Physical Security and Extraction Planning
Even the most cautious tend to take security for granted. Companies often fail to examine security until they are placed in a pressure situation. The Georgetown Group applies years of security expertise to assess your vulnerabilities and implement sound practices that will help you breathe easy during your pressure situations.
There is no one-size-fits-all to security. A comprehensive approach to securing assets, intellectual property, innovation, infrastructure and personal safety requires technical knowledge, subject matter expertise, and dedication to understanding specific security needs. The Georgetown Group’s approach to security relies on our dedication to managing the unique needs of our clients. Because security does not exist in a vacuum, we craft each security assessment, implementation plan, executive protection detail, extraction plan, and cyber security management plan to fit your specific environment, budget, and operational situation. Our philosophy demands a hand-crafted approach to security, utilizing experts drawn from top former military, law enforcement, and intelligence personnel that have the specific knowledge and experience to address your security problem in a manner that protects your most critical assets and mitigates legal and reputational liability.
“The Spy is in the worst possible place”
~Robert Phillip Hanssen, Most damaging spy in United States history.
A successful security assessment must uncover your vulnerabilities and potential trouble spots. The Georgetown Group’s security experts are adept at analyzing risk in a practical manner that results in a hand-crafted assessment and implementation plan that improves and strengthens security without imposing additional liability. Unscrupulous security companies will use a vulnerability assessment to “plus up” the implementation side of a security contract in order to require unnecessary work and line their pockets. This contrary business strategy increases legal liability risk because if a security event occurs, an entity will often be held responsible for addressing every recommendation in a discoverable security assessment.
The Georgetown Group’s philosophy is to manage risk comprehensibly. We seek to mitigate risk by conducting vulnerability assessments in a manner that protects our clients from legal and reputational liability by focusing on practical applications to security that have high success rates, and are financially feasible to implement. Accordingly, when The Georgetown Group analyzes your security needs, we do not seek to find fault or assign blame. Rather, we identify relevant problems and issues related to security and safety and recommend the best solution to help you improve.
No useful and practical security assessment is possible without a detailed understanding of the entity we seek to protect and the specific environmental conditions that surround the client. The goal of any security assessment is to determine a level of security that is appropriate for the particular needs of our client with an eye to providing safety inside and in the area surrounding the location. Accordingly, The Georgetown Group’s vulnerability assessment begins with a detailed understanding of your operations, your security goals, and your practical budget constraints. For example, recommending a twenty foot fence with thermal and biometric surveillance may make sense for a fortune 100 cutting edge R&D facility. For a small non-profit, the same recommendation would be impossible from a budgetary standpoint, impractical when one considers the potential threat, and would subject the company to liability if a security event occurs.
To protect you, The Georgetown Group focuses our security assessment on your particular needs. We begin by examining a large number of environmental factors, including a detailed on-site review of security that comprises an assessment in both day and night conditions; interviews of local residents and onsite staff, meetings with local police assets, an assessment of the criminal and sociological impact of the surrounding area, proximity to less desirable neighborhoods, traffic patterns, extent of the transient population, presence of retail establishments in or near the property, immediate density of youth population, and the proposed and/or existing camera and lighting configuration. We often review local crime statistics to provide an adequate foundation for our assessments and recommendations. Since crime trends often change markedly between seasons, we conduct additional analysis on at least a yearly basis.
In conducting our vulnerability assessments and implementation plans we examine four main areas of concern:
I. Physical Security: This security factor assesses the access points to each property, placement and use of surveillance cameras, condition of doors, placement and condition of fences, adequacy of current lighting, and the effectiveness of the security operation center whether existing or proposed.
II. Operational Security: This security factor assesses the current or future use of security personnel, reporting of property concerns and dangers, continuity of security follow-up, the effective monitoring of surveillance cameras by staff, the adequacy of coordination with local law enforcement, the attention to problem vehicles parked at each location, and the current control of ingress to each property.
III. Crime: This security factor analyzes and discusses crime that occurs in the area of each building and the impact that such crime may have on the property.
IV. Terrorism: This security factor focuses on the likelihood that a location or individual may become a target of violent extremists. At the Georgetown Group we understand that extremists come from a variety of causes. They can be traditional Islamic extremist or animal rights groups who have been linked to a number of recent attacks. The list is exhaustive and many attacks are carried out by individuals or small groups who operate independently. We believe that providing sufficient security for each property is the most reasonable approach to protecting against terrorist actions.
Case Study: Inner-City Housing Complex
The Georgetown Group was engaged to conduct a physical security assessment and develop an implementation plan for an inner-city housing complex in a high-crime area of Washington DC. An outbreak of violent crime in the area surrounding the assessment site prompted our client to seek expert help in examining the housing development’s vulnerability to similar violent crime, interview the residents to develop a matrix of concerns, and propose a security plan that would mitigate current and potential crime and other safety concerns. Our assessment accounted for existing security measures including perimeter security, parking concerns, common and open areas, an inspection of lighting conditions, interviews with a variety of residents to understand past security incidents and concerns, an evaluation of the currently installed physical security systems (doors, locks, cameras and fences), and a review of the operational guard security force that was under contract. The Georgetown Group then developed a comprehensive security assessment and recommendations for enhancing and refreshing security to optimal standards. In our subsequent implementation plan, we crafted a solution that prioritized critical security needs at the same time we accounted for a realistic budget. Some of our solutions included reinforcing doors to certain residences, integrating an RFID card system for residents, expanding camera coverage of the campus, replacing the guard service company, and establishing and training the residents on a neighborhood watch system.
