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guide / May 20, 2023

The essential guide to corporate security

Here’s how businesses can protect their people and their data

The words “corporate security” often bring to mind an image of well-dressed professionals talking into earpieces and using code names for their clients. However, the modern corporate security landscape goes far beyond that cliché, encompassing worker safety through de-escalation, data protection and the application of advanced technology.

As more and more workers return to the office, there are plenty of opportunities for corporate security professionals and service providers to make their mark. However, this requires a thorough understanding of a complex industry. To make that journey a little easier, we’ve rounded up everything security pros need to know about the current market, from finding a security partner to keeping data out of the hands of malicious actors.

What is corporate security?

Corporate security refers to the prevention of incidents that pose a risk to any given company. Actual corporate security policy will vary from business to business and industry to industry, but generally, it involves keeping workers and their work safe from physical or digital threats.

Often, enterprises will partner with a corporate security services provider to leverage its tools, data, training and personnel. While features vary from provider to provider, businesses typically want a partner that can:

  • Supervise employees and events

  • Reveal and resolve vulnerabilities

  • Handle surveillance and intervene during incidents to protect employees, participants and property

Corporate security businesses should also compile reports and take care of evidence collection and storage in the aftermath of any such incidents. For example, the Axon Enterprise suite of corporate security solutions covers safety and de-escalation, monitoring and transparency, data management and more. Want to know more about how Axon Enterprise can help? Get in touch.

Key features of corporate security service providers

When looking for a corporate security solution, here are three key features to keep in mind:

  • Trained and licensed staff: Different states have different requirements for security licensing, and the need for training increases if weapons are involved. At a minimum, any corporate security service you use should do extensive background checks and require ongoing training for its security officers.

  • Robust contingency planning: Modern corporate security goes well beyond just placing guards at strategic posts. Security pros should be able to help you plan for a variety of potential threats and provide a remediation plan.

  • Advanced tech: One question you’ll want to ask is what kind of technology a corporate security company uses and what specific tools it will bring to the job. Body-worn cameras, de-escalation tools and incident management software are just a few of the technological advances security pros use to resolve situations as smoothly as possible.

To learn more about choosing a corporate security services provider, read the full article: 5 Things to Look for When Selecting a Corporate Security Services Provider.

What is executive protection?

One pillar of corporate security is executive protection (also called close protection), which generally encompasses protecting high-profile individuals. That could mean celebrities, corporate executives, politicians – basically anyone who qualifies as a VIP. Executive protection agents’ day-to-day responsibilities vary, but they generally encompass threat assessment, route planning and travel accompaniment.

When searching for executive protection, you’ll want to find providers that prioritize resourcefulness and discretion. Additionally, these agents should be familiar with the tools of the trade:

  • Medical equipment: They don’t have to have a medical license, but executive protection agents should understand how to use everything in a basic first aid kit. This can help stabilize clients in the event of an emergency.

  • Body-worn camera: Body cams provide valuable evidence in the event of an emergency and help executive security pros assess risk in future situations. They also prevent “he said, she said” scenarios from taking over the narrative.

  • TASERs: The TASER is a non-lethal tool used to de-escalate incidents. Using one requires some training, but because of their robust utility and quick access, they’re an invaluable tool should incidents arise.

Want to know more? Find additional details in the full blog: What is Executive Protection?

Top US executive protection training programs

So how does one go from corporate security professional to executive security expert? Specialized training. Because it’s such a niche field with an extremely specialized skill set, completing the right executive protection training program is crucial. It’s during this training that security agents hone skills like first aid, defense tactics and security training, as well as learning the ins and outs of modern security hardware and software.

For those in the United States, these are the top training programs the country has to offer:

  • Executive Security International (ESI): This Colorado-based training program offers both 28-day and 15-day residencies, with the former going for $8,900. ESI trainees learn to work with high-profile individuals and integrate security planning into day-to-day routines, and graduates receive a Certified Protection Specialist (CPS) credential.

  • Executive Protection Institute (EPI): Billing itself as “the first credential-ready executive training program,” EPI is one of the most competitive executive protection programs in the country. Trainees stay onsite in West Virginia for seven days at a cost of $3,990, and those that complete the program can apply for credentials with the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services and the Security Industry Authority.

  • LaSorsa and Associates: Founded by Joseph A. LaSorsa, a former Secret Service agent, this nine-day course teaches the practical skills and defense tactics aspiring executive protection professionals need to conduct intelligence operations. The $5,650 price tag covers training on location in Miami, as well as accommodations and some meals.

  • Select International Training Institute: Also located in Florida, this five-day course was created by Army veteran Eric Parker to help entry-level agents gain a comprehensive set of skills quickly and effectively. Vehicle safety, mail screening, public relations, defense training and protective intelligence are all covered under the $1,200 cost.

For additional executive protection training options, read 6 of the Best Executive Training Programs in the US. 

Corporate security and data center protection

As a security professional, people are always going to be your first responsibility. However, in an increasingly online and cloud-based ecosystem, organizations have a growing need for data center protection. These physical facilities store valuable information on local servers, so leaving data centers vulnerable can be catastrophic.

Digital risks like DDoS attacks account for around 90% of threats to data centers. Unlike physical risks such as damage (either intentional or accidental) or burglary, digital threats can be conducted remotely. A well-rounded corporate security strategy should include ways to mitigate both digital and physical risks to data centers, such as:

  • Secure, climate-controlled locations: Data centers should be difficult to access without the right credentials and take into account environmental threats like flooding and extreme weather.

  • Layered security: Combining defensive initiatives like keycard access, in-person verification, security cameras and onsite security personnel increases the odds that your data center won’t be physically breached by malicious actors.

  • Up-to-date equipment: To protect against digital threats, hardware and software should always have the most recent security patches installed.

  • Encrypted communication: Using secure protocols on all internal communications will help ensure you’re not creating vulnerabilities.

Learn more in the full article, Data Center Protection: Physical and Digital Threats Security Pros Need to Know.

There’s no simple way to approach corporate security; each organization has its own needs, and the constantly evolving nature of technology means that learning should be an ongoing process. The best way for security professionals to make their mark is to understand the current landscape, be able to evaluate threats to people and property and understand the modern tools being used to defuse and de-escalate potentially harmful situations. If you want to learn more about these tools, as well as continue your employees’ education through innovative new means, get in touch with Axon today – our experts are standing by.