Human risk variables

Most people are familiar with the concept of IT vulnerabilities. However, most people do not realize that the greatest IT vulnerability is not a system or technology; it is the mechanism in which employees interact with those systems. A corporation can have the best IT security in the world; however, if an employee loses his laptop at an airport or accesses his corporation’s network from an unprotected wifi interface at home, the vulnerabilities are not contained or mitigated. This risk becomes even more significant when you consider the increasing number of home-offices that corporations are shifting towards. A “clean-desk” policy or password protection system may be enforceable at a corporate office, but what happens when an employee works from home? Many people don’t even lock their doors during the day let alone worry about securing proprietary information.

Travel also exposes companies and their employees to increased risk, particularly in terms of securing proprietary information. Any time documents or information are taken away from a company’s secured facilities, there will be increased risk, both to the safety of their employees and the information that they are taking with them. Often this is overlooked and travel coordination is left completely up to the individual employee.

Overall, I consider the greatest vulnerabilities facing industries today to stem from what we call “human risk variables.” Specifically, I am referring to all the risks posed to a corporation by current or former employees, whether malicious or not. It is difficult to find a balance between providing adequate security for your company and clamping down so hard that your security measures hamper productivity or make your employees feel like they work in a prison. By giving employees the freedom that they need to feel comfortable and do their jobs efficiently, companies are unfortunately putting themselves in a position where a vital part of their security plan is in the hands of potentially thousands of employees.

If you would like to learn more about our security and investigative services, or if you have a specific matter you would like to discuss, please call our office at 212-605-0375, or visit our website at

Human risk variables


Whether we realize it or not, we’re all security minded and safety-conscious to one degree. Most of us lock our door, bypass crime ridden neighborhoods, don’t unfurl billfolds in public, and stop mail and newspaper deliveries when we’re away on vacation. We also look first before we cross streets, drive defensively, and know how to dial 911.

Terrorism prevention and protection means adding a new set of procedures and routines to the list of precautions we already take. It’s easier said than done, however. Think of heart-attack victims. If they’re lucky enough to survive their first attack, they almost immediately become health-and fitness conscious. They start taking care of themselves by going on diets, losing weight, and watching what they eat. Some stop smoking and drinking, and many join health clubs and begin exercising regularly. The intriguing question is, how would these heart-attack victims have fared if they had followed this lifestyle in the first place? Many of them would, most probably have averted the early onset of heart disease.

Our personal health, safety, and security, in other words, begin in the mind. We want to build concentric rings of defense, which increase our security and safety by making it harder for terrorists to victimize you. Think of the ring as encompassing both the locations at which you spend a good deal of time and the activities you engage in that could bring you in contact with terrorists to victimize you. Then, it’s a matter of instituting security measures and changes in routines that will lessen your chances of falling prey to terror.

Know the Five Means of Staying Safe.

In general, there are five ways to stay safe: avoidance, prevention, escape, assistance and time. All of your pre-planning, your thinking, and your strategies should revolve around those five means of survival. Avoidance means not being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Prevention is the erection of barriers that protect you and your possessions. Escape is the recognition that you don’t have to take your fate lying down. Assistance requires knowledge of how and when to seek outside help. And time is that precious commodity that keeps you alive long enough for help to arrive.

Stay Away From Crowds.

That’s the single best piece of advice that anyone seeking to avoid terrorism can follow. Terrorists most often strike at crowded locations and events, such as shopping malls, large department stores, sporting events, dance clubs, historic landmarks, tourist spots, airports, commuter hubs, movie theaters, fashionable restaurants, bars, and trendy resorts. By avoiding these events and locations, you avoid the terrorists.

Think of Security As A Lock That Buys You Time.

Security, like a lock, can never be 100% perfect. It’s not meant to be. The purpose of security measures is to buy time to escape, get assistance, or wait for help to arrive. Once you drop the fictitious ideal of perfection, your imagination will be free to conceive of a security plan that’s unique to you and your loved ones.

Adopt Your Planning To Your Circumstances.

Everyone’s circumstances are different, so adapt security measures to your situation. Put each contemplated security step in context. Ask yourself, why am I doing this? The answer should be—survival. So, again, engineer all of the security measures you take with the goals of avoidance, prevention, escape, getting help, or buying time.

Map Assorted Evacuation Routes.

Most local authorities have contingency plans for the evacuation of nearby residents and workers in the event, say, of an emergency at a hazardous chemicals facility or a nuclear power plant. Traffic flow would, supposedly, be directed away from the site. However, at least half the residents and workers within 10 miles of the facility would probably flee, creating chaos on the roads—particularly on highways and other major thoroughfares. So, ask local emergency managers for copies of official evacuation arteries and then review your road maps in search of alternative avenues of evacuation, routes likely to be less traveled in an emergency.