Executive Protection and Local Extraction Plans
The Georgetown Group has provided executive protection to our high net worth clients, senior executives and private individuals both domestically and while traveling overseas. Our certified security professionals come from the finest levels of police, military and corporate security and have undergone rigorous training in close protection, de-escalation of potentially violent situations, corporate and diplomatic security, and other protection disciplines and certifications. We hand pick our close protection professionals to meet your specific needs by ensuring that they have sufficient local expertise and training to fully address your concerns. Our philosophy is that the best executive protection is discrete and avoids violent confrontation by employing good intelligence and forward assessments. We strive to take care of security concerns so that you can focus on the critical business without distraction.
The Georgetown Group has extensive experience in providing protection and security for personnel traveling abroad. In particular, we have provided dedicated security support, drivers and local culture consultants. In locations that are presently or potentially dangerous to Western expatriates, The Georgetown Group has crafted local emergency extraction plans that outline the optimal security actions to be taken during a series of the most likely threat situations. Our plans are comprehensive, specifically drafted with the location in mind and become a critical checklist of action in a crisis. At the Georgetown Group we know that no plan can predict every possible scenario nor take into consideration every contingency. Accordingly, we provide training that helps our clients take appropriate and prudent actions during the high-stress environment that will attend an emergency event.
The Georgetown Group’s executive protection services allow you to carry out your business with confidence while we ensure your safety. Our executive protection professionals are senior level security personnel who are trained to de-escalate potentially violent situations and address every threat with the appropriate and least aggressive response. Our services include the following key areas:
• Close (physical) protection of an individual or a team
• Security consulting and vulnerability and threat assessments
• Assistance with travel to include airport meet and greet, fast tracking, and professional drivers
• Venue and site surveys of business locations, hotels and other areas where executives will travel
• Counter surveillance
In a crisis situation, access to reliable and actionable intelligence is paramount, and is dependent on having trustworthy sources and the ability to analyze real-time data and to predict possible outcomes. An emergency preparedness plan is only as good as the local intelligence network on which it is based. The Georgetown Group maintains an extensive network of assets in police, military and government world-wide that inform us of emergencies before they reach our clients. This allows us to deploy emergency plans proactively, therefore mitigating danger and avoiding conflict. Our approach to extraction planning presents a three step methodology:
I. Planning for the Crisis: In a crisis situation, access to reliable and actionable intelligence is paramount, and is dependent on having trustworthy sources and the ability to analyze real-time data and to predict possible outcomes. A workable crisis plan must be specific, flexible and practiced. The plan must also account for on the ground realities, including the provision of food and water, technologies to both sustain and protect, transportation logistics, communication logistics and the location at any given time of all staff in the crisis area.
II. Managing the Crisis: When a crisis occurs, communication and information become the most critical components of protecting the safety of your personnel. The focus on information need will shift from strategic information about potential problems, to trustworthy tactical information that provides a real-time window into local events. A key component of a successful extraction plan execution is logistical information. For example, logistical information regarding road blocks or pockets of civil unrest or protests is critical to successfully executing contingency routes to an otherwise workable extraction plan.
III. Post-Crisis Actions: In the aftermath of a crisis, The Georgetown Group will coordinate with your home office to account for all staff, determine their mental and physical health, and take appropriate action to provide counseling or other immediate support. We will continue to monitor the situation in the field to determine when it is safe for your staff to return. A range of issues must be examined prior to considering re-entry into the crisis location, including the current ground conditions, the cessation of hostilities, the presence of a functional government and police, a working transportation infrastructure, and consistent availability of day-to-day necessities including food, water and electricity.
The Georgetown Group was engaged to provide security protection, local cultural consulting, business facilitation assistance, dedicated car and driver support and a crisis management and extraction plan to a United States-based corporation sending a team to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The client assembled a team of executives who would travel to and from the Kingdom over a one-year period. Our assessment found that regional instability and threats against Westerners had prompted the State Department to issue a travel advisory warning against kidnapping attempts. Our vulnerability assessment determined that any one of a number of geopolitical events in the Arab world could quickly threaten the Kingdom’s internal security and stability in a way that could turn anti-American, thereby posing a threat to the client’s team. In order to mitigate the security risk, we developed a full extraction plan and security handbook, provided escape routes and dedicated drivers and security professionals, and trained all personnel in emergency procedures to include hibernating in place at a safe house and rapid transit by plane or vehicle out of the conflict zone. During the year engagement, The Georgetown Group also leveraged our local assets to provide business and cultural consulting and make key introductions to Saudi dignitaries to further our client’s work in the Kingdom.