africa and Latin America, it is a hot issue in the West as well. This can be seen in the demands for a higher minimum wage in the United States and the recent referendum in Switzerland on CEO pay. Given the global concern over inequality, some observers believe that there could be an increase in labor disputes and work stoppages over the coming year. Business leaders are advised to be mindful of this trend as they press on through 2014.

Learn More About IMG’s Global Perspective on Security

IMG believes that a comprehensive approach to international security can help multinational companies protect themselves in a globalized world. To learn more about IMGs capabilities in global security and international threat assessments follow: http://www.theimg.com/internationalthreatassessment.html

About the IMG Group

The IMG Group is a leading international security firm. Corporate or business organizations concerned about their need for detailed and robust international security planning can reach out to the IMG Group for assistance. The company’s expert security consultants provide services such as executive, employee, VIP, and expatriate travel security, risk and threat assessments, workplace violence prevention, crisis management planning, and more.

Web. http://www.theimg.com and http://www.globalsecur.com

Tel. (877) 887-9914 or (352) 460-4731