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

Executive Summary: Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 Shot Down Over Ukraine

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.

Malaysia airlines air travel safety and securityThis 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

travel-security-firm-releases-visitor-safety-information-for-the-2014-world-cup-in-brazilThe 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.

Employee & executive security at meetings, conferences & eventsTo 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

Russian Aggression Against Ukraine and its Effect on Employee Travel Security in Eastern EuropeExecutive 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 onThe Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight and Stolen Passports: IMG Issues Guidance on Travel Security and Passport Protection 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 sochi-olympics-7-corporate-travel-security-risks-business-russiabe 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

international-security-firm-img-group-releases-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

Thoughts on Technical Surveillance Countermeasures (TSCM) from IMG, an International Security Firm

Technical surveillance is the use of “bugs” and other unauthorized surveillance technologies to intercept audio, voice, video, and/or data communications in order to access protected information. Technical Surveillance Countermeasures (TSCM) are international-security-firm-img-releases-guidance-technical-surveillance-countermeasures-tscmtechniques and technologies used to detect and defeat technical surveillance. Although technical surveillance and TSCM appear to be something out of a spy movie, they are very real issues for many government agencies, defense contractors, and tech companies.

Unfortunately, many individuals have little knowledge of technical surveillance and TSCM. In response, IMG, (http://www.theimg.com/) a leading international security firm, here provides some thoughts on a simple 3-pronged approach to technical surveillance and TSCM.

Technical Surveillance: Who is at Risk

Unlike other international security threats, most people are not at risk of technical surveillance. However, many at-risk individuals often underestimate the threat. Individuals at increased risk should be educated on Technical Surveillance Countermeasures (TSCM). These individuals include:

  1. The very wealthy
  2. Individuals who regularly deal with classified information
  3. Celebrities and those with access to celebrities
  4. Government officials and corporate officers
  5. Anyone who regularly works with sensitive financial, corporate, or
    technological data
  6. Companies that need to safeguard their intellectual property

Like individuals, certain firms and businesses are at a heightened risk of technical surveillance. Organizations working in the following industries should consider implementing Technical Surveillance Countermeasures (TSCM):

  1. Defense, Aerospace, and Maritime
  2. IT and Communications
  3. Energy (including Green Energy)
  4. Advanced Materials
  5. Nanotechnology
  6. Technology companies pursuing novel ideas and concepts

In addition to the above, high profile events where sensitive financial, corporate, and/or government information is exchanged can be considered at heightened risk of technical surveillance.

Technical Surveillance: The Warning Signs

Specially trained TSCM professionals are needed to detect technical surveillance. However, there are some warning signs to look for. At-risk organizations and individuals should be educated on the common indicators of technical surveillance. These indicators include:

  1. Unexplained leaks of information
  2. Signs of unauthorized entry without stealing
  3. Radio interference or unexplained static on electronic devices
  4. Repairmen arriving without notice
  5. Gifts or unexplained items placed in rooms were sensitive conversations take place
  6. Vans or repair trucks parked nearby with no apparent purpose
  7. Signs of tampering or modification to furniture, ceiling tiles, or electrical outlets

How to Contact TSCM Professionals if Surveillance is Suspected.

If technical surveillance is suspected, it is best to proceed cautiously. The steps taken to select a professional provider are critical, since it is not unknown for an unscrupulous individual to “find” a device in order to satisfy a perceived need.

Also, in order to maximize the chances of detecting surveillance, it is imperative that nothing is said or done to alert the eavesdropper. As such, conversations about bugs, information leaks, spies, and insider threats should occur in unaffiliated and random venues. Additionally, individuals should not use phones, faxes, or emails to contact TSCM professionals in the suspected target area. Ideally, TSCM professionals should be contacted through an unaffiliated phone line. From this point, the TSCM specialist will provide instructions on how future communications will take place.

