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From the desk of: Johnnie L. Mock PSP Security Consultant Postfach 12 87 66267 Kleinblittersdorf Germany E-mail: email@example.com Web: www.jmock-consult.com Phone/Fax: 49-6805-615971
Risk Analysis, Asset Protection, Physical Security Audits, Security Training and Development, Firearms Training Programs. I am board certified by ASIS as a Physical Security Professional. For more information on my cost effective services please visit: www.jmock-consult.com Vol. 1. Issue 2. Welcome to our second edition of Security Consultant Monthly. I was surprised and pleased at the response I received about the first issue, considering it was a beginning effort. If you like this monthly, please pass the link on to your associates. I am truly happy to report that I was notified by the ASIS Professional Certification Board that I successfully passed the examination for Physical Security Professional and am now board certified as a PSP. I am also still soliciting contribution articles from any security field, and will give both name credit and a link to your website for any published article. So, if you ever wanted to expound on a security subject to the security community, here is your opportunity, (as well as to get some free exposure).
In this issue 1) Consultants Musings: Do your clients trust you? 2) Stories from the Field: “The Stranger”. Or how NOT to enforce minor rules! 3) Book Review: Risk Analysis and the Security Survey 4) Product Review: 5.11 clothing 5) Product Review: Steelbag 6) Computing for Consultants: Vopt9 defrag 7) Personal Safety: Taxis 8) Final Word: Consultants Musings Do your clients trust you?
The security industry exists to protect its clients (and therefore society) from the most untrustworthy elements: Criminals, terrorists, as well as the assorted nitwits and morons that plague modern society. So it is obvious that anyone involved in the security industry should be trustworthy, and especially from the point of view of the client. The proof of trustworthiness comes in many forms. Many government contracts require security clearances with the attendant background checks. Employers run serious background checks and check references of potential employees in the security department. The non-disclosure agreement is standard fare for the consultant-client relationship. But in our industry, trustworthiness goes beyond the official paperwork, and extends into personal recommendations based on proven track records. In other words, it is about your reputation. Security professionals often have access to some of the most private and confidential information that a client possesses. Consultants doing site surveys see the innermost workings of access control systems that protect client property. IT specialists often have access to valuable company proprietary information. Executive Protection specialists often become aware of much personal information concerning principles and their families. Unfortunately, much of this information gets passed around and not necessarily in a deliberate attempt to compromise the client. I once knew a bodyguard that enjoyed telling in graphic detail some of the most personal information he was aware of concerning one of his steady protectees and his family. I often wondered what the reaction of this client would be if he was aware of this information being exposed. I haven’t seen this gentleman in years, but I am sure that this character flaw of his eventually caught up with him. I myself find that I need to be especially on guard when I am sharing experiences and information with other security professionals where it might be easy to be lulled into a false sense of “security”. I spent two years as a security supervisor and finally site trainer at the American Embassy in Kabul Afghanistan and I am very careful in what I discuss about it, even with other security professionals.
Success in the security industry is based on knowledge, experience, and a reputation for confidentiality. During the Second World War, America was plastered end to end with various versions of posters exclaiming, “Loose Lips Sink Ships” In our profession, loose lips can sink more than just ships. They can sink careers. So, do your clients know that they can trust you?
Stories from the Field
In the security profession we often perform enforcement functions that rub people the wrong way. Security often requires people to do things that they don’t want to do, while at the same time preventing them from doing things they want to do. There is a right way, and a wrong way to enforce rules, regardless of whether you are a corporate Chief of Security, or a newly hired security guard. The following is a short story I wrote for a college English class many years ago. It is based on a true incident that actually happened during the war in Vietnam. I wrote in the first person and added a few minor details, but the story is basically true as it happened. It isn’t really about security rules per-se, but it speaks volumes about how to enforce rules in general. And how not to. Enjoy. Think. And teach your people to think.
