Corporations regularly use Global Security Operation Centers (GSOCs) to centralize all their security needs into 1-2 centralized locations. Staffed with trained personnel such as badging officers and intel analysts, staff monitor alarms, video feeds, access control, travel security, weather and natural disasters, and domestic and global incidents. In recent years, small companies and ultra-high net wealth families have turned to utilizing GSOCs to remotely monitor their properties and their travel. At the same time, GSOCs have begun to also include the monitoring of social media and the dark web, along with feeds from the residences of C-suite executives.
In the last few years, ingestion of data from social media platforms and the dark web has escalated to identify and monitor threats and misinformation directed against businesses, their executives, and their clients or customers. Including that data in GSOCs has become indispensable. The threat is not imaginary or fanciful.
In a 2021 survey by SafeGuard Cyber, 70% of respondents said their company would suffer brand or reputation damage if an executive’s social media account was compromised, with half predicting a hit to shareholder value. Researchers from threat-intelligence firm BlackCloak have identified a surge in swatting attacks that use both publicly available online data, such as property records, and stolen information to target corporate executives. These adversaries simulate executives’ voices to get police to respond to bogus hostage situations or violence at the executives’ homes. That’s not only an inconvenience and a threat to reputation, but it also puts the life of executives, their family, and their neighbors in jeopardy.
“The ability to rapidly respond to a threat or security incident will reduce the likelihood of any negative impacts on your principal and/or organization. A GSOC can improve collaboration and consistency globally, further facilitating better risk management and threat mitigation”
Cyber Security Executive and CISO Harris Schwartz
Social media threats against executives can also lead to violence. After the executive vice chairman of the Manchester United football team was targeted on Twitter by angry fans, a mob chanting death threats attacked his home. When the Wayfair scandal broke – in which social media propagated the fiction that the e-retailer was trafficking girls under the guise of selling high-end furniture – the CEO received death threats.
Meanwhile, GSOCs have become so popular and useful that they have become commoditized. Today, not only businesses, but also individuals can now contract for a GSOC-as-a-Service, in which a third party monitors their feeds and reports threats, incidents, or areas of concern. In fact, some extremely private executives have chosen to use third party GSOC services such as CAI to monitor their private residences instead of using their own internal corporate security GSOC and risking a potential breech of privacy.
Many social-media-monitoring tools come as part of GSOCs-as-a-Service or can be integrated into proprietary GSOCs. Some of these tools focus on specific platforms, like Facebook or Twitter. Others capture a broad sweep of sites. It’s important to pull in data from platforms where the disaffected and violent hang out and communicate, such as Telegram, Gab, Parler, Clouthub, Discord, 4chan, and Twitch.
Since social media sites churn out billions of posts, messages, memes, rants, and comments every day, social media monitoring tools use artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to automate the collection and assessment process. These tools can quickly identify patterns and trends, providing valuable information to EP times.
Other tools can monitor and pull data from the dark web. Tor browsers, dark web search engines, and certain threat-intelligence platforms can integrate into a GSOC. GSOCs can monitor the dark web to track the sale of stolen personal data, including credit card and Social Security numbers, which can be used to commit identity theft and multiple other types of fraud.
At bottom, an effective EP program includes a GSOC with social media and dark web monitoring ability.
If the idea of ensuring your privacy is at the top of your list or you’re an executive wanting the ultimate in privacy and protection, CAI is here to assist you with all your risk mitigation needs. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At Cooke & Associates, Inc., we’re changing the image of protective services.
Cooke & Associates Inc. (CAI) is a global, world-class risk-mitigation and security solutions provider, dedicated to keeping our clients and their families safe and secure. With decades of cumulative security, intelligence, violence-prevention, investigative, law enforcement, and risk-mitigation experience, CAI offers best-in-class solutions that exceed industry standards and client expectations.
We pride ourselves on a profound understanding of the wants and needs of the most discerning clients and cultivate relationships with singular attention. CAI’s services allow our highly selective clientele the ultimate privacy and freedom without sacrificing robust security. We excel in relationships, logistics and the finer details of operations, ensuring lifestyle and culture are perfectly balanced with safety and security. Led by a dedicated team of professionals with extensive international experience, CAI provides its diverse clientele with a broad range of services and expertise in more than 50 countries.