October 8, 2015 DCU

THE INVISIBLE HOSTILE EMPLOYEE

The invisible hostile employee is the one we do not see. He or she is the one that is easily overlooked. They go through their daily job un-noticed and “invisible” to fellow employees and security, but do take notice as they may be the one that is stealing corporate proprietary information and selling it to the competition or the one who walks into work or school with an AK-47 assault rifle on a suicide mission.

They are unassuming upon first glance and most of the times because of their characteristic personality remain undetected to the rest of the world around them.

As a business owner, corporate decision maker or defense coach, it would behoove you to recognize that these “invisible workers” do exist and they pose a huge vulnerability for your business welfare as well as employee safety.

To effectively “see” these individuals, you will need to look at all aspects of your business to identify weak links in the personnel as well as your security and countermeasures for the same.

If you do not already require it, you may want to institute more comprehensive employee screenings to include unconventional background checks that go beyond credit history and previous employment. Perhaps personality and behavioral testing executed both on paper and via a professional experienced in profiling and matters of this type.

It is common practice for even the most seasoned employers to direct their focus on augmenting things such as their sales volume or gross revenues while overlooking the potential profile of a would-be opportunist or worst.

A profiler would approach the identification of this invisible worker as someone on the extreme end of the personality characteristic spectrum. The personality spectrum will span from the introvert loner (male or female) to the extrovert celebrity. This will single out the obvious employee while the person that poses the highest potential threat will go undetected.

The invisible employee will be the one with previous training who has imbedded himself/herself in a group by balancing the personality characteristic. They will be an occasional contributor, attentive listener, interactive to the point of not being too memorable.

They will be gathering information on the corporate structure, customers, proprietary formulas, security measures, database, marketing direction, future product development, acquisitions, employee background for threat definition or raiding (head hunting), building engineering/layout/construction and sabotage areas of advantage.

The invisible employee will use his/her access to become familiar and confident with your surroundings. These are the same areas, which you, your employees and the security should be using to gain an advantage.

Prepare yourself and the people around you to screen for aberrant behavior and query out of the ordinary. As past cases have shown many times over, the individual was an “inside man” or there was a relationship that extended to the interior of the work arena.

History has shown us; Virginia Tech, Fort Dix Six, Columbine, etc. all had reconnaissance performed by people who had been inside the facilities and felt confident with their surroundings to be able to perform their nefarious activities with relative impunity.

An evaluation should be performed to test the objectivity of your security and the awareness of the employees that surround you; a red vs. blue team test scenario can accomplish this. Test Scenarios and vulnerability studies should be performed regularly to eliminate as many weaknesses or flaws with human beings and those that may exist technologically so that you are better able to thwart an attack—if and when one should come.

Now for completeness, let us not forget our “invisible employee” which can be anyone who enters our arena. This can be the simple intrusion to the advanced.

The simple intrusion can be the delivery services guy; pizza man, coffee service, pest control, sanitary services, window washers, interior gardening services, pool maintenance, sub shop delivery, temp workers (day/ scheduled inventories), carpet cleaning, etc.

The advanced intrusion would require the intruder to monitor the communications (verbal and electronic) and wait for the opportunity for a need to be requested. This situation could have been created in the facility to force the interior persons to request the services of the nefarious group who had presented their services prior to creating need.

Our objective is not simply to specifically identify weakness, but to spur thinking outside of the box. This thinking will assist identifying objectives for planning and actionable purpose. The objectives need to be periodically revisited, as a boilerplate template to create updates.

One other aspect to pause upon is to consider an outside source for a vulnerability study. You might not like the findings, but this will serve as a template for your internal investigational studies. Lastly, consider making this personal or someday it may affect you or the ones close to you personally.

Getting the correct defensive training includes observation and awareness skills as well as threat assessment. It is always a good idea to have your management team and support staff trained in potential hostile surveillance and/or situations. Defense Coach University provides up-to-date comprehensive defensive and protective training for identifying these type threats on businesses and corporations and how to effectively curtail, control and mitigate potential risk. DCU in association with the TRS International Group also offers red cell type security penetration testing to assist in vulnerability assessment and effective security planning and implementation.

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