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Four Priorities in Protecting the C-Suite

The C-Suite refers to those executives with a "C" in their title: CEO, CFO, COO- you get my drift. Not all companies may have these titles but there is usually a baseline or rank of importance within a business. When we think of these positions we think top floor, big offices, comfy chairs, large salary, plus their own assistant. In fact if we ever reach that level we think of it as the pinnacle of our career. This level of status or hierarchy comes with immense responsibility, stress, accountability, and there is always someone asking to take the executive's valuable time. In executive protection not only do we provide physical protection of the executive but we try to optimize their valuable time as well. To them time is money. We support the ebb and flow of the business, known as their business continuity. Since the job consists of protecting the executive from embarrassment and harassment it is extremely important that we protect the brand, their reputation, and any other proprietary information. Here is a list of four priorities when truly protecting the C-Suite.

1. Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity has become a strategic and growing risk to executives. Malicious cyberattacks are headlining newspapers and media outlets around the globe, including here in the United States. We need to think beyond ease of use and assumptions of data protections and ask the tough questions.

*Are we protected? Are we doing enough?

*What is the financial impact if a data breach occurs?

*Do we have a data recovery plan in place?

Employ some sort of technology solution in place that balance security and ease of access and operations. Maintain an acute awareness and focus on possible insider threats. This means you must know your options and limitations when monitoring employees.

2. Monitoring Social Media

Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) is a proactive counter intelligence measure that has been available to protective security teams for quite sometime and can be done with the use of an ever so common smartphone. Relatively few corporations realize the benefits of protective information, insights and intelligence that can be gathered by monitoring social media. OSINT can offer a round the clock protection since social media never sleeps.

It allows you to: Uncover escalating behavior demonstrated by angry rants, calls to action, or cyberthreats; monitor websites or blogs for reference about the executives, their families or their assets; misinformation designed to damage reputation can also be discovered; you can gauge public sentiment in real time; lastly you can track and analyze an individual or a groups various interests.

3. Workplace Violence Prevention

The C-Suite can be a prominent target for workplace violence. Workplace Violence can occur by an employee or because of a hostile termination, an outside entity who is not fond of the business values or representation of the business or executive, a relationship dispute that ends up on the doorstep of the business where your executive is located, it could also include a disgruntled vendor or client of the executive.

Protective benefits to the C-suite include:

*Early indication and identification of clues and red flags that offer a great chance of intervention before violence occurs.

*Higher employee morale, better productivity and lower liability if an incident occurs and the correct prevention-oriented steps have been followed.

4. Risk and Threat Assessment and Management

The fourth priority critical to protecting the senior executive team is excellence in the identification, assessment and management of behavioral threats – and intervening before a potential attacker embarks on a path toward violence. This requires establishing robust protective intelligence collection capabilities. It also means enhancing open-source intelligence and social media monitoring, as I referenced above. it also requires, in most cases, conducting a security survey on executive residences and ensuring, at minimum, that baseline security elements (such as CCTV, alarms, panic devices) are in place. For executives at high risk, there is a much broader spectrum of protocols that should be considered – from safe rooms and in-home protective details to having the company’s Security Operations Center monitor the executive residence’s security systems and alerts.

-Semper Tutum Semper Vigilanti-

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