The holidays are right around the corner. First, comes Thanksgiving, of course, which we just celebrated here in the United States of America. But it is followed quickly by Hanukkah and Christmas, and then, of course, by New Year’s. In other countries, of course, there are different holidays, especially in the Muslim world. But one thing is for certain. There will be holidays!
As international travel security experts, we consult with many companies who have employees all over the globe. The holidays bring special security risks to both these companies and their key employees for senior executives. How so? Well, first of all, there is increased travel around the holidays. That executive that lives in Berlin, for example, may wish to hop on a flight and visit her family back in San Francisco. So now you have an executive traveling to and from Europe during the busiest travel season of the year. What could possibly go wrong? Well, that’s our job as security experts. We can start, of course, with the weather that executive could get stranded or worse, could come down with a flu as she’s traveling in a crowded airplane. Suddenly, her personal trip to San Francisco, becomes your corporate problem when she needs emergency medical care at the Berlin airport. Second, we can look at the cybersecurity risks of travel. Suddenly you have an employee leaving a relatively secure cyber environment, and beginning to travel, which probably means using the Wi-Fi on the plane and in the airport Starbucks, and suddenly you have a cybersecurity risk third, there is the ever present risk of terrorism, especially in crowded locations. Perhaps she goes to Union Sq. in San Francisco, and suddenly you have a risk of a terrorist attack at a high profile venue during the holiday season. Or, during the holidays, many people will engage in all sorts of activities such as concerts, eating out at restaurants, and going to other public venues. All of these represent security risks
Let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that you decide that your responsibility ends when that employee boards the plane on a personal trip back to the United States that may be true however, let’s assume that this employee is in Saudi Arabia, and she invites her family to come visit her during the holidays. After all the weather in Riyadh may be a lot more hospitable during December and the weather in a northern US cities such as Minneapolis Seattle however, now you have the security risks to her family as they come to visit her in a very conservative Muslim country. For example the celebration of Christian holidays is not exactly approved in Saudi Arabia. So you have problems of the clash of cultures between the open democratic West, in which pretty much anything goes, and the much more conservative culture in Saudi Arabia in which she and her family will have to watch their public displays of Christianity or even secular Western celebration of these holidays. New security risks are evoked during the holiday season!
As you look at holiday travel concern and the international travel security vulnerabilities that are created by the holidays, not only for your corporation but also for your key executives, you can see that some of this is just the seasonality of a holiday, and some of this is the security concerns that arise because of the clash of cultures. Our point in this brief blog post to draw your attention not only to the upcoming holiday season but also the Evergreen problems of security risks for your national travel. Our international travel security experts can conduct a security audit of your company and help you to identify your security vulnerabilities and exposures. With that security audit in hand, we can recommend best practices to safeguard your corporation, your key employees, in your executives and VIPs. Reach out today for a consultation!
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