Contingent on the industry, scope of the company, political views, geography, and reputation, corporate executives potentially could face many threats and dangers. Executive protection, also referred to as close protection, describes the safety and risk procedures taken to ensure the security of VIPs, celebrities, executives or any person who may be at risk because of their place of employment, notability, wealth, connections, or location.
Executive protection began in the 1970s and was created by the U.S. Secret Service to protect foreign leaders visiting the country. Executive protection is it`s very own specialized security. Executive protection services requires risk assessment, pre-planning, and lots of groundwork to ensure that the safety and protection of their intended individual goes to plan.
With the convenience of social media, people in prominent positions can instantly face backlash and threats. These comments and threats can reach millions of people in minutes, VIP`s, and executives quickly confronted with serious risks to their lives, or lives of loved ones. The profession of protecting executives is more than physicality. Cyber breaches are a higher risk for organizations, and corporate leaders are an easy target for assailants.
An executive protection specialist protects important corporate leaders from life-threatening disasters, all while being very inconspicuous. A professional at protection needs to have certain qualifications, such as military training and experience, strong communication skills, excellent writing skills, strong customer service experience, effective judgment and decision-making skills, impeccable driving abilities, first-rate computer literacy, proficiency with firearms, and knowledge of martial arts.
When a corporation hires an executive protection service to keep their corporate leaders safe, the executive professionals will follow these principles to assess how to keep their clients safe:
Perform risk analysis – Run an inclusive risk analysis. This analysis should identify individuals and organizations that are important to the business and assess the impact to the company if the client becomes unsafe. Questions in the analysis that needs to be answered are: is there a history of threats? Does the client travel frequently and travel to dangerous places? When are they most vulnerable to an attack?
Present a resilient case for protection – Having their work and personal life under observation will make some executives displeased. There is a need to show executives why security is important. A way to entice an executive into accepting protect is by having them do a Google search of themselves. This search shows how much information someone can pull up on them and their families. It proves how vulnerable they might be to an attack.
Keep clients informed on scams – Executives in business are the largest targets for cyber attacks such as phishing and whaling. Executives are easy targets because of their access to very important data. Fundamentally, executives are made aware of what to be on the lookout for, should an attack occur. A phishing or whaling attack targets top employees, such as CEO`s, to steal confidential information. The attackers’ long-term goal is to trick the victim into consenting to send large amounts of money through wire transfers.
Have rules for travel – A plan and policies need to be in place for travel. As with any executive position, travel is usually a must for meetings, speaking engagements, etc. Traveling does put the client at a greater risk. Keeping executives aware of policies, and what is and isn`t allowed during their travel is important.
Those who have managed executive protection know the range of risks involved and that protection of a person is completely different than keeping a building secure. People cannot be kept secured in a building. There are numerous ways that a determined attacker can target an executive, including their family. There are multiple types of executive protection, that can work for your business. Protection services are divvied up into these categories:
- High-level threat protection for public figures traveling globally
- Protection for wealthy corporate executives
- Protection for celebrities.
Categories are characterized by the extent of available resources for the job, and the type of surroundings they run in regularly.
Executive protection services are regulated in the United States and generally require licensing, insurance, training, and a concealed carry permit.
Legal executive protection business will be able to provide a client with the following:
- A State Issued Business License
- Copy of liability insurance
- Registration to provide protective services
- Certificates and ongoing training for each executive protection agent
- Registration for agents to carry weapons for personal use
- Carry concealed permits
When selecting a business to provide executive protection, it is important to ensure that they can provide all this information, are following state laws, and are regulated.