“The Stranger” By Johnnie L. Mock
In the fall of 1971, I was a twenty year old Infantry Sergeant in a Rifle company of the 101 Airborne Division during the war in Vietnam. Our unit spent a great deal of time in the jungle. The Army policy at that time was that each soldier was entitled to a week’s expensepaid R&R (Rest and Relaxation) trip to some exotic place such as Hong-Kong, Bangkok, Singapore, Sydney or Honolulu. When my turn came, I opted for Bangkok, and was sent to our rear area base camp on the next resupply helicopter. I was given a clean uniform (the one I had, I had been wearing for two weeks), and a hot shower. Later, I ate my first hot meal in quite awhile, and felt like a real human being for the first time in a long time. Since the next flight to the R+R center wasn’t until the next day, I had to spend the night at the base camp. I decided to catch the evening movie at the outdoor theater, which was situated in the middle of an old abandoned Vietnamese graveyard. It also had a small Enlisted Men’s Club just next to it, and I decided to purchase some adult libation to enjoy with the movie. Only about 25% of the soldiers in Vietnam were actually involved in combat, and I was one of them. The rest were rear area support soldiers. WE called them REMFS (an acronym, the first two words stand for “Rear Echelon” (or area) and I will leave it to your imagination to decide what the MF stand for. Anyway, entering the club, I noticed there were only two customers, both “rear area” types, playing spades at a table, and the bartender, an OBVIOUS rear area type, stocking the cooler behind the bar. At that time the Army club system had a rule against wearing your hat at the bar. Each bar
had a small brass bell hanging over it, and if the bartender rang the bell before you removed your hat, you had to buy the bar a round before you could be served. Knowing this, I insured that my hat was off before standing at the bar. The bartender gave me a cold look and said,“ What do you want?” Eyeing a glass door cooler that had two bottles of Cold Duck, I made my decision. As I didn’t have enough money to buy both bottles, I ordered one. The bartender retrieved the bottle and placed it on the bar before me. As I reached for my wallet to pay for it, the back door opened, and “The Stranger” walked in. I have always thought of him as that, “The Stranger.” During the war, each of the Armed Forces and some civilian agencies had covert operations troops doing top secret missions. They always wore non-standard uniforms, such as the popular “Tiger Stripe” fatigues, and no rank or other identifying insignia. The Stranger was one of these. He had obviously been in the field a long time. He had that tired, haggard look that only combat troops get. Walking to the bar, he placed his M-16 rifle on it, dropped his rucksack at his feet, and in a soft, polite voice asked the bartender for a beer. He hadn’t taken his hat off. Walking to the bell, the bartender rang it, and began railing about stinking nasty field troops who never took baths, always wanting to break the rules, and that the stranger had to buy the bar a round to be served. I myself took exception to the bartender’s comments as I too was a field troop (although recently bathed.) However, before I could say anything, The Stranger removed his hat, and in a polite voice said, “Buddy, I’m sorry I forgot the rule. I don’t have enough money to buy the bar a round. Just enough for one beer, and if you will sell it to me, I will leave and drink it somewhere else” The bartender immediately began a tirade of verbal abuse against The Stranger, ending with, “And now you can get your stinking ass out of my club!” You could have heard a pin drop. The two spades players stopped playing and began watching, but I was the only one to see the subtle change come over The Stranger’s face. And to understand what it meant. Grabbing his M-16 rifle with his right hand, he flipped it over, aimed it at the bartender’s midsection, and flipped off the safety. It was the loudest “click” I had ever heard. The bartender, suddenly realizing he had gone WAY too far began stammering “Whoa, slow down, it’s O.K., you don’t have to buy the bar a round!” The Stranger replied, now in a different, cold, icy voice, “That’s right, I’m not going to buy the bar a round. YOU are! Set them up and move fast!” The bartender, now sweating intensely, tossed the spades players two cans of beer, and set one on the bar in front of The Stranger. He had forgotten about me, as I was standing behind him. The Stranger nodded towards me and said, “The young Sergeant too!” The bartender turned, retrieved the other bottle of Cold Duck, and set it on the bar before me. The Stranger used his left hand to stuff his beer inside his shirt, replace his hat, and grab his rucksack, all the while keeping his rifle aimed at the bartender’s midsection. He slowly backed towards the door that he had come in, and said to the bartender, “The next time you want to give a hard time to the people who are REALLY fighting this war, try remembering tonight!” and he disappeared into the darkness. The bartender stood in shock, jaw open, and I realized I had about two seconds to take advantage of a golden opportunity (and a little poetic justice as well!). Grabbing both bottles of Cold Duck (neither of which I had paid for!) I sprinted past the spades players and out the front door. As the warm darkness enveloped me, I heard the bartender yell, “Hey, come back here with those bottles!”
Later, while comfortably leaning back on a Vietnamese gravestone, watching Rod Steiger play Napoleon, I opened my second bottle of Cold Duck. Closing my eyes, I envisioned The Stranger. I remember whispering into the night, “Buddy, I don’t know who you were, but you will always be an A number one rice paddy daddy to me!” And I drank to his good health
Book Review Risk Analysis and the Security Survey Third Edition James F. Broder CPP Butterworth-Heinemann ISBN 13: 978-0-7506-7922-0 ISBN 10: 0-7506-7922-0
This is an excellent text the title of which actually belies the tremendous amount of information it contains. Mr. Broder takes the reader through the intricacies of risk, vulnerability and threat identification, risk measurement, quantifying and prioritizing loss potential, and cost benefit analysis, all in a very readable and understandable way. This is by no means a dry text. He gives an overview of the security survey and discusses in great detail the survey report and the methods of good writing. His chapter on determining insurance requirements is understandable even to the novice. Part 2 of the book is devoted to emergency management and business continuity planning. The appendices section gives the reader lists such as security survey work sheets, professional practices for business continuity planners, and much, much more. This text is required reading for anyone studying for the ASIS Physical Security Professional examination and is a must for anyone involved with security surveys or business continuity. It is available to ASIS members at a discount at their online bookstore.