Learn More About Technical Surveillance Countermeasures (TSCM)

Technical surveillance is a real threat, and international security professionals should take steps to neutralize it. To learn more about the TSCM services offered by IMG, please visit: http://www.theimg.com/technical-surveillance-countermeasures.html

About the IMG Group

The IMG Group is a leading firm in international security and TSCM. 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

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

IMG’s 5 Corporate Security Threats: What Firms Should Be Aware of this Holiday Season

The holiday season is an important time for many businesses, particularly retailers. Unfortunately, the season presents its own set of corporate security concerns. These range from employee theft, to cyber security, to the effects of blizzards on supply chain security. Additionally, the shift towards e-commerce is continuing to change the way firms protect customer transactions and their brand name.IMG’s 5 Corporate Security Threats: What Firms Should Be Aware of this Holiday Season

Due to the approaching holiday season IMG,(http://www.theimg.com/) a leading corporate security firm, is releasing a list of five security issues businesses should be aware of. These concerns range from physical and cyber security to the integrity of supply chain security.

1. Retail Theft and Corporate Security

During the holidays, one of the most well known corporate security challenges is shoplifting. Many thieves take advantage of the busy holiday shopping season to pilfer goods in the hopes that store employees are too overwhelmed and distracted to notice. According to the National Association of Shoplifting Prevention, $13 billion dollars are stolen from retailers annually. A disproportionate amount of this theft occurs during the holiday shopping season. However shoplifters are not the only culprits. According to the Centre for Retail Research, employees account for 55% of retail thefts, suggesting insiders present a significant corporate security vulnerability.

2. Cyber Security Vulnerabilities and Corporate Security

Every year, an increasing number of Americans are turning to online shopping during the holidays. According to ComScore, online consumers spent $42.3 billion during the 2012 holiday season. Given the fact that retail websites prove lucrative targets, online shopping comes with its own corporate security risks. By manipulating links on unsecure web pages, hackers can redirect customer traffic towards their own websites. The customer, still believing they are on the retailer’s site, is then prompted to enter credit card information. Clearly, cyber security issues such as these can have significant adverse consequences on brand image and customer trust.

3. Porch Theft and Supply Chain Security

While cyber security vulnerabilities present an upstream threat to online shoppers, porch theft represents a downstream danger. Porch theft is when a criminal steals deliveries off of a porch or doorstep. In some cases, thieves follow a UPS or FedEx truck through their entire route, pilfering deliveries along the way. Although this crime takes place on personal property, it still raises corporate security concerns. After all, many customers may feel that that the company, not the criminal, is responsible for the missing package. Ultimately, they may hold the seller responsible, posing reputational challenges to firms conducting online sales.

4. Identity Theft and Corporate Security

According to Equifax, consumers are more vulnerable to identity theft during the holiday season. This is largely because consumers are shopping more, and less likely to spot illegitimate transactions. Additionally, many criminals run scams during the holidays, selling fake products or masquerading as charitable representatives. These types of scams leave consumers vulnerable to identity theft. The reason this is a corporate security concern is because purchases made with stolen identities can result in heated transaction disputes.

5. Inclement Weather and Supply Chain Security

When it comes to supply chain security, winter can pose as serious a challenge as criminals. Ice storms and blizzards often cause supply chain disruptions that delay deliveries and inventory replenishments during a critical time of year. In fact, the Farmer’s Almanac is forecasting a colder and snowier winter for 2013-2014, meaning supply chain disruptions could be more common this holiday season. Given the interlinked nature of national supply chains, weather events in one region could cascade into disruptions in other areas. Firms dependent on just-in-time deliveries should take steps to ensure the integrity of supply chain security.

