Foreign governments, competing corporations, the media, and private information gatherers frequently resort to the use of electronic surveillance devices to gain a competitive advantage in the market place or to obtain compromising information that can be employed for a variety of uses ranging from simple embarrassment to blackmail.
The process of searching for and locating such surveillance devices is known as technical surveillance countermeasures (TSCM) or is frequently referred to as a “bug sweep.” The process involves the use of specialized electronic equipment as well as mechanical tools to thoroughly inspect or examine an area of concern to confirm or rule out the presence of electronic devices which range from simple transmitters to remote-controlled devices to very small cameras to sophisticated GSM transmitting devices and GPS trackers affixed to a vehicle.
The TSCM process should be conducted at least annually and more often if there are significant changes in key personnel or reasons for concern. If you or your company is involved in a “high risk” industry or suspect something is amiss, more frequent inspections may be appropriate. High risk industries include aerospace and avionics, agriculture and biotechnology, chemicals, consumer products, cosmetics, financial products and services, healthcare, information technology and telecommunications, motor vehicles and components, pharmaceuticals, and medical devices to name a few. High profile individuals are also at increased risk.
If you are involved in a “technology” field you are a potential target for espionage conducted by foreign governments or those entities with competing interests.
If you are in the legal field, and your firm is involved in high-profile or sensitive cases, you may be targeted by private operatives hired by opposing parties or the tabloid media.
If your organization has a high public profile and are involved in promoting what are perceived to be controversial social issues you may be targeted by advocacy groups representing opposing perspectives.
In a nut shell if you have information someone else wants you may be targeted for electronic surveillance.
Compounding the threat is the fact that eavesdropping devices are not only becoming very sophisticated but also readily available at reasonable pricing. With that in mind chances are good that at some point you may be victimized by some kind of electronic surveillance.
TSS will conduct a thorough yet discreet TSCM inspection during the daytime, evening, night time hours, or on weekends to minimize disruption to your operations or family life.
Real Time Monitoring of Sensitive Internal Meetings:
Occasionally an organization must conduct sensitive meetings for the purpose of discussing emerging business matters, to create negotiation strategies for a pending merger, or to evaluate developing information on delicate personnel matters.
TSS will first conduct a thorough inspection of the conference room where the meeting will be held to ensure that no transmitting devices are in place. Our staff can also assist in ensuring that all persons entering the meeting are not in possession of their personal electronic devices which have the potential of transmitting the confidential discussions out of the room. Electronic monitoring of such meetings can be conducted discretely from outside the conference room by our staff to ensure confidentiality and the monitoring personnel are not privy to the discussions. We can also assist with the mitigation of other threats originating from outside the conference room that may serve to intercept sensitive conversations taking place inside the conference room.
Physical Security Assessments:
Technical surveillance threats can arise by two means: (1) a cyber-attack wherein monitoring malware is introduced electronically or (2) by physically introducing an electronic device or devices using a ruse, social engineering, or an unauthorized entry into a threatened area.
The use of expensive hardware, access control, and surveillance cameras does not necessarily mean your facility is protected against physical intrusion. In short the appearance of security does not necessarily translate to “real” security. In fact many of the security devices used to increase security actually create vulnerabilities that can be exploited by a person with nefarious intent.
Our approach to physical security assessments is grounded in identifying unknown security vulnerabilities, based on our experience at bypassing locking and alarm systems, and recommending measures to eliminate identified security exposures.
We feel that TSCM inspections and site security go hand-in-hand. It makes no sense to ensure that an environment is free of electronic devices if an adversary can easily enter sensitive areas and install devices at will.
If you would like to discuss your facility security situation and arrange for a full security assessment please contact us.