Don’t Return Home With A Fuel Tank That’s Less Than Half Full.

In an emergency evacuation because of, say, a chemical or nuclear attack, you may have to travel a long way to reach safety. The roads will, of course, be jammed, and traffic may crawl. The last thing you want to happen is to run out of gas. So, keep your fuel tank at least half full.

Gassing up before coming home will serve another, perhaps more important purpose: it will test your antiterrorism vigilance. Everyone has a tendency to let his guard down in times of peace and tranquility. Terrorists count on that. It may indeed be one reason why they often let considerable time elapse between attacks. Your gas gauge is an easy way to tell whether you’ve been lulled into a false sense of security—or just gotten lazy.

If you have young children, find out whether their schools have evacuation plans in place.

Local authorities have plans for the transportation of students, as well as children in day care, the hospitalized, and nursing home residents, in an emergency. Speak with school officials or teachers about the plans affecting your children and ask what steps you as a parent should take in an emergency evacuation of local schools. Find out, in particular, if students will be taken to a predetermined mass-care facility and whether you should plan on going there, too, in an emergency.

Treat Official Reassurances Circumspectly

In attempting to calm the public’s nerves and cover their own backsides, many government officials at times of crisis have offered unreliable reassurances about public health and safety. Look at how the anthrax outbreak was so mishandled at the start. Why, for instance, were congressional office buildings closed for decontamination but not the US Postal Service facilities that sorted and routed the tainted mail to Capitol Hill? Clearly, some public health officials were out of their depth. They offered advice that may have cost people their lives. So, take any reassurances made by government officials with a grain of salt. Be circumspect. If you find their reassurances hard to believe, don’t believe them.

Don’t Become Complacent, and Don’t Let Your Guard Down.

Immediately following the attacks of September 11 and the discovery of anthrax in the mail, everyone, everywhere, became anxious about personal safety and the safety of loved ones. As time went on and memories faded, people started getting “back to normal” in terms of commuting to work, shopping, traveling, and handling mail. It was important that people did this, because it showed that they wouldn’t be cowed by terrorism. There’s a downside to “normal,” however, and that is that people can become complacent. The danger of terrorism is real, and that’s something people all over the world mustn’t forget.


IAC TALK with Juval Aviv

Israeli-American Council NY

Tuesday, March 28, 2017 from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM (EDT)

Global Security: an even-handed look at where threats really exist

From terrorism to kidnapping to cross-border invasions, global security issues make for splashy headlines and easy clickbait, now more than ever. But what is real and what is exaggerated? Drawing from his seasoned military and professional experience, Juval Aviv will discuss the current security climate as it relates to personal safety, threats to the corporate community and national security concerns.

Refreshments will be served.

To register for this event, please click on the link below.

IAC TALK with Juval Aviv


corporate fraud

In today’s world, corporate fraud is like a leak the plumber never got around to fixing. What was once only a small drip from America’s financial faucet has developed into a full-scale flood. Twenty-five years ago, a typical major single act of fraud involved losses of $5 to $10 million. In the past few years, the losses have escalated into the billions. This dynamic growth is an indication that fraudsters are changing, becoming bolder and much more sophisticated. By taking advantage of the shifting corporate and political climates, fraudsters are finding new ways to crack the company pipes.

Perpetrators of fraud recognize that America’s corporate culture is always evolving. The way Americans work today is quite different from how they worked in years past. One of the most significant changes has been the loss of company loyalty. Most workers no longer stay at a single company for the duration of their careers, but choose instead to hop from job to job in search of new opportunities and higher pay checks. Fraudsters have capitalized on this trend because with a high turnover rate in positions, it is harder to track where and how corporate assets and privileged information are distributed.

Additionally, fraudsters have harnessed the fear of lawsuits to facilitate their crimes. In order to avoid litigation and embarrassment due to the incident, companies may terminate an employee who has perpetuated a fraud, but will not publicly disclose the truth surrounding his or her dismissal. Fearing defamation suits, the company will also fall to warn the perpetrator’s new employer. By keeping these acts secret, defrauded companies enable fraudsters to strike again and again.

Recently, lawmakers have taken a stronger stance on white collar crime by passing legislation, such as the Sarbanes Oxley Act, aimed at combating fraud by increasing the pressure on public companies to perform internal investigations or face severe penalties. Despite these penalties, corporate malfeasance continues to flourish. This is true because the government’s ability to enforce these new policies is questionable at best, and, perhaps worse, the regulations create the facade of safety for companies who comply. Believing that they are now protected, compliant institutions are less likely to be on guard, which in turn, allows fraudsters to operate more easily under the radar. Conversely, industries that were once closely supervised by the government, like defense contractors, have entered an era of deregulation. The reduced scrutiny has left industries that were seemingly immune to fraud suddenly susceptible.

