Streamlining Security Operations Amidst Geopolitical Turmoil

While we’re unsure of the full repercussions global events will have on multinational corporations, there are ways security teams can better predict, assess, and prepare for potential threats. When geostrategic crises erupt, the risks to multinational corporations can be complex andunpredictable. While geopolitical conflict undoubtedly has had major repercussions on theglobal economy that will trickle…

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Collections from a Lifetime in Protection 

Anyone who has read my memoir Ghost: Confessions of a Counterterrorism Agent (Random House, 2008) knows I grew up in the Washington, D.C. area in the 1960s and 1970s. It was a different era when blue-collar families like mine could afford to co-mingle with the Washington power brokers and elite. Geography is always important, and…

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Minimizing IP Theft and Insider Threats During Times of Layoffs

This article was originally featured on Security Today Building out cross-functional collaboration between cyber and physical security teams will create a more unified approach, where a common language is established to better understand each department’s key priorities and processes. Doing so ensures there is collective monitoring of identified risk groups or individuals. It also ensures…

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Balancing Data, Leading By Experience

This article was originally featured in Security Magazine Just over a decade ago, I got my first glimpse into how digital technology would significantly change the security industry. I was working with a Fortune 500 company as an embedded contractor, and my job was to build its protective intelligence program. A seemingly innocuous comment on…

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The Need for Nuance in Protective Intelligence Part 4: Extinction Rebellion

This is the fourth installment in an occasional series examining threat actors from a protective intelligence perspective. Earlier articles in this series examined the Islamic State pole of jihadism, Antifa, and the Boogaloo movement. This article discusses the background of some of the activists behind the Extinction Rebellion campaign (XR), their ideology, their past activities, and the implications of this…

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Legal and compliance teams: Where do they fit in the physical security picture?

Legal and compliance teams engage with nearly every aspect of the organization, from labor law to contracts, to cybersecurity. The role they play to reduce workplace violence and other security risks often go unnoticed and are seldom discussed. It’s worth having those discussions, because legal and compliance teams often set workplace violence policies, interpret regulations…

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Messing With Their Heads: Manipulating and Detecting Hostile Surveillance

One of the fundamentals of TorchStone’s approach to understanding and countering criminal behavior is that attacks “don’t just happen.” Crimes of all types are the result of processes and behaviors that can be understood and detected. One of these key bellwether behaviors is pre-operational surveillance. Almost every criminal act, from a purse-snatching to a terrorist bombing,…

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What’s a Threat? That Depends on What Your Job Is

Extreme weather can stop trucks on the road and prevent key personnel from getting in the office, disruptions that can cost millions. Failure to comply with regulations can damage a company’s reputation and drive up operational costs.  These situations present real risks to the business.  Too often, executives in charge of managing one type of…

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Corporate Stances, Potential Blowback and Security Strategies

This article was originally featured on Security Info Watch The drumbeat of bad news for corporate security and risk management seems to be endless: blowback from the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, the mass shooting in Uvalde, Russia’s war in Ukraine, the upcoming 2022 midterm elections, the ongoing investigation and hearings…

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Personal Observations on the Evolution of Protective Intelligence

“We memorized them and if they were in the crowd they were brought to everyone’s attention.”  – Former U.S. Secret Service agent Jerry Blaine, The LANCER (JFK) Detail (email exchange on January 29, 2021) Author’s Note: Special thanks to Scott Stewart and Mike Parks, protective intelligence professionals who were with me in the trenches from…

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Wildfires: Why GSOCs Need to Monitor This Ever-Present Threat

Wildfire season has begun in North America and is proving to be more active than normal, just as we’ve seen over the last few years. We’re seeing a combination of drought conditions, above-average temperatures and multiple wind events in areas like New Mexico, California and Washington creating the ideal environment for wildfires. New Mexico alone…

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