Executive protection services comprise the systems, techniques, and personnel that work together to protect UHNWs, executives, and other notable individuals.
Over the years, the approach to providing executive protection services has changed to a large extent. From focusing on physically visible to covert protection, prominent and wealthy individuals are asking for ever more increased levels of security. And for a good reason!
As time passes, well-known families and individuals are becoming more vulnerable to increasingly sophisticated attacks on their:
- Property, or
- Physical and mental well-being.
Psychology of Attackers and Victims
Threat actors typically want to make financial gains, inflict injuries due to perceived grievances, or otherwise intrude. To preclude these attacks, executive protection services provide a 360-degree perspective to ensure nothing unexpected happens.
However, it's worth keeping in mind that an EP team can never provide 100% safety — no matter the experience or the renown of the protector. The reason is that it's never possible to account for all risks in the environment, as they keep piling up by the week.
In other words, there will always be more factors that present a danger. Yet, an experienced and well-organized team of executive protection professionals will be able to prevent or interdict against the vast majority of intrusions, attacks, and other threats. To do so, they usually use a risk assessment and similar tools of the trade.
Worryingly, however, many celebrities and publicly notable individuals still harbor false beliefs. For example, that they will be safe and sound if only they stay away from crowds. In addition, some think they can get away from fixated individuals by avoiding leaving their estates.
However, both examples show that they would need to sacrifice their livelihoods, freedom of movement, or engagement with the public in order to stay safe. So, let's unpack this misconstrued idea first.
Balancing Comfort and Security
Executive protection services are all about striking the right balance between reasonable security and superb comfort. Similarly, high-ranking individuals should not feel miserable in an armored vehicle if this is an irrational tier of protection. In fact, the security personnel needs to consider the comfort of the protectees by asking them what would make them less anxious and more cozy.
Here, a piece of advice is in order: The protectees should have the final word for their security. In light of this, their EP company must not force upon them their view of how security should work. Simply put, the EP agents need to advise the protectee and find common ground.
To that effect, the executive protection team must be able to allow the protectee to enjoy their lifestyle, work how and when they please but also have their security concerns assuaged. If any of the three pieces is missing, we suggest hiring another EP company!
For illustration, suppose you are scheduled to speak at a very public conference downtown. You expect hundreds of government officials and high-profile businesspeople to attend. Therefore, your attendance is a must due to the potential consequences your company could suffer from shareholders if you don't show up.
However, your bodyguards tell you that they can't make it happen. The reason? Well, they are not sure how they could get you inside the venue in and out safely. So what do you do in this instance?
Of course, the answer is that you will likely attend it despite their reluctance. After that, it's up to the security personnel to conduct a site advance and implement other safety precautions to help you move and conduct business seamlessly!
Covert Security and Executive Protection Services
Not all security must be visible to the public eye. In fact, if you have protection professionals following you around the city, this probably means you are a person of affluence or influence — or both. Thus, it's not advisable to attract unwanted eyes, as this leads threat actors to believe they could:
- implement a crime of opportunity,
- make gains by intruding into your personal space, or
- record your movements.
That is where covert security becomes invaluable for executive protection services. For one, this method implies that the protectees know their protectors are close. However, it also suggests that the environment is ignorant of their presence. Both things are useful in different ways.
For instance, if threat actors are unaware of nearby EP agents, they could attack the protectee without considering the fact. Typically, this would result in thwarting the intrusion way before the protectee gets hurt or suffers an embarrassing situation.
With that in mind, we don't view covert protection as the best method. Instead, it's only one in a toolkit of approaches. In some cases, covert agents would be the best solution. In other instances, overt security — including onsite bodyguards — could be a better option. But, again, it depends on the situation and function.
For example, suppose the protectee intends to present themselves as wealthy and prominent to others. In this event, they would want to have executive protection agents by their side for everyone else to see.
At any rate, the security personnel and the protectee should jointly decide on the type of security approach used. Doing so allows both parties to express their concerns and do their best work in their respective fields.
When it comes to protecting the wealthy and prominent, their security staff must consider a multitude of protection elements. Some of these include but aren't limited to:
- Whether or not they travel often,
- Routes between home, office, and anywhere in between,
- If they have a family, children, household staff, etc.
These considerations should become a constituent part of a threat, risk, and vulnerability assessment. For example, a TVRA takes into account the main protectee's immediate environment, the venues they visit, and the vehicles they use.
In other words, this approach helps the EP team protect them from embarrassment and harm proactively — not reactively. And this is arguably one of the best ways to safeguard the lives and assets of prominent and otherwise notable individuals. That is to say not waiting for an attack to happen but doing everything in one’s power to prevent them from occurring.
Bedrock Special Projects provides peace of mind by implementing executive protection services to benefit prominent individuals, their families, and corporations. The Art of Executive Protection – Delivered with Elegance by Design.
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