Several weeks after Hillard Heintze had conducted a comprehensive risk, threat and vulnerability assessment for the largest convention center in one of the United States’ leading metropolitan markets, the center’s Senior Director of Safety and Security called with an idea.
“Among the risks to our operations outlined in your report,” she began, “are that an organized group or lone individual could launch a planned attack on our facilities, operations or attendees. You suggested we consider engaging countersurveillance as a mitigating strategy, among others, right? Let’s talk about having you come explain to us what that means.”
The Hillard Heintze Solution
Two weeks later, Hillard Heintze conducted a detailed seminar for senior members of the convention center’s security team. The presentation and subsequent discussions focused on countersurveillance as a means of integrating the potential value of many different areas of security surveillance training – from strategy and methodology to people, process and technology.
Topics covered included, for example, how to identify vulnerable and high-risk areas; conduct sporadic surveillance; use technology as a force multiplier; and engage both active and passive steps to counteract hostile surveillance and both detect and deter adverse planning.
Impact on the Client’s Business
This information helped the convention’s security planners understand how to integrate technical surveillance countermeasures into a full-scale security program. They now view this important strategy as an effective tool designed to identify, but preferably not engage, threats against the event, operations, individuals or the facility as a whole. “I can see,” said a senior director, at one point, “that, if properly planned and executed, countersurveillance is one of the ways we can enhance safety and security without being obvious, intrusive or restrictive.”
Unplugged: The Project Manager's Post-Engagement Perspective
“In this case, based on the client’s needs and requests, we focused principally on human countersurveillance strategies designed specifically for their operating and facility environment.
For another client, though – say a corporate security group tasked with responsibilities related to executive protection, intellectual property protection and headquarter security – we would ensure this seminar also covered electronic countersurveillance – such as periodic TSCM (technical surveillance countermeasure) sweeps of the boardroom, executive offices and cars and any corporate jets used for executive transportation.”