Natasha here, the Communications Director for PRS! As a former Disney cast member I could not be more elated to tie magic into security. All thanks to my old friend, Carlos Francisco, the Corporate Security Translator. Carlos applies the principles he learned at Disney to every security position he holds and believes if more people did that in our industry, leadership would be at all time high level of efficiency and brilliance. He has a rich history at Disney (21 years), as the Parks Security Manager and then moved on to Amazon and Facebook. In addition, Carlos’s passion is to help people cross over in corporate security and just launched his new book, So You Want to Get into Corporate Security?.
The first thing that has to be set right in Carlo’s security M.A.G.I.C. tactics is “M”indset. Carlos says a security professional needs to understand that when they are walking into a potentially hostile/volatile environment, it’s probable the security agent will not be liked. If they can come in with the proper mindset, understanding the situation, they will learn to not take that personally.
Carlos says as a manager/leader, you have to take interest in what people are saying, whether that’s your clients or the employees. Critical success points are vital for Carlos. He says for management brilliance, as a leader, you have to be vulnerable and individualize approach with everyone you come into contact with. Whether it’s a guard, the VP of the company or an accountant, everyone should have the same mission and contributing to make that mission successful. He always leads by example with all of his employees as well. At Disney, if there was a moment where bag checks needed to begin, he was the first to jump on and lead. Carlos’s favorite tactic was “friendship walks.” Watch the video to check it out what that means and be sure to continue to visit our website for more videos just like this one.
In the past year, we have seen the media become the target during protests/riots. It is imperative when security agents are guarding media personnel, they know how to handle an always evolving situation. That’s the topic is this week’s video series, “Strong, Safe & True,” with Scott Castleman. Scott is former law enforcement, instructor, and owns an investigative and security firm. Castleman actually teaches courses on how to keep the media safe.
Protecting media comes with its own separate challenges. With most guarding situations, a plan is formed and enacted. In the news business, it’s hard to have a plan, as crews are constantly redirected and you are typically dealing with crowds that are always moving and could become unruly in a matter of seconds. Scott says that’s why he always has one hand on his client while moving through a crowd. He has learned little tricks along the way, like not turning on the light on the top of the camera until absolutely necessary and learning how to blend in with the crowd, to not attract attention.
Scott says the biggest mistake security companies tend to make is when the first flash bang hits, agents grab media personnel and take them away. He says it’s important to understand, that the chaos is what the media is there to capture. So agents need to learn how to effectively protect the media amid the drama, not yank them out as soon as it starts. This can be tricky but Scott says anyone he protects knows if he says it’s time to go, it’s definitely time to go.
One other thing to watch for is what you say because media crews typically are streaming live, even during downtime in a protest. That means anything that is said is broadcast for all to hear. For more tips check out the video and remember to visit our website for more videos like this one!
Scot Walker is a private investigator and a veteran mentor. Walker helps former military and law enforcement transition into the private security sector. He says a new influx of those particular careers is coming and companies can invest in them and technology to stay relevant, hence build resilience.
We talked about how the differences in generations and the difference in interest in certain types of careers and what that means. He says the generation that will take over the workforce in the coming decade, is more technology driven and less service oriented. Meaning, there will be some that want to serve as police officers or members of the military, but not as many as in years past. He believes we also need to change the way we are defining change within police departments. Given the lack of necessary officers across the country, he suggests “reimagining” police departments instead of “defunding” them. Walker says we need people with a background of being resilient and he hopes to help brings some of those folks into all facets of corporate America, not just the security world. His motto is leave no one behind. He says that means companies have to invest in people and people have to invest in themselves.
We also talked about the importance of staying resilient during these times of crisis and change. Walker says, “We can plan for the invasion of Eastern Europe and we do plan for that in the military. What we are seeing in future war is what we are seeing today. Russian hackers getting into meat supply and oil companies. That is a training run, that’s practice. Our future war will always have a large cyber component and we need to be ready for what’s coming.”
The three takeaways Walker gave us: 1) Invest in People 2) Invest in Reforming Archaic Processes 3) Invest in technology but be smart about it. Don’t put yourself in a position of not being able to do business if that piece of equipment fails.
Walker offers much more knowledge and thoughts for both employers and employees. Check out the video below and be sure to visit premierrisksolutions.com for more videos.
Are you planning a trip to Vegas anytime soon? I would like to give you a few tips and share my insights. Normally, we stick to security in our blog but Las Vegas is one of our featured cities we provide service for and we love Vegas here at PRS. So, we are taking a minute to help you navigate concerns from a firsthand experience.
You can see the effects of the pandemic in almost every city in America. That includes Sin City. One of the biggest things I noticed during my recent trip was around employment. Like many businesses, restaurants in Vegas are having a hard time finding enough employees to fully staff a restaurant. So what does that look like? Not as many restaurants are open and some of those are not at full capacity. That means you will likely have to wait longer to receive food or some of your longtime favorites may not even have the doors open (or, if you’re lucky, simply have reduced operating hours). Choices are obviously limited and hours vary greatly. This was especially noticeable during the breakfast hours. I could only find one restaurant open before 9am in the vicinity of my hotel, Vdara, on a Tuesday morning.
