Remember the first time you heard an aircraft safety drill? If the cabin pressure drops, you are always asked to don your own oxygen mask first, then fit them on your children. It seems a rather selfish action until you rapidly realise, if you lose consciousness, you’ll be no use to anyone. In the same way, setting your own house in order by using corporate surveillance techniques to monitor social media misuse greatly reduces risk of fraud, theft or deception in the office. A clean sheet at home will then help you more easily isolate any need for external corporate surveillance. Did you know that in a recent UK company survey, 70% of respondents acted against staff for misuse, double the rate recorded in 2012. In the US it’s become rampant, with one survey reporting 33% of respondents had fired staff for internet misuse. The greater the reach of social media, the stronger the temptation to use it.
Digital surveillance and the power of dissuasion
Digital surveillance can dissuade staff from divulging trade secrets, innocently or not. It can also help avoid legal liability and show a business if it is fully compliant. Such measures are not all preventative, either. Many companies use them to help track, assess and improve staff performance (and supply training where needed); protect employees and the public from violence and preserve their health and safety; and maintain a high standard in customer service. The real problems arise when company computers are attacked from outside. Ever more sophisticated hacking software can only be beaten by anti-virus software two steps ahead in the lightning-fast world of evolving technology. It’s become a battle of wits between computer hacker and security expert, such as Blackhawk, which scours the market for the latest software packages to prevent you losing large sums to digital fraudsters.
A camera never lies
But digital is just one aspect of physical surveillance. A camera never lies. So introducing video and photographic evidence can play a powerful role in court. The choice of equipment on the market is mushrooming. CCTV, phone call and postal interceptions, human surveillance …. they are all tried and tested methods used in mobile (on foot or by car) or in static corporate surveillance. And it’s here that professional investigation agencies such as Blackhawk really come into their own. Mess up gathering evidence in the correct manner and you stand to lose thousands of pounds by just not being aware of how to present evidence acceptable to a court. And that can have a knock-on effect on corporate intelligence operations, tracing assets or individuals, fraud investigations and loss recovery.
‘We know where you are’
Blackhawk has had years to perfect techniques that use the full range of modern devices to listen, photograph and record evidence – from body-worn keyhole cameras to audio transmitters and tracking devices that can even tell if a person or vehicle has moved out of a specific area. And don’t forget counter-surveillance equipment that can be used to “sweep” a room for bugs and deprive your competitors of their own “seat” on your board. It may seem an extreme move but statistics have been produced to show some 70% of companies that are unaware they are being bugged by a competitor then go bankrupt within 24 months! What may surprise you is that there is nothing illegal about following or videoing someone in a public place. It’s only illegal if you install surveillance devices on private property (eg home, car or phone). What’s important is the skill a person uses so as not to be identified by the individual being tracked.
How to track down ‘sick note’ Charlie
Some industries save themselves millions by resorting to covert surveillance. Insurance companies are particularly prone to false personal injury/disability claims. But photograph a self-declared disabled person visiting a nightclub or moonlighting on another job and the evidence can be irrefutable. The British seem obsessed with CCTV. Newspaper reports over the past few years have claimed there is one CCTV camera for every 32 UK citizens, that the UK has 1.5 times the number of cameras operated by China and that each UK citizen is being filmed on camera around 300 times a day. Overkill, it seems, but at a time of increasing cybercrime, fraud and terrorism, could it in fact be one of our best defences?
Corporate surveillance begins at home
The British seem obsessed with CCTV. Newspaper reports over the past few years have claimed there is one CCTV camera for every 32 UK citizens, that the UK has 1.5 times the number of cameras operated by China and that each UK citizen is being filmed on camera around 300 times a day. Overkill, it seems, but at a time of increasing cybercrime, fraud and terrorism, could it in fact be one of our best defences?
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