Whether at home, work, or play, it’s easy for a busy executive to remain blind to all manner of risks and threats. Yet, just because you don’t see a threat doesn’t mean it’s not there. Security professionals refer to such individuals as soft targets. As the name suggests, a soft target in this context is a person who lacks the appropriate layers of security to mitigate the risks they face.
Being a soft target doesn’t mean that any particular threat or risk will automatically result in a problem. Still, it does mean that the potential for severe injury or death goes up significantly when an event happens.
So, how can you tell if you’re a soft target?
You Assume Bad Things Happen to Other People
Through no fault of their own, business people — especially those in high-profile, senior executive roles — sometimes face severe threats. And yes, it is normal to want to see the best in everyone. Yet, in reality, some people have the potential to act in violent ways.
Additionally, threats don’t come solely from individuals with a grievance or criminal intent. In fact, senior executives also run the risk of experiencing a significant medical event, such as a heart attack or stroke. In either event, the existence of a robust security program can mitigate threats and deliver critical help when an executive needs it the most.
You Don’t Understand How Your Behaviors May Raise Your Risk
Business executives spend most of their time at the office or on the road. But, threats don’t disappear when an executive isn’t working. As a matter of fact, certain risks may increase when an executive is outside the confines of their office.
Therefore, a predictable routine allows a would-be assailant to develop a well-thought-out plan of attack. For example, suppose an executive regularly plays golf or tennis at a particular time. In that case, a disgruntled employee may choose to confront them during that planned activity, potentially resulting in a physical encounter.
You Overshare on Social Media
When an executive posts the details of an upcoming business trip on a social media platform such as Facebook or LinkedIn, anyone accessing their profile knows their intended destination — and, depending on how much detail they share, how long they will be away from home.
Thus, it’s entirely possible to share too much on social media. For an individual who plans to harm an executive or their family, social media provides an unparalleled view of their intended target’s activities.
You View Security as a Barrier to Productivity
There’s a widely held belief that mitigating risk comes with rules and restrictions designed to make an executive’s life difficult. But that is far from the truth. Instead, hardening a soft target often requires minimal changes to an executive’s lifestyle.
Even in extreme circumstances when the risk justifies the use of protective detail, the impact on the executive is minimal. In fact, many executives find that a protective detail helps improve their productivity. For instance, it does so by ensuring they arrive on time for every appointment in their packed schedule.
Keep in mind that if you are currently a soft target, solving this problem is not as simple as hardening your defenses. Instead, an effective security program requires a detailed assessment of the potential for a risk or threat that could impact an individual or their family.
Finally, a Personal Security Vulnerability Assessment (PSVA) aims to provide a comprehensive risk assessment of an executive’s lifestyle. It helps determine the need for and potential elements of an executive security program.
Schedule a complimentary security conversation to determine whether you or your peers could benefit from a PSVA.
FirstCall CSS, formerly Steele Foundation International, is a U.S.-based (San Francisco) global business advisory and risk management firm with more than 28 years of experience dedicated to helping organizations protect and enhance enterprise value in an increasingly complex legal, regulatory and economic environment across the world.
We work closely with clients every day to anticipate and overcome business challenges in areas such as:
- Business intelligence,
- Corporate security,
- Executive protection,
- Physical risk,
- Incident management, and
- Emergency response.
Our strong footprint in Mexico since 18 years ago, with a state-of-the-art GSOC based in Mexico City, makes FirstCall a leader in Latin America, a region with unique challenges on many fronts.