We provide security for large events/conventions in Vegas, so I went to look at the new addition to the Convention Center. If you are planning on attending a conference or similar event there, you should know to expect it to be a mostly similar experience to what it was like pre-COVID. Mask mandates are minimal (only if you have not been vaccinated yet). There are no temperature checks. Attendees are ample; perhaps not at the level of pre-COVID yet but more than you might think for not being out of the pandemic just yet.
Rideshare services, while available, cost more than before (expect about double) as there is large demand but reduced drivers than pre-COVID. For instance, a taxicab ride for an equal distance on the strip to that of a rideshare service on a Sunday afternoon was half the price of the rideshare service.
If you’re used to walking the Las Vegas strip and seeing entertainment and people all around, you will find them however not as plentiful as before COVID. In fact, you are apt to see an equal number or more of undesirables walking the strip.
I enjoyed returning to Las Vegas and to what is mostly considered a return to normal however temper your expectations for a full return to normal for likely a few more months time at least.
Please feel free to connect if you have any questions, security or otherwise, email@example.com!
It is now in the hands of companies across the U.S. to ensure their employees feel safe when they return to the office. Stasha Wyskiel is the Senior Director of Resilience, Global Safety and Security at Salesforce and sat down with us this week for our series, “Strong, Safe & True.”
Wyskiel says at Salesforce they are taking their time and slowly bringing vaccinated employees back in through phases. They are also implementing new policies, simple things that help people stay safe. Things like no more community candy jars, instead offering individually wrapped portions of all foods, including in the lunchroom. They also have a clean desk policy. Cubbies instead are offered, and everything must be cleared off a desk and placed in a cubby at the end of the day. Wyskiel says the last thing they want to do is to force employees back into the office if they’re uncomfortable. That’s why the majority of employees are given the choice to stay at home through the end of the year.
At Salesforce, Wyskiel is being proactive with her management style. She is focusing not only on employees’ physical safety but also their mental health. Recognizing the stress the pandemic has placed on so many, she has started a guided meditation before meetings and has more contact than ever with employees working from home.
Since the pandemic has had profound changes on how companies do business and the needs for certain areas of service have changed, Wyskiel talks about how they are looking at how roles will be redefined. Watch the video to hear that and be sure to continue to visit our website for weekly videos!
This week we are discussing TSCM. For those of you who don’t know what that means….. this is from Art Lesser, 25 years in the security industry and President of Merit Security. “TSCM is a government term that stands for technical surveillance countermeasures. What that entails are things like de-bugging, sweeps, looking for devices that could be eavesdropping.” TSCM investigators look for audio or video devices that are surveilling you or your company. It’s essentially an audit to protect against loss or breach of privacy and confidentiality.
This is a concern in not only office buildings, where cell phones could very easily be leaking information unknowingly, devices could be planted….but also from someone’s home if that’s their new office. Working from home has increased the need to protect privacy and confidentiality because there isn’t that same level of security as the corporate environment. There are random people, cleaning and contracting, coming in and out of the house. That presents opportunities for listening devices to be easily placed throughout the home.
Lesser says there are so many things companies need to be thinking about. For example, telephone wiring could be running throughout the house that could be easily compromised. A reminder to also not forget about telephone boxes mounted outside the house. Those need to be frequently checked, as well as any other type of boxes outside.
As technology progresses, so does the opportunity for hackers to invade. With new 5G technology, there is a larger spectrum which means much higher frequencies for monitoring. There is an exponentially larger space to keep track of essentially, and with that, new and much higher costs of equipment to meet that challenge. Art gives this food for thought, if your company is trying to decide whether to outsource this kind of job. “You have not only the cost of equipment itself, which quickly becomes outdated, but you also have the costs of training someone to use it.”
Lesser gives more specific details on exactly what kind of devices his team looks for in the video link. Be sure to continue to check out our weekly video series on our website!
The discussion began with the selection process. How does a company go about picking the right vendor? It was suggested a score-card system be used to eliminate all bias. This way the job goes to the vendor that can accomplish what the company actually needs. Vendors were urged to be realistic when pitching themselves for jobs. Rather than overpromising, make it clear what services can and cannot be provided for the client. Transparency all the way around leads to a better chance of success with all parties.
The presentation matters a great deal when vendors are vying for a job. One tip was to rethink how that presentation is done, anything over an hour could be too long. In the event of not wasting anyone’s time, make sure the right people are in the room for the presentation on both sides. The question came up about whether an RFP (request for proposal) is necessary, instead maybe aiming for an RFI (request for information). For vendors, it was suggested they have clear reasons as to why they are different from their competitors.
This has all been selecting the vendor, but what about when you inherit one? It was agreed that a regular check-in and clearly communicating expectations is a must, even with existing relationships. It’s important not to come in and disrupt processes but all three agree sometimes relationships reach the end and you can’t be afraid to break up. The duration of the contracts also came into play. It was suggested that maybe one option is to not have contracts lasting more than two years. That allows all parties to check back in and make sure everyone’s needs are being met. Something to remember when drafting contracts, make sure all deliverables are clearly stated.
A great emphasis was placed on the importance of investing in humans. Specifically, paying thriving wages, instead of living wages for security personnel. This helps ensure employees will stay put and have more of an allegiance to the company.
Below are the takeaways from all three panelists on how to make vendor management more seamless. Click on the link and it will take you to the PP designed for panel.