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https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Fake-News-Real-Threats.aspxFake News. Real ThreatsGP0|#28ae3eb9-d865-484b-ac9f-3dfacb4ce997;L0|#028ae3eb9-d865-484b-ac9f-3dfacb4ce997|Strategic Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a43444652017-11-01T04:00:00Z<p>​In November 2016, a man armed himself with an assault rifle and drove six hours from North Carolina to Washington, D.C. His goal was to storm Comet Ping Pong, a D.C. pizza restaurant, and rescue children being held captive and abused by Hillary Clinton. Once inside, the man fired on the restaurant, but no one was hurt. </p><p>The Comet Ping Pong story was one of many deliberately false news stories circulating in 2016. After the story was exposed as a hoax, “a post on Twitter by Representative Steven Smith of the 15th District of Georgia—not a real lawmaker and not a real district—warned that what was fake was the information being peddled by the mainstream media. It was retweeted dozens of times,” according to The New York Times.</p><p>The concept of fake news entered the popular vocabulary during the U.S. presidential election in 2016. While intentionally spreading false news reports for financial, political, or psychological reasons is not a new phenomenon, the practice has expanded significantly in the last year. During the particularly divisive U.S. election, numerous hyper-partisan blogs and websites posted a wide range of rumors, conspiracy theories, and fabrications, which have collectively been labeled fake news. Far from its original meaning—articles that are blatantly untrue—the term fake news has been embraced by all sides of the political divide to denigrate reporting that they feel is biased or incomplete.</p><p>While primarily political in nature, fake news has been used against various organizations and poses a real and increasing threat to private sector organizations of all sizes. It is important for security professionals to explore the relationship between fake news and corporate security, and determine how they can begin to address the threats posed by the release of false news and information.</p><h4>Transmission<br></h4><p>There has been an explosion in the creation and distribution of fake news through various online channels, including blogs, websites, discussion forums, and especially social media platforms. According to a 2017 survey, A Real Plague: Fake News, conducted by Weber Shandwick, Powell Tate, and KRC Research, approximately 7 in 10 American adults reported having read a fake news story in 2016. Research conducted by Hunt Allcott and Matthew Gentzkow and published in the spring 2017 edition of The Journal of Economic Perspectives also found that a database of 38 million shares of fake news stories on social media translated to about 760 million instances of clicking on, and reading, fake news stories. </p><p>The subject matter of these stories has run the gamut from political conspiracies to alleged criminal conduct by high-profile individuals to allegations of corporate political bias. A unique aspect of the current situation is that these stories are shared more widely, and more quickly, than ever before due to the ubiquity of social media. According to Allcott and Gentzkow, the list of fake news websites compiled by Stanford University received 159 million visits during the month of the election, while some 41.8 percent of individuals reported that they were exposed to fake news via social media.</p><p>Another important aspect of the current situation is that many of these fake news stories have gained a level of credibility among segments of the population that is surprising considering the sometimes bizarre nature of the claims made. In a study by Ipsos Public Affairs for BuzzFeed, 75 percent of respondents who reported remembering a fake news headline believed it to be accurate. In the study by KRC Research, 74 percent of individuals surveyed reported that it is difficult to determine what news is real and what is not.</p><p>The increased acceptance of baseless rumors and extreme conspiracy theories is due in no small part to a widespread decline in trust in media, government, academia, and most other forms of traditional authority. The falling levels of trust in media have been well documented by Gallup, Pew Research, and the Edelman Trust Barometer. This collapse of trust has led to the increased importance of the “people like me” category as a trusted source of news and information. according to Edelman’s 2017 global report. Because of these developments, sources such as Reddit, personal blogs, Facebook accounts, and quasi-official websites have gained credibility, while trust in traditional news media and government sources has declined. The fact that these fake news stories are rebroadcast many times, through cross-links and reposts on social media, further adds to the illusion of credibility. </p><p>If fake news were limited to stories about Area 51 or the JFK assassination, it would represent an interesting sociological case, but with limited relevance to corporate security. However, both the subject matter and the intensity of emotion elicited make fake news a real threat to corporations in terms of potential financial losses, reputational damage, and the physical security of facilities and personnel. This enhanced threat environment will require adaptation by corporate security professionals and the incorporation of new defensive and offensive capabilities to existing corporate security plans.</p><p>The increasingly widespread use of false or misleading information to cause confusion or harm to an individual or organization is not likely to disappear in the near term. The efficiency of this technique has been clearly demonstrated and the tools facilitating it are becoming ever more powerful, accessible, and easy to use. It is also difficult to imagine a significant increase in trust in traditional authority figures in the near future. </p><p>For corporations, some of the most serious fake news risks relate to stock manipulation, reputational damage, and the related loss of business—through boycotts for example—and direct threats to staff and property.