Travel Security Considerations
Although you the reader of this blog may be a skillful and highly-trained security expert, it’s likely that the corporate executives from whatever company you are charged with safeguarding has both a need to do business both OCONUS and a lack of experience in dealing with personal or digital threats. These two basic threats are dealt with through different tactics, but ultimately, they’re both your priority and problem.
When a company makes the decision to either simply send someone abroad or domestically for a trip or on extended business trip, like expand to opening up businesses overseas, there needs to be a clear and present consideration to these various levels and facets of security. Those executives’ roles are clear cut to them and their bosses, but in doing their job, they become a risk and a target to bad actors who are looking to compromise them and the company in various ways.
While there are various degrees of danger in any kind of travel you do including domestically, it is very important to know the local situation – particulary in volatile regions of the world.
Travel Security Consideration: Establish Local Contacts & Connect With The US Embassy
If you’re settling in for a long and professionally active stay involving a lot of moving parts and people – like overseeing new construction for a Fortune 500 business or opening up the location of a new office branch in the area, it helps to establish contact or some kind of relationship with the local US embassy, police department, local government and security firm.
At most major U.S. embassies there is a team of people who can help you. One such group is LEGATs and they are part of the FBI. LEGATs are assigned to the embassies to protect the safety of U.S. business, among other US groups, while abroad. You’ll find that these legal attaches can be extremely useful if you or your company’s employees encounter big problems during their stay. LEGATs do not have jurisdiction internationally, but they do have strong local ties and work in tandem with the law enforcement agencies of the host governments to investigate when crimes occur against American citizens and companies internationally.
But going back to the group of organizations that can help you stay safe from day one – connecting with them before any crime or activity happens is only in your best interest. This will help you and the employees who will be working on the ground have the best chance of knowing about unsafe locations, local customs, under-the-radar threats, civil unrest and political upheaval. It’ll also help you avoid becoming a victim to corruption, whether it’s a minor shake down for what’s in your wallet or something big that affects your entire company. Corruption is common in many places around the world when inexperienced, uninformed and unprotected foreigners attempt to do business – or just walk down the street – in certain hostile places. Having a trusted (and well-compensated) local intermediatary can reduce these instances of crime and extortion.
Travel Security Consideration: What Local Kinds of Information Are a Must-Know
When conferring with your security contacts and consultants about the nature of your company’s project and determining the threat level for the people on the ground, you have to start with the basics before determining a plan of action to stave off those threats.
The general, big picture information to attain includes concerns about the types of security situations in the immediate area you’ll have people situated and where they’ll be doing business, common dilemmas, reoccurring crimes and persistent threats that might be present for U.S. or Western corporations working in the country or region. Are Western companies the targets of crimes such as extortion or kidnapping or a lot of street crime? Are there patterns to be aware of, in which case to learn from and avoid the crimes? Looking at the local crime reports from your contacts will help as well as talking to security contact at your employees’ place of lodging.
A key example of having immediate on-the-ground info came during the recent London Bridge attack on November 29. Kinetic Global was able to notify 20,000 users in the area within minutes of this event taking place so they could act safely. To put this timeliness in to perspective, we beat BBC News by 13 minutes in reporting this emergency.
Having a firm grasp on these issues – by researching them as soon as you know an international trip or project is going to happen and taking into consideration the valuable on-the-ground guidance from your local contacts and intermediaries is the place to start when building up a security plan to keep your company and the employees you’ve been tasked to safeguard away from harm’s way. This doesn’t include the separate issue of security digital assets like personal information, data and proprietary info, but that’s for another blog post.
If you’re in need of a service that addresses a lot of these needs with the simplicity of it being at your fingertips on your phone, consider the benefits of Kinetic Global’s Travel Risk Management Services. It stays out of your way when you’re safe and there when you feel you’re not.
Duty of care is front-and-center with Kinetic Global
Travel Risk Management is more than just reacting quickly when events unfold. In fact, the incident response should be the ONLY reactive piece of a sound Travel Risk Management program. Everything else (monitoring, threat analysis, training, and more) is part of sound planning and implementation.
The responsibility for the well-being and safety of your personnel falls squarely on your shoulders.
If there is any risk from disease, political unrest, crime, or anything else, moving your traveler to safety is paramount.
With Kinetic Global, you can protect the welfare of your employees – from the moment they leave the house until they return safely home.
From pre-travel briefings to real-time threat intelligence, Kinetic helps you ensure the welfare of your employees and protect your most valuable assets.
Kinetic’s Travel Risk Management services include:
- Expert analysis and site assessments with up-to-date intelligence on countries and principalities – so your team has a better understanding of threats on the ground.
- Global alerts and integration with Threat and Risk Intelligence
With EMNS, travelers can be alerted and notified of threats immediately
- Integration with Live Maps to monitor all assets and track travelers on land, sea, air, rail; and hotel stays.
- Regular check-ins and verified threat intelligence before, during, and after an incident until you know your people and assets are secure.
- Proactive support – Kinetic’s Global Security Operations Center is staffed 24/7 with medical and security personnel to advise you, your front-line staff, and your travelers worldwide.