In the West, politically motivated attacks have surpassed the rate of religious attacks, which declined by 82% in 2022. In fact, this year saw five times more political attacks than religious ones. To that end, government officials, politicians, and other public figures have turned to security consulting services to elevate their safety.
Based on the needs and objectives of your organization or your personal pursuits, you likely face a certain level of risk:
- Fixated individuals,
- Environmental and other groups, and
- Politically motivated threat actors.
Although this is not an exhaustive list, it proves the range of risks high-ranking individuals encounter daily. Likewise, their frequent movement domestically and internationally exposes them even more. As a matter of fact, the prominent and wealthy needn't only take care of their immediate environment but also be able to manage risk surrounding their home office.
Interestingly, however, those who communicate threats often don't pose a real threat. And here is where a thorough threat assessment can tell you what you should be looking out for. In this regard, one of the warning behaviors would typically be making direct threats. But only at face value!
In fact, research suggests that most attackers on public figures don't threaten beforehand. Security experts posit that only up to 5% make threats and then execute them. Consequently, the direct threater should not be the sole point of focus of the security team. However, this binary notion between those who direct threats and those who don't may be misleading.
The reason? Well, it depends on the mental, social, and economic circumstances the person finds themselves in. All these and other factors will determine if the person will strike or not.
To help you better understand the nuances of this topic, this article explores why you probably need security consulting services!
How to Recognize an Attack (And Interdict)
Security professionals with years of experience typically say that preventing an attack is the number one rule in executive protection.
However, it is never possible to account for every single threat and thereby thwart it miles away. As a result, some risks will occasionally materialize even when the protective detail thinks far ahead. Hence, the key is in interdicting before they harm the protectee or cause embarrassment.
In other words, the executive protection team must recognize the early signs of an attack that could be seconds away. To that effect, physical positioning is crucial. When we say physical positioning, we mean being in the right spot around the protectee to react immediately. This can signify the difference between life and death.
Along similar lines, suppose the security team grows complacent or distracted in their everyday work. As a result, their reaction time to attacks could be greatly prolonged in critical moments. And that is where security consulting services can yield benefits. For instance, an expert in this field may compile a set of tools to manage risk, including:
- Threat, risk, vulnerability assessments (TVRA),
- Security training, and
- Internal security initiatives.
Additionally, any company or high-profile individual requires a detailed plan to aid in ongoing and future security processes. What's more, these need to align with the client's workplace culture. With that end in mind, consultants must implement industry best practices and standards backed by practical knowledge and real-world experience.
The Hard Target Lifestyle
In many cases, attacks on high-profile families, corporate leaders, and celebrities are perpetrated by individuals who already were part of their inner or outer circle — or at least with their assistance. Consequently, such inferences can make wealthy protectees paranoid, doubting their associates, household staff, and even distant family members.
With security consulting services fit for purpose, you can drastically reduce the likelihood of adverse events happening. For one, security professionals recommend a protection method that has been proven timeless: target-hardening.
Briefly, hardening the target means imposing as many obstacles as possible around the protectee to deter intruders. But, to avoid embarrassment, injury, or reputational damage, security risk advisors would first counsel you to identify risks, threats, and vulnerabilities.
The second step entails creating a security plan with risk mitigation measures. Some of these could come in the form of:
- Security patrols,
- Asset protection,
- Alarms and motion detectors, and
- CCTV monitoring.
In other instances, introducing threat-target surveillance and access control points would make more sense. At any rate, the more target-hardening circles, the better.
With that said, however, the protectee should not feel edgy or uncomfortable whenever they leave their home due to so much security. On the contrary, they must enjoy the comfort of their environment while also knowing that they are under the watchful eye of their protectors.
Thus, it is the job of the protection professionals on-site to assuage all security concerns by using target-hardening methods to deter or slow the aggressor down.
When collecting data through security consulting services, there is often a social component that goes into the threat assessment. For instance, we recommend sitting down with the protectee, their PA, and closest family members to discuss plans that may have gone unreported.
These individuals will likely reveal previous plans and information made in relation to the principal, including:
- Spontaneous vacations,
- Disclosure of the home address to journalists,
- Divulging daily movement to friends or connoisseurs.
All these aspects must inform the threat assessment, making it the cornerstone of the protectee's safety. In any case, we advise taking all threats seriously, even though you know that attackers making the threat are unlikely to actually strike.
But generally speaking, there are three proximal warning behaviors you should be looking out for:
- Pathway: any planning, research, preparation, or implementation of an attack;
- Identification: where they move from being preoccupied or fixated with the target to becoming an agent to attack that target;
- Last-resort behavior: determination expressed in one form of the statement: "I must act and I must act now."
If anything, the world is becoming a place with an increasingly complex threat landscape. Hence, we advise engaging a team of adept security professionals to keep you, your company, and your family out of harm's way!
Bedrock Special Projects provides peace of mind by implementing security consulting services to benefit prominent individuals, their families, and corporations. The Art of Executive Protection – Delivered with Elegance by Design.
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