This year, executives and ordinary employees have increasingly faced physical threats from inside and outside their companies, prompting corporate security teams to look for ways to better protect employees – especially those who work from home, security officials said.

The coronavirus pandemic has led to numerous layoffs, reportedly causing resentment among former employees. And companies that have taken a stand on social issues are increasingly targeted by threats in social networks. The same applies to some companies that have not taken a position.

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Risk and compliance protocol

Our Morning Risk Report contains information and news on governance, risk and compliance.

Sensitive issues for corporate security teams : Many employees who work from home because of the pandemic do not have the security features such as identification systems or a safety sign at the reception desk that are common in company offices. If the threat is credible, remote workers and their families may find themselves in a more vulnerable position.

In some cases, corporate responsibility extends from the office to the house, he said.

Mike McGarrity,

Vice President of Global Risk at Global Guardian LLC, McLean, Va, which specializes in corporate security.

Companies and their managers have long been the target of protests or threats. But we see more when there are political tensions or economic uncertainties, said McGarrity, former deputy director of counterterrorism at the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

According to McGarrity, Global Guardian has seen an increase in demand in recent months from companies requiring physical security assessments and threat management advice. Threat management can include monitoring comments in the social media, determining which comments are credible and then coordinating with law enforcement agencies.

Mike McGarrity, Vice President of Global Risk at Global Guardian.



After the attacks of the 11th. In September 2001, following the strengthening of security in government buildings, many companies and office rental companies increased security. But this tactic can’t protect the distant workers, he said.

Fred Burton,

General Manager of the Center for Protective Intelligence, Austin, Texas Research Unit Software Development Company Ontic Technologies Inc.

The private sector has pushed the threat all the way to the Home Office, said Burton, a former U.S. State Department anti-terrorism officer. Most owners have a very simple security system. You’re lucky you have staff with alarms.

According to a recent study commissioned by OnteCenter, 69% of CEOs experienced a dramatic increase in physical threats to their organizations this year compared to last year. The investigation interviewed 300 executives, including safety, legal and compliance officers, in U.S. companies with 5,000 or more employees.

According to the study, managers’ main concerns are ensuring the safety of remote workers, identifying potential threats to reduce liability, and managing the amount of threat data, such as social media reports, law enforcement reports, and information about people who have threatened the company or its employees in the past. More than a third of them fear that this fear will be manipulated by security personnel, the number of whom has decreased due to the economic impact of the pandemic. But 80% of them expect their operational budget for physical safety to increase in 2021.

Fred Burton, Director General of the Ontario Defence Intelligence Centre.


Joshua Cook Lane

To reduce risk, more and more corporate security teams are reviewing emergency plans, updating employee location information and improving physical security, and making efforts to monitor and assess threats from open sources such as the Internet, Burton said.

In his view, it is advisable for companies to dismantle the bunkers between departments in order to ensure coordination of protection efforts. This recommendation is in line with the guidance issued last month by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission, which calls for closer links between compliance departments and risk managers, focusing on a wider range of business risks.

For example, in the absence of better communication, a threat monitored by personnel may be unknown to the Company’s Legal Department or security team. It’s a dysfunction I see every day, Mr. Burton.

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Write to Jack Hagle at [email protected].

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