The Trojan Horse No One Saw Coming: Protecting Yourself Against Internal Threats
A high-profile individual typically hires a security detail in order to protect themselves against “External Threats.” Armed robberies, physical altercations, overly aggressive fans— these are all external threats that pose danger and harm to their physical health and safety.
However, another security threat exists that is seemingly overlooked, yet just as important to insure against – “Internal Threats.” Internal Threats are the complex system of interpersonal relations, company culture, and personnel disciplinary history that have the potential to become a threat to the high-profile individual’s security.
It’s the Trojan horse no one saw coming.
Kent Moyer, CEO and Founder of the elite protection services World Protection Group (WPG) and 001, illustrates how each relationship, whether personal or professional, can become a potential security threat with his “Law of Intersecting Circles.”
Personal Security: The Law of Intersecting Circles
At the center is a circle, which represents the high-profile individual and his immediate family. Intersecting with this circle are all the employees that the individual hires that are intimately involved in their day-to-day affairs—nannies, security detail, chefs, etc. While these circles already pose a potential threat to the internal affairs of the high-profile individual, the security breach becomes further amplified when taking into consideration all the other circles that are intersecting with those of the employees.
For instance, let’s say the nanny has a boyfriend who coerces her into sending him embarrassing photos of the high-profile family. Or, the individual’s personal security guard has a troubled past that may complicate and compromise the trust that is afforded to them.
Personal Security and Social Media
In the modern social media age, Internal Threats have become arguably more likely to cause harm than say, an individual showing up at your door step with a gun. The high-profile individual’s public image, sensitive personal information, and the safety of their friends and family are all at risk in the face of Internal Threats that can be just as endemic, pervasive, and deadly as a virus.
Internal threats can lead to client lawsuits, sexual harassment claims, employee theft, fraud, extortion, child abuse, and many more crimes.
Internal Security Threats and Employee Work Culture
Internal Threats can also rear their ugly heads as a result of a toxic work culture—something the World Protection Group and its invitation-only elite 001 service specialize in addressing. Disloyal and discontented assistants may intentionally sabotage the safety of the client by poorly coordinating vehicle and client pickups. In a previous client case, a billionaire client’s Director of Security coordinated a string of salacious allegations, bulling of the security staff, intimidation, and sabotage as a result of their poor relationship with the client and the contract executive protection. Many times there are internal power struggles between the assistant, estate manager and the Director of Security, and contract security can be caught in between on these daily clashes.
For WPG and 001 clients, the following are just a few services that are offered to them in order to protect the client against Internal Threats and to create a positive work environment:
1. Extensive Background Checks
Both WPG and 001 use the Reid technique when interviewing all their potential security personnel—a technique widely used across law-enforcement agencies to extract information from uncooperative individuals before you hire them. Social media checks before the interview and after they are hired are necessary. The candidate’s previous work and personal history is thoroughly investigated. During the interview process, they are made to feel comfortable enough to be transparent about any blemishes on their record that may pose potential threats to their client’s safety. The goal is to have these potential security threats addressed before they are assigned with protecting their high-profile client. Background checks- Criminal, civil, social media checks, restraining order, credit (when handling money).
2. Drug Testing and Random Drug Testing
The workplace should be drug and alcohol, free. In the past clients and even employees had major drug and alcohol problems which can pose many security threats to clients.
3. Psychological Assessments
Psychological Assessments are crucial in understanding the mental health state of the security personnel. Narcissism, grandiose ideas of self, and other personality disorders are tested for when assessing the mental state of security personnel. The mental psyche of security can help better understand their potentially complicated personal history and better assess their fitness in supporting their high-profile client beyond just protecting their physical security.
4. How the law of intersecting circles works and creating a gold standard workplace and culture
The “Law of Intersecting Circles” underscores just how crucial a healthy teamwork culture is in securing an individual against internal threats. WPG and 001 both institute and promote the Gold Standards in fostering a positive, family-oriented work culture that has security personnel develop a deep sense of loyalty for their client and overall positive attitude towards their work. Both current and future employees are also assessed on their compatibility and adaptability to the company’s work culture. They must exhibit the capacity to be a team player and be motivated to strive for the success of each member of their team. In so doing, the risk of internal sabotage and betrayal is significantly reduced. The goal is to create a strong emotional connection to the client and not get caught up in the internal battles. Build the relationship with the client that they see you only have the mission to anticipate his or her needs and deliver a WOW factor every day in your security team’s performance. As it is with any luxury item, it’s all in the paying attention to details and executing a daily memorable experience for the client.
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