There are different possible definitions of travel abroad security: medical emergency security, safety from terrorist threats, executive travel security, or even just the peace-of-mind that derives from help is near at hand should something go wrong. In a perfect world all of these could be comprehensively dealt with at once, but realistically the costs could be prohibitive. Unless you are a head-of-state, there is a need to prioritize the risks that most concern you and your organization, and plan accordingly.
Travel Abroad Security: Define Your Goals, Devise a Strategy
The first step in devising a travel abroad security strategy that can be successfully implemented within budgetary constraints is to define your goals. This is done by evaluating the importance of each type of risk you think will be faced. This may require evaluating some difficult questions regarding degree of possible harm an individual may face. In most locations “active shooter” events are extremely rare, even less than they might be back at home (though very high-profile). On the other hand, medical emergencies are just as likely as they would be back home. Which of these two is then your priority?
In terms of employee travel security, here are some important things to think about. First, how many of your employees actually travel abroad? You might have just one or two key executives, or you might have literally hundreds of employees in tens of countries across the world. The quantity makes a difference because, of course, it is more difficult to track a large number of people, and keep them secure and informed, then it is to track a small number of people. Second, which countries are your employees deployed to? It makes a difference, of course, whether these employees are deployed into relatively secure countries like Germany or France, or countries which unfortunately have a more complicated security situation, such as Turkey, Afghanistan, or Guatemala. Now, that is not to say, that only countries in the developing world faced security challenges! As recent events in France have shown, even countries in Western Europe can face significant security challenges, and these challenges can impact your employees. Third, what are the priorities not only of your organization but of the employees themselves? In some situations, such as that of United States defense contractors, the organization itself has to have a very secure profile. Whereas in others, such as a small business, or perhaps a consumer oriented company, the security situation is not as complicated from the perspective of the organization. Next, seen from the perspective of the employees themselves, some employees may be participatory in monitoring systems, whereas in other organizations the employees are more willing to take the risks on themselves.
Travel abroad security, of course, is not a one-size-fits-all situation. Interested parties are encouraged to reach out to speak with one of our security consultants, to discuss the best security situation for them and their company.
The best way to learn more about travel abroad security, balancing risks and rewards, is to reach out to us and have one of our friendly staff conduct an employee overseas monitoring audit and demo the available software.