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

Hurricane and Typhoon International Travel Tips for Business Executives

Natural Disasters and Travel Safety

When organizations and/or businesses think about travel safety, they tend to focus on foreseeable threats such as crime, health issues, or unsafe working conditions. Even though natural disasters can come about quickly, organizations can prepare their people in the basics of travel safety.Hurricane and Typhoon International Travel Tips for Business Executives

The superstorm Typhoon Haiyan, which recently made landfall in the Philippines, is a recent example. Even though the Philippines had less than a week to prepare for this Typhoon, there were steps business travelers could have taken to increase their travel safety.

Typhoon Haiyan Hits the Philippines

On November 7th, Typhoon Haiyan began to make landfall in the Philippines. One of the most powerful storms ever recorded, Typhoon Haiyan’s winds reached as high as 175mph and produced 40-foot waves. Many parts of the Philippines were left absolutely devastated by the storm. Although the search for survivors continues, officials fear that Typhoon Haiyan may have left as many as 10,000 dead in the Philippines.

In addition to the humanitarian devastation in the Philippines, Typhoon Haiyan has also caused quite a bit of economic damage. Many airports are still closed leaving many travelers stranded. Furthermore, many ports in the Philippines have been damaged by the typhoon, dealing a large financial blow when it is least needed.

Large storms such this typhoon provide more lead-time than other natural disasters such as earthquakes. Even so, the Philippines had less than a week’s notice to prepare for Typhoon Haiyan, meaning many travelers were unable to evacuate in time. That is why business travelers should understand how to prepare for and survive a superstorm like Typhoon Haiyan.

Modern storm tracking is accurate and the information about a storm’s intensity is widely available. As with any political evacuation, often the safest course is for executives to consider leaving the area while transportation remains available.

Travel Safety Essentials: How Business Travelers and Executives Should Prepare for Typhoons

It is important to know that Typhoons and Cyclones are essentially the same as Hurricanes. The term “Hurricane” is simply the name used for storms in the Atlantic while “Typhoon” is used for storms that originate in the Pacific. This is an important point because preparing for a Typhoon is essentially the same as preparing for a Hurricane — something many people living in the American Southeast are accustomed.

However, business travelers will often encounter Typhoons in places that they are not familiar with. That is why an essential component of travel safety is to always know the area. Particularly, business travelers should know how to quickly locate law enforcement, medical, and transportation facilities.

If business travelers find themselves in the pathway of a Typhoon they should heed the following travel safety tips:

  1. Have an emergency kit with five days of food and water, a hand crank radio, flashlights, and plenty of batteries.
  2. All electronic items should be elevated and unplugged. If there is a significant threat of flooding, the electrical mains should be switched off.
  3. Windows should be boarded up, and all outdoor items (deck chairs, potted plants, bicycles) should be moved indoors.

During a Typhoon, travelers should seek shelter in the interior of a building away from windows. Those residing in high-rise buildings should try to stay in a protected area below the 10th floor. This is because wind strength increases at greater heights. During the Typhoon, individuals should listen to the radio for important safety and weather updates.

After the Typhoon passes, business travelers still need to be cautious and heed the directives of public safety officials. Normally, residents are asked to stay in their homes in the initial hours following a storm. Individuals should not walk or drive through flooded areas as these could be contaminated. Tap water could also be unsafe to drink and should be avoided until authorities have a chance to determine its potability.

As can be seen, there are many steps business travelers, executives, and other corporate travelers can take to ensure their travel safety. To learn more about IMGs experience with international travel safety see: http://www.theimg.com/travel-executivesecurity.html

About the IMG Group

The IMG Group is a leading firm in international travel safety. 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

IMG Suggests ‘Must Check’ sites for foreign travel.

Importance of Information in Travel Security

The Incident Management Group, a leading international travel security firm, has recommended three resources for safety and security research. Many organizations are trying to ensure that they meet their duty of care obligations for traveling employees. As such, it is vital that these organizations have access to the most current and comprehensive information on international travel security. IMG is recommending three sources that security and safety researchers can consult for current and comprehensive travel security information:

  1. Government sponsored websites
  2. Professional security organizations
  3. Private travel companies

Top International Travel Security Firm, the IMG Group, releases "must check" sites for foreign travelThese sources can help ensure that organizations meet their duty of care obligations by having a comprehensive picture of the international travel security environment.