Learn More About Corporate Security During the Holidays

The holidays are a crucial time of year for many firms, and threats to physical and cyber security can significantly affect profit margins. To learn about the full range of corporate security services offered by IMG, please visit: http://www.theimg.com/services.html

For those wishing to learn more about IMGs experience with international supply chain security please follow: http://www.theimg.com/supply-chain-logistics-security-consulting.html

About the IMG Group

The IMG Group is a leading firm in corporate security and international supply chain security. Corporate or business organizations concerned about their need for detailed and robust corporate 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

Supply Chain Security in Bangladesh: IMG Analyzes the Business Environment in Light of Current Political Instability

On November 11th, Riot Police in Dhaka, Bangladesh clashed with protesters, leading to multiple injuries and at least one death. The demonstrations were sparked by the arrest of five opposition leaders, two of whom were members of Parliament. On the same day, over 100 garment factories in Dhaka were forced to close due to ongoing worLogistics Risk Assessment on Bangladeshker unrest and demands for a higher minimum wage. Unfortunately, the current instability in Bangladesh may continue as controversy continues to swirl around the 2014 January elections.

Given that Bangladesh is the world’s second largest textile exporter, many are starting to become concerned with the country’s business environment. Due to the recent instability in Bangladesh, IMG Group,(http://www.theimg.com/) a leading firm in international supply chain security, is analyzing the integrity of Bangladesh’s current business environment.

Recent Court Cases and Supply Chain Security

After Bangladesh’s 2008 elections, an International Crimes Tribunal was established to prosecute war criminals for atrocities committed during the 1971 War for Independence. During 2013 this court passed down multiple death sentences to prominent members of BNP and Jamaat-e-Islami, two prominent political parties opposed to the current government. Groups inside and outside of Bangladesh have criticized these trials as unfair and politically motivated. As a result of this perceived injustice, the convictions handed down by the tribunal have sparked protests and demonstrations throughout Bangladesh.

However, the Tribunal has not been the only legal controversy to destabilize the current business environment. On November 5th, 152 defendants were sentenced to death for a bloody 2009 mutiny perpetrated by a military border guard unit known as the Bangladesh Rifles. Given the sheer scale of the sentence and the fact that 70 suspects died in custody, there is concern there could be further unrest. Such instability may pose additional challenges to supply chain security in the country.

Recent Labor Disputes and the Effect on the Business Environment

In addition to the recent court cases, there have been other threats to supply chain security in Bangladesh. Many garment factory workers have been staging protests across the country, demanding a higher minimum wage. There seems to be a good deal of sympathy for these workers given the hazardous conditions they are exposed to.

As a result of these protests, the government recently increased the minimum wage for Bangladesh’s garment workers by 77 percent. While this
wage increase is substantial, it is significantly less than what was demanded by some labor groups. As a result, protests over wages may continue to be a factor in Bangladesh’s business environment.

Upcoming Elections In Bangladesh and the Impact on Supply Chain Security

Bangladesh is set to hold its next national elections at the end of January 2014. Due to the enmity between the two major parties, there is concern that these elections might increase the political instability in Bangladesh. After all, 2013 has been racked by protests stemming from the controversial death sentences passed down to prominent opposition figures. Additionally, several labor groups aligned with the opposition are likely to continue their demonstrations demanding a higher minimum wage.

In response to the political turmoil, the ruling government’s cabinet has resigned to make way for an all-party government to oversee the general election. However, it is uncertain if the BNP-led opposition will accept this move. Unfortunately, if the two sides do not resolve their issues soon, there is a possibility of large-scale election boycotts, threatening the legitimacy of the next government of Bangladesh. As such, if the political impasse in Bangladesh is not settled quickly, IMG projects a deteriorating security and business environment for Bangladesh in 2014.

Supply Chain Security: What Organizations can Do

The recent events in Bangladesh highlight the political and economic complexity that can impact supply chain security. For global corporations, maintaining visibility on the business environment across multiple countries can be a Herculean task.

However, firms can and should seek assistance in order to manage such issues. IMG has a great deal of experience in maintaining supply chain security and mapping the stability of local business environments. To learn more about IMGs experience with international supply chain security please follow: http://www.theimg.com/supply-chain-logistics-security-consulting.html

About the IMG Group

The IMG Group is a leading firm in international supply chain security. Corporate or business organizations concerned about their need for detailed and robust supply chain 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