Monday, May 7, 2012

The Box approach to Executive Security:

The Box approach to Executive Security:

In developing a security posture it is often very wise to develop something called a "box" approach to security development.  The US Secret Service and others have often used variations of this approach. If you look at your home as a box, that you can secure, and your office as another box you can secure, then your greatest vulnerability is between those two boxes.  Travel status of any type increases your vulnerability level, and that is why most attacks occur while a person is in that status.

Once you get into your vehicle, it can also be considered a box, since it can provide a degree of security as well.  Now your greatest vulnerability moves to the extremely critical times when you are between your office or home box, and the vehicle box.  This is a best reason to have your vehicle housed in a garage: you can get into it and obtain a level of security prior to exiting the garage.  Since this is a critical point it is a very good idea to have a view of the street or alley way where your garage opens up to.  This can be a window that looks over the area, a mirror, or even a CCTV camera that shows the area...anything that will let you know something is wrong before you open the garage door.

Think of the places someone could lay in wait for you as your first leave. Where are the critical points before you can get to a reasonably safe 20 miles per hour?  These are where most ambushes will occur. They have two things in their favor: one, they know you always pass that point, and two, your vehicle is easier to hit and/or stop while it is moving less than 20 mph.   If there are options, like using another way out of the alley or turning another way out of your drive, do so every once in a while, to keep the bad guys guessing.

Remember that the vast majority of the time you will have been under surveillance prior to an attack, so this is the time to notice the bad guys.  Your attackers may be using a vehicle that can be traced to them; during most attacks, they will use stolen vehicles.  Jotting down plates and descriptions is not only helpful, but it keeps you more aware of your surroundings.  Say them into your phone's voice recorder, or better still, call a phone number that has a voice recording capability, since your attacker may also obtain your phone as well.

Many offices do not have secure garage space for your vehicle, in fact are often dimly lit and are prime areas for attackers to wait.  When possible, park your car where lots of other people can see it, and may notice any bad guy around it, or watching it.  Once again, try to get a view of the car and its surroundings prior to leaving you office secure box.  Mirrors or CCTV cameras can be a big help in viewing the parking spot of your vehicle.  Before you leave, check your office building's security system, which should have cameras that view areas around the building.

Most importantly, never leave your office or home box without a way to return to it, if needed.  This means have your office keys in your hand, ready to use, as well as your car keys. You want to be able to move to a box quickly if you see anything suspicious. 

Use the box method for any movement you make consistently that a bad guy can observe and plan his attack.  In Madrid, Spain, a high ranking official had a habit of going to a small chapel in a building on his way home everyday.  The bad guys spent over a month setting up a bomb under the road, right where his driver stopped the vehicle in the same place every day.  If he had altered his parking spot by even a dozen feet every day, he would have survived.  So look at other boxes as well: schools where you drop of your children, gyms where you work out on a consistent basis.  These are many areas with some level of security that you need to assess.

Another time we will work on how to assess the security of your box, and even improve it if needed.


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