Travel security risks facing multinational corporations in today’s business environment are diverse and ever-changing; active shooter, hostage crisis, kidnap-for-ransom, hijack and extortion are just some of the dominant risks facing employees both at home and abroad.
Whilst traditionally these sorts of events have targeted specific industry sectors and territories in effect, these types of security risks have evolved so that anyone anywhere can be a target. However, industries with a global footprint and trade network with personnel travelling worldwide, such as cargo operators, are more likely to be more exposed to such risks.
There is significant legal pressure and moral expectation for corporations to deliver a high-level duty of care for their workforce. Failure to provide adequate levels of security and education, as well as a failure to develop and implement robust crisis management procedures will expose a company to potential brand and reputational damage, as well as litigation on the grounds of negligence. It is crucial therefore that corporations build resilience and undertake constant monitoring and stress-testing of their crisis management and safe travel plans to ensure a fast and effective response to whatever crisis event occurs.
Executives in particular are a prime target for such incidents, their rank and profile alongside their extensive international travel itinerary means that their exposure to such risks is heightened. Whether the travel is to fairly benign locations such as France, Japan or Singapore or to more volatile, high risk countries such as Nigeria, Brazil or Philippines, no country is immune from such incidents.
What are the most frequently reported security risks facing business travellers?
- Express kidnap
- Virtual kidnap
- Cyber extortion
- Wrongful detention
Given the entirely unpredictable nature of these events, the question is not ‘how do we stop such incidents’ but rather ‘how can we minimise and mitigate the impact of an event when one happens?’
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