Along with changes to domestic policy, the widespread implementation of strict secrecy laws abroad has made engaging in fraudulent acts all the more attractive. Jurisdictions such as Switzerland and the Cayman Islands are no longer the world’s only popular financial safe-havens; in recent years, Nevis, Dutch Antilles, the Cook Islands, Gibraltar, Cyprus and Singapore have all enacted asset protection legislation. When searching for a country to stash funds, hide documents or open secured bank accounts, fraudsters now have more choices than ever before. Thus, the assets can be divided up among various locations making them harder to trace, more expensive to recover, and it is substantially more likely that the fraudsters will get away with their schemes.

The most significant change to the face of fraud, however, is that of the perpetrators themselves. The average fraudster is increasingly more sophisticated; he or she is well-educated, well-spoken, well-traveled and wellconnected. Gone are the days of sneaking petty cash into one’s pockets. Today’s white collar criminals treat their fraud schemes like business ventures. They hire attorneys and financial professionals to aid and abet their schemes by establishing offshore trusts or shell corporations to conceal misappropriated assets. Take the recent story of a major Wall Street trader who convinced his employer, an investment bank, to wire millions of dollars in insurance payments to a company as part of an energy trade. It was later discovered that both the trade and the company were fictitious; the trader had wired the payments through a shell corporation and deposited the money into his own Swiss bank account. Individuals such as these are willing to spend a lot of money to hide their ill-gotten gains.

Therefore, as the business of fraud continues to grow, how can companies combat these latest trends? By employing a good offense, companies have the best chance at a successful defense. It is imperative that all institutions take a proactive role in protecting themselves. Continuous internal investigations are a must, especially on employees who handle financial transactions or authorize payment of substantial invoices. Auditor reviews should be kept confidential to prevent investigations from becoming compromised by tipping off the wrong-doers. Companies should watch foreign subsidiaries closely; executives in these offices may be more tempted to engage in theft because they are not subject to daily scrutiny. Finally, the expertise of outside specialists should not be overlooked or underestimated. Fraud examiners and corporate investigation firms are trained to spot red flags and differentiate false-positives from truly suspicious activities. Fraudsters often use the same tricks over and over when they are successful. Professional fraud investigators know what to look for; they’ve seen it all before.

Fraud never rests; it is a twenty-four hour, seven day a week business that is growing. But unlike a great flood that submerges an entire community, fraud can be prevented or at least contained before causing irreparable damage. The trick is to stay proactive, stay involved and know when it is time to call the plumber.

If you would like to learn more about our security and investigative services, or if you have a specific matter you would like to discuss, please call our office at 212-605-0375, or visit our website at



Rave Mobile Safety Webinar

4 Key Trends to Fight Corporate Security Risks

Corporate security continues to evolve and prepare for a growing matrix of threats and responsibilities. Taking a look at the 2017 security landscape, Don Aviv, CPP, PSP, PCI Chief Operating Officer, Interfor International explores trends in 4 areas central to delivering quality corporate safety and security.

During the webinar, Don will discuss: 1.Successfully deploy corporate security systems: – Total cost of ownership (lifecycle) – Commoditization of the industry 2.Improving workplace violence awareness and response – Differentiating between active shooter programs 3. Protecting the lone employee and duty of care responsibility 4. Enhancing global employee communication and location awareness.



Physical Security Assessment


A multinational chemical company hired Interfor to assess the security procedures in its offices and plants throughout the United States and South America.

Due to a series of recent acquisitions, the company sought to review and coordinate its global security operations. Interfor conducted field assessments at each corporate locale and instituted unified security procedures and protocols throughout the organization.

In addition, Interfor instituted a comprehensive video surveillance system that allowed the security department at corporate headquarters to monitor its worldwide operations in real time.

If you would like to learn more about our security and investigative services, or if you have a specific matter you would like to discuss, please call our office at 212-605-0375, or visit our website at


Physical Security Assessment

The Fallout from Trump’s Meeting with Netenyahu

Watching the Hawks RT : The Fallout from Trump’s Meeting with Netenyahu

Sean Stone sits down with international security expert and former Mossad Agent Juval Aviv to discuss the differences of the one state and two state solutions to the Israel Palestine conflict and the future of U.S. relations in the Middle East.


The Fallout from Trump’s Meeting with Netenyahu