3 Top International Travel Security Resources

Government Websites

Government sponsored websites, such as those sponsored by the US State Department and the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office, offer excellent real-time information on international travel security and safety issues. These organizations are often the first to release breaking security and safety information as well as travel advisories. Additionally, they are backed by government institutions. This means that they are able to harness the research and input of hundreds of security, intelligence, diplomatic, and safety professionals. Due to the sheer amount of resources that go into their construction, government sponsored sites are often the primary resource for many travel security and safety professionals.

Examples of Government Sponsored Links:

Professional Security Organizations

Although government resources are critical, international travel security and safety researchers should consult other sources in order to maximize their security and safety obligations. In this regard, professional security organizations can often prove valuable. These organizations can provide researchers with relevant information or put them in contact with experts in a particular field. ASIS international, possibly the most well known professional security organization, puts out a number of publications and newsletters on safety and security topics. Their daily and weekly publications are particularly vital for researchers who want to stay in the know.

Professional Security Organization – ASIS: https://www.asisonline.org/Pages/default.aspx

Private Travel Companies

International travel security and safety researchers will also find that private travel companies offer a wealth of information, as well as routine and emergency security support when needed. Not only can these websites tell you what hotel to stay at, they also can highlight possible safety and security concerns. Some sites host user forums where recent visitors can post their experiences online. Although sometimes unreliable, such postings can provide information on emerging dangers and popular scams that may be missed by professional and government organizations. Lonely Planet is a particularly good resource as it provides comprehensive information on almost every travel destination. Common topics of interest include travel security and safety, health and medical care, visa requirements, safe transportation, and common problems faced by travelers.

As can be seen, there are steps organizations can take to maintain robust travel safety standards for all of their employees. To learn more about IMG’s experience with international travel security see: http://www.theimg.com/international-security-consulting.html

About the IMG Group

The IMG Group is a leading firm in international travel safety. 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 and response, crisis management planning, and more.

Web. http://www.theimg.com

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

Planning for the Unthinkable: Advisory on an Active Shooter Response Plan and Corporate Security

Violence by mentally unstable individuals, although infrequent, can have catastrophic consequences for a business or workplace.  As such, every organization should have emergency response plans for outlier events of violence. Disturbed former employees, members of the public, or even terrorist groups can target company buildings and campuses. When such events are carried out by perpetrators moving and shooting their way through a facility, they are known as “active shooter” events.

Advisory on active shooter emergency response, corporate securityBut can an organization or individual plan for the unthinkable? This security advisory lays out some simple steps towards better organizational and individual response plans for unforeseen violence. Indeed, an active shooter response plan should be part of a larger and more comprehensive emergency response plan. Furthermore, it is critical that such emergency plans have the backing and buy-in of the organization as a whole.

Organizational Planning: Steps Towards a Plan

A desire to create a security response plan is the first organizational step. Management must recognize that what may seem like a tranquil environment today can become a violent struggle in the blink of an eye.  From incidents at the Navy Yard in Washington DC, to terrorism in Kenya, to college campus events, it is quite clear how quickly things can become ugly.

Secondly, a comprehensive organizational plan should focus not only on aspects such as employee background checks but also on rudimentary security measures such as perimeter defenses and video monitoring. Additionally, access controls can prove vital to deterring, detecting, and neutralizing possible aggressors. For example, if gun violence is a potential threat, detectors can be installed and search protocols can be implemented. Furthermore, organizations should seek to incorporate evacuation and lockdown procedures into their emergency plans in the event of an active shooter scenario.

Third, a plan should focus on all aspects of a threat. Disgruntled employees may not resort to just to violence. For example some may engage in cyber attacks, IT sabotage, or other sorts of “non violent,” yet destructive, efforts. A comprehensive emergency plan should begin with an organizational recognition of the unthinkable and then proceed to a comprehensive response plan, covering each reasonable threat scenario.

Bringing in recognized security professionals can provide that outside perspective and expertise to turn the desired organizational intent into a comprehensive emergency response plan.

An Individual Plan: Be Prepared

What if your organization does not have a plan? Below is a simple individual active shooter checklist that can be adapted to almost any environment.

Step 1: Run

Step 2: Hide

Step 3: Take Action

Step 1 (Run) means that an individual’s first priority is to evacuate the area quickly and safely. If this is impossible, then it is best to move to Step 2 (Hide), finding a closet, stall, backroom, or other area of concealment. It is important to note that any concealed place that can be locked from the inside offers an extra layer of protection.  However, if this too proves impossible then the individual has no other choice but to proceed to Step 3 (Take Action). As a last resort, an individual should attempt to utilize whatever means to subdue the shooter.