</p><h4>Stock Manipulation</h4><p>At the macro level, fake news has been used to move entire stock exchanges. This was the case in April 2013 when a tweet that appeared to come from the Associated Press (AP) Twitter account reported that there had been an explosion at the White House and that U.S. President Barack Obama was injured. The Dow Jones Index lost 145 points in two minutes, while the S&P lost $136.5 billion. The news was quickly disproved and the market corrected within minutes, but the potential for large-scale disruption was demonstrated. In this instance, the fake news attack was claimed by the Syrian Electronic Army, according to The Washington Post.</p><p>In October 2009, the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) fell 7.2 percent because of an online rumor related to the health of the Thai king. The market made up about half of the loss within the next trading day, and the Thai police made several arrests related to the case later that month, as reported by Reuters.</p><p>Fake news has been used to manipulate the shares of individual companies as well. In May 2015, a fake offer to purchase Avon Products led to a surge in trading and a significant increase in the share price, according to The New York Times. Then in November 2016, a fake offer to acquire Fitbit shares led to a spike in activity, and a temporary halt to the trade in Fitbit stocks as reported by The Financial Times. In 2013, a fake press release was posted claiming the Swedish company Fingerprint Cards AB would be acquired by Samsung. Company shares surged until trading was halted. </p><p>In the United States, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has taken an increasingly aggressive stance in combating this threat to market integrity. It has filed enforcement actions against 27 companies and individuals involved in “alleged stock promotion schemes that left investors with the impression they were reading independent, unbiased analyses on investing websites while writers were being secretly compensated for touting company stocks,” according to an SEC statement.​</p><h4>Reputation</h4><p>False stories, rumors, or statements taken out of context have led to both reputational harm, as well as to threats to corporate personnel and property. In this type of threat, a corporate statement or action that would be innocuous under normal circumstances has taken on an increased risk due to hyper-sensitive stakeholders.</p><p>A case in point was New Balance, when Matthew LeBretton, vice president for public affairs said, “The Obama administration turned a deaf ear to us and frankly, with President-elect Trump, we feel things are going to move in the right direction,” during an interview with The Wall Street Journal. The statement related specifically to President Trump’s plan to withdraw from the TransPacific Partnership (TPP), but was widely misinterpreted. This caused a twofold issue for New Balance. First, anti-Trump individuals saw the statement as an endorsement of the candidate and everything he was purported to believe. This in turn led to calls for a boycott, and many social media posts depicting the destruction of New Balance products as reported by CNBC. A few days later the same statement led Andrew Anglin, a blogger associated with the white supremacist movement, to write on his popular Daily Stormer blog that New Balance shoes were the “Official Shoes of White People.” New Balance was blindsided by the intensity of reactions to a single statement related to a proposed international trade agreement and was forced into reactive positions throughout the crisis.</p><p>Another executive statement that was taken out of context and twisted to fit a partisan narrative was made by Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo in her interview with Andrew Sorkin of The New York Times on November 9, 2016. Her statement included congratulations to President-elect Trump on his victory, while also indicating that some of her employees expressed concerns about their safety as a result of the election. Numerous fake media outlets exaggerated the statement by claiming that she and her employees were “terrified” of Donald Trump and his supporters. This led to a firestorm of social media protests against Pepsi, including calls for a boycott and threats against the company.</p><h4>Direct Threats</h4><p>As noted above, one of the most serious cases of threats to an organization based on fake news were the reports of child abuse allegedly masterminded by Hillary Clinton and carried out at a D.C. pizza parlor. While the story was repeatedly debunked, it nevertheless continued to circulate and was supported by Michael Flynn, Jr., son of then National Security Director General Michael Flynn, according to The Washington Post. The shooter was arrested immediately after leaving the pizzeria, where he found no evidence of any abuse. He later pled guilty to the interstate transportation of ammunition and a firearm, a federal charge, in addition to a D.C. charge of assault with a dangerous weapon, according to The Hill.</p><p>This case indicates that even the most ridiculous story, if repeated often enough, will find an audience that believes it, and possibly someone who is willing to take action based on its claims. It is possible that a less extreme story focusing on a corporate executive or brand would lead to similar examples of direct action.​</p><h4>Countermeasures</h4><p>Countering fake news is difficult when the target audience finds it easy to discount facts and the usual sources of information are distrusted. However, there are a number of actions that corporate security teams can take to mitigate the risks posed by this new threat.</p><p><strong>Risk assessment. </strong>As with any threat to corporate security, the place to start is with a detailed risk assessment. The corporate security team needs to look at both internal and external factors to determine both the level of risk, as well as the most likely points of attack. Internal factors include employee demographics, employee morale, and computer use policies. The external factors include the competitive environment, the current perception of the organization and its management, the level of openness and transparency, and the nature of current conversations about the organization. With this information, corporate security will be in a much stronger position to establish policies and procedures to mitigate the risks from fake news attacks.