Product Review 5.11 Clothing
The 5.11 line of clothing has been well known to law enforcement, military, and security contractor types for a long time. But many security professionals who work in more genteel environments may not be aware of the practical and comfortable items they produce for almost any occasion. From tactical pants, shorts, jackets, and shirts, to fashionable polo shirts and jackets, they have something for every security professional. The item under review this month is their tactical shirt, which come in both short and long sleeve, cotton and polyester, and in nine different colors. They are available in both men’s and women’s cuts. Don’t let the term “tactical” put you off. I have worn these shirts in both tactical environments in Kosovo and Afghanistan as well as casual wear on the street. They are extremely well made and look sharp. I particularly like them for traveling by air because of the two concealed breast pockets, as well as being extremely comfortable for travel. These two pockets are Velcro closed and when properly closed, look like a seam. I put my passport in one side and spare cash in an envelope on the other. The only way a pickpocket is going to get your goodies out of these pockets is if you are dead asleep. Pictures from their website.
They also carry a covert casual shirt with closures that look like buttons but allow quick access to a shoulder holster for those whose duties require that they be covertly armed
You can check out their complete line of clothing and gear at: http://www.511tactical.com/Shop
Product Review Steelbag
If you have need for a truly armored case to carry computers, sensitive equipment, ect, this is truly an excellent quality line of cases. Made in the Netherlands, and are strong and lightweight. I do not own one of these, but had the chance to examine one first hand at a PSP training session in Corsendonk Belgium. They come in a complete line ranging from a small case for valuables all the way up to trolley luggage models. They use a truly massive cable to secure the Steelbag to anything you care to lock it to. There is a full line of accessories to customize any model. You can check out their complete line at: http://www.steelbag.nl/
Computing for Consultants Vopt9 Defrag
If you are like me you probably have at least two computers, a desktop for home/office, and a laptop for travel. And you use them both. A LOT! Time is always of the essence, and a slow computer is often more than an aggravation. Two basic elements determine how fast your computer will function: The amount of memory, and how fragmented the disc is. Many of the programs we use now in the industry tend to fragment hard drives rapidly requiring defragging often. I have never liked the defrag program that came with any version of Windows. They are S L O W! Because of this, there are a number of defrag softwares on the market: some free, some cost, some work well, some don’t. Vopt 9 by Golden Bow is a program that not only works well, it is fast. And they give you a full function 30 day free trial, and then it is $40.00 to register it for one machine. This program defragments the hard drives of both of my computers faster than any program I have ever used. It has a number of extra features such as disc clean up, and some tools to enhance computer health. If you find yourself defragging your hard drives often, this is an excellent choice for an after market program. Available for download at: www.goldenbow.com
Personal Safety Taxis
Those who travel often usually have the need to utilize local taxis for personal transportation. In most places in the US or EU, you are perfectly safe, but there are some common sense procedures you need to follow even in these locations, not to mention less developed parts of the world. It is important to insure that your cab is an authorized taxi. Most international airports scrutinize the taxis available there, but it is always a good idea to get information on reliable taxis from your local contact before hand. Most places require that the driver have his picture license available and on display. Make sure the face matches the picture. Plan your route before hand using the most available maps. Tell you drive how you want to get to your location. This lets the unscrupulous ones know that the old “round the block four times to increase the fare” probably isn’t going to work on you. Insure he actually turns the fare meter on to avoid a later dispute about the proper amount. Carry enough small denomination local currency to handle the fare without having a “no can make change” hassle. And last but not least, insure that whatever cab you get into has functional door handles and lock buttons and that the door does not automatically lock. Some honest cabbies have taken to removing the rear inside door handles and automatically locking the doors to protect themselves from those who refuse to pay. However, this leaves you totally trapped in case of a severe accident, or if the cabbie wants to take you for a ride you hadn’t planned on.
We enter this New Year with many uncertainties. A new American President has been elected which will affect the security policies of the United States as well as the rest of the world. Terrorism and crime continue to escalate, and the current worldwide economic difficulties will undoubtedly fuel the fires. But the security industry will continue to evolve with new tactics, techniques and technological advances to combat evolving threats. It is important to stay current in the most recent best practices methods. Networking with other professionals will continue to be increasingly important to the security professional, not only for client and job references, but to stay on top of the important information being generated daily that can have great bearing on any particular job assignment. We actively solicit articles from fellow security professionals as well a feedback from readers! I am particularly eager to hear from IT and Executive Protection professionals! And as always, we wish you a safe and profitable New Year! Johnnie L. Mock PSP
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