Are You Equipped?


One aspect of risk mitigation is to ensure that clients are given every piece of security advice
possible; however, the way in which the appropriate intelligence is given is key to how effective
it can be. This article explains that a personal security briefing is one option.

The victim of a kidnap complained, after being released, that he had followed the security
recommendations every day. The security guard at the company confirmed his boss would
arrive at various times in the morning, that he varied his routes, sometimes arriving from one
direction and sometimes from another. He said his boss even varied how he arrived, i.e., the
use of several cars he owned; he received rides from others, and took taxis from his home to
work. So why had the kidnappers taken him? How did the kidnappers know where he was
going to be?

The guard confirmed that his boss always parked his car in the same space every day, and he
was kidnapped as he left his parked vehicle!

The aforementioned case happened in Mexico. Though the victim had been given a security
briefing and he was aware of the risks around him, he did not apply all of the tools he had
learned to every aspect of his daily routine.

In a review of cases managed over a six-year period, out of those briefed, only three individuals
had been kidnapped.

The purpose of security briefings is to enable individuals to recognize the risks that surround
them, and then how to respond to those risks. However, this is only possible by following
certain criteria for a successful briefing such as a wide range of topics, a qualified presenter,
and continuing preventive training.

The following is a list of topics that should be covered and highlighted with client-specific

  • Relevant kidnap case studies
  • How kidnappers work
  • How individuals are targeted
  • How to become a difficult target
  • Should a kidnap occur, how best to survive
  • Problems specific to the locale

The quality of the security consultant who gives the briefing is of equal importance. The
consultant should have several years of onsite case management experience, he should have
lived in country, or at least be genuinely familiar with the culture of the countries in which
clients live and work, and have near native language capability. In times of crises, clients want
to know that they will have immediate access to an experienced consultant who will give them
specific and time-tested advice.

Another aspect of effective preventive training is that of the follow-up briefing. To renew skills
and review changing kidnap trends helps to guard against future threats.

By following these standards when looking for the proper service provider to perform a security
briefing, clients will be confident that they and their family members will be best equipped to
mitigate risks after they are trained.