VIDEO INTERVIEW: Types of Threats and Vulnerabilities

Interview between Mark W. Gabel, Co-founder and Managing Partner, Salus Secure Environments, and Kris Coleman, Founder, President, and CEO, Red Five.

Mr. Gabel: Can you talk about or explain the different types of threats that you guys deal with on a day to day basis?

Mr. Coleman: Sure, the threats are coming from all directions now. We have the typical criminal threat; the petty theft, the violent crimes. We’re getting heavily into digital of course. The cyber security threats, which are actually threats to privacy. We’re very much focused on that as a company because it is so persistent and it’s a change in the way the world is operating. You also have to deal with health and medical risks. Whether it be that you’re traveling to a new environment, or perhaps you have a specific medical condition, we want to make sure we address that as well. Probably the number one risk we deal with families is medical. I mean, kids are going to get hurt – they’re going to run around, they’re going to play, they’re going to get hurt.

Traveling is always dangerous; automobile accidents are probably the number one thing. Especially when you get overseas and have different driving environments and different driving behaviors, those are all challenging things. We also get into terrorism from time to time. It used to be ‘the thing’, it still is a bad thing, but the nature of terror has also changed. So, terrorism is also a critical risk. We have criminal, we have cyber, we have medical, we have natural hazards also and terrorism. Responding to a hurricane or an earthquake event can be a big deal. Whether for the people, or for the assets that are in question, the art, those kinds of things.

Mr. Gabel: What are some of the biggest vulnerabilities that you would say are probably most commonly overlooked?

Mr. Coleman: Yeah, it’s a big problem when our society is now walking around staring at devices. You’re staring at screens, you aren’t paying attention, we’ve all seen the videos of people walking into fountains and manholes and those unfortunate events, but we’re not paying attention. One of my biggest concerns in talking to clients, families, corporations, is that you need to increase your personal awareness of your surroundings. I’m worried about people’s personal security a lot. If you’re not paying attention as you’re walking from the office to the parking garage, if you’re not paying attention walking down the street, you could be perceived as a very good target to be preyed upon as someone who is unaware. I’d love to see people’s personal security awareness increased. When we were overseas traveling with both the agency and the FBI, it was all about personal security awareness because we were targets traveling overseas. And I’d love to see an increase of that for our clients on a regular basis and for everybody frankly.

On the digital side it is a very persistent threat and it’s getting worse. The vulnerabilities are: Are the devices set correctly, do you have the privacy settings set correctly? Are you using a firewall? Are you using a VPN? Those kinds of things I think are very important and are vulnerabilities that exist and aren’t readily managed. It creates an issue of convenience. The vulnerabilities exist because we don’t want to take the time to do the two-factor identification on our devices, which is another vulnerability. People use a weak password, but there’s no second way of authenticating who’s actually getting into the device. Two-factor identification is huge, I know that individuals and corporations are looking at maybe doing multi-factor beyond two-factor. But those vulnerabilities on the devices are the biggest ones. And then people always forget, “Well I’ve got two-factor, I’ve got a great strong password.” But if you leave your laptop sitting on the front seat of your car and someone steals the laptop, did you really protect your data? And we see that a lot, they’re not paying attention to the physical protections around an electronic device. So, personal security awareness, paying attention to your surroundings, locking down the device but then making sure the device is actually locked up. Those are the natural vulnerabilities we see every day.

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