While comprehensive emergency plans are preferable, in the absence of organizational guidance, an individual emergency response plan can prove vital in an active shooter scenario. Luckily, this is relatively easy as individuals can mentally run through this simple 3-step checklist in almost any environment.

About the IMG Group

The IMG Group is a leading international travel security firm. Corporate or business organizations concerned about their need for detailed and robust emergency response 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

As a Military Intervention in Syria Looms, IMG Group Analyzes the Middle East Travel Security Implications of a US / Syria Conflict

Crossing the Red Line: US Military Intervention in Syria Looms as the Nation’s Civil War Worsens

The current civil conflict in Syria has now been raging for over two years and is beginning to threaten regional and international security. In many ways the conflict has become a proxy war, as Turkey and several Arab states have backed the Syrian rebels while Iran and Russia have continued support the Assad regime.

As a Military Intervention in Syria Looms, IMG Group Analyzes the Middle East Travel Security Implications of a US / Syria ConflictAlthough the West feels that the Assad regime should no longer rule Syria, it has been reluctant to fully embrace the Syrian rebels, providing only tepid support. However, the Obama administration has said that the use of chemical weapons would be a so-called “red line” the use of which could trigger a US military intervention in Syria.

In August, the Syrian military launched a chemical weapons attack against the eastern Damascus suburb of Ghouta, killing as many as 1,500 people. Although there have been chemical weapons attacks in Syria before, the latest attack seems to have been more brazen and larger in scale.

In response to the Ghouta chemical weapons attack, US officials are now planning a potential military intervention in Syria. As it stands now, such an attack is likely to be limited to aerial and naval bombardment. Even so, such a strike will impact regional and international security. As a result, IMG Group, (http://www.theimg.com/) a top international security consulting firm, is analyzing the potential impact of a military intervention in Syria on international security. In particular, there are important implications for corporate and employee security across the Middle East.

The International Security Consequences of a Military Intervention in Syria

A military intervention in Syria, even one limited to bombardement, could have a significant effect on international security. Although few endorse the use of chemical weapons, many people around the world feel a strike will only worsen the situation. As such, the most obvious consequence of a military intervention is a proliferation of protests and demonstrations around the world. Within the United States, there are likely to be protests around government buildings, public spaces, as well as the offices of legislative officials. Globally, there will be protests outside the embassies and consulates of the United States and any other nations supporting military intervention in Syria.

The international security threat is particularly high in Lebanon. Despite its use of chemical weapons, Syria’s ally, Iran, may retaliate through a proxy. The most likely being Hezbollah based in southern Lebanon. As such, Western citizens and facilities in the Lebanon are at particularly high risk. In fact, the United States has already withdrawn all non-emergency embassy personnel from Beirut. Additionally, the French (who support intervention) are worried that troops assigned to the UN mission in Lebanon could become targets.

As in Lebanon, international security experts are concerned that a US military intervention in Syria could spill over into Iraq. According to the Wall Street Journal, an intercepted message from Iran’s Quds force directed Shiite militias in Iraq to retaliate against Western targets in the event of a military intervention in Syria. There is also the possibility that an escalation of hostilities in Syria could exacerbate Sunni-Shiite tension in Iraq, further threatening a fragile security situation.

Finally, a military intervention in Syria could affect security on an unexpected front: Cyberspace. Cyber attacks could hit civilian as well as military targets, taking down websites and disrupting essential services. The group of hackers known as the Syrian Electronic Army has already disrupted the New York Times and Huffington Post websites in addition to defacing the US Marines recruiting website. However, Syria has international allies as well. Sophisticated hacking groups in Russia with ties to the intelligence services may retaliate in response to a military intervention in Syria. Additionally, Iran has recently invested vast sums into its Cyber forces and may deploy them in the event of a Western strike.

Conclusion

There will be significant security consequences in the aftermath of a military intervention in Syria. After the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime, many feel that a US-led military intervention is close at hand. International security professionals should be mindful of how an escalation in Syria could affect the regional and international security environment.

There are many things firms and organizations can do to respond effectively to international security threats. To learn more about IMGs experience with international security see: http://www.theimg.com/international-security-consulting.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

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