</p><p>A white paper by Accenture focusing on social media compliance and risk in the international financial industry highlights the importance of identifying areas where an institution has vulnerabilities and incorporating the findings into its risk mitigation plans. A survey of executives cited in the white paper, A Comprehensive Approach to Managing Social Media Risk and Compliance, found that 59 percent of respondents reported having no social media risk assessments in place, while only 36 percent reported being offered any training on social media risk mitigation.</p><p><strong>Monitoring. </strong>To have any hope of effectively countering fake news, the corporate security team needs to have as close to real-time visibility of its appearance as possible. This points to the requirement for a comprehensive monitoring program that builds on any existing media or social media monitoring capability the organization already possesses.</p><p>It is important that this monitoring program specifically focus on channels that are outside the organization’s norm. These channels may be antithetical to the values of the organization, targeted to a demographic that is generally not associated with the company, or linked to apparently phony information sources. It is also important to look specifically for negative references to the organization.</p><p>After experiencing a number of negative stories driven by news and social media, Dell Computer adopted an “everyone is listening” approach to social media monitoring. A Framework for Social Analytics by Susan Etlinger of the Altimeter Group discusses Dell’s hybrid model for media monitoring, which gives a large number of its 100,000 plus workforce some responsibility for monitoring social media channels related to their lines of business. The company also has a Social Media Listening Command Center, which employs sophisticated social media monitoring software to complement its traditional media monitoring program.  </p><p>A company’s monitoring system should also include an analysis component that helps vet the material, determining how it should be classified and its importance from a risk management perspective. This component would then ensure that any important material is routed to the key decision makers for immediate action.</p><p>Finance, investment, and hedge fund companies have been taking a lead in the area of monitoring and identifying fake news stories. The growth of organizations that can deploy multiple content generators focusing on specific companies poses a significant risk to stock market investors. According to reporting in Forbes, companies are also seeking to develop algorithms that can sort through large quantities of content and identify malicious fake news campaigns. One such company that has been widely cited in this regard is Houston-based Indexer LLC.​</p><h4>Response Plans</h4><p>Based on the results of the risk audit, the most likely fake news scenarios should be identified and used to create detailed response protocols that can be activated in the event of an actual fake news situation. At a minimum, these plans should include contact information for all crisis team members, checklists for key actions, prepared statement templates to be used with internal and external stakeholders, and escalation metrics in the event that the fake news situation is not immediately contained.</p><p>The importance of incorporating the social media environment into a robust crisis response system is shown in the Nuclear Energy Institute’s Implementing and Operating a Joint Information System planning document. The plan covers the importance of preassignment of roles and responsibilities, training and readiness exercises, and media monitoring and engagement. The last item includes specific information on the importance of ensuring that information on social media regarding nuclear facilities and incidents is accurate, and that rumors and falsehoods are flagged and corrected.​</p><h4>Training</h4><p>The weaponization of news represents an evolving threat for many organizations and is not often included in corporate crisis management plans or training programs. As examples of fake news incidents increase, corporate security professionals should build this new threat into security training that is offered in conjunction with the corporate communications and human resources functions. Members of the senior leadership team should also be involved in any fake news response training.</p><p>Countering fake news requires fast decision making and decisive action on the part of the organization. To be able to execute effectively, the relevant personnel should be exposed to these scenarios in a simulated environment.</p><p>The communications function at DePaul University in Chicago, recognized the importance of building a mix of true and false information on social media into its crisis response training program. The result was a multi-party simulation exercise involving real-time interactions with traditional media, Twitter, and Facebook, as well as direct stakeholder communications. One of the key challenges in this type of training is sorting through incoming information quickly while still ensuring that key facts are not overlooked.​</p><h4>Cross-Functional Teams</h4><p>By its nature, the threat posed by fake news needs to be met by a comprehensive organizational response. This implies a cross-functional approach to fake news management. While corporate security may take point, the expertise and resources available to the corporate communications, human resources, and legal teams will prove critical.</p><p>An executive from an international bank reported to Accenture that it was important for all key functions to participate in risk management planning, especially when it concerns social media. “However, it is always important to have a representative from risk sitting at the table—someone from compliance, someone from legal, and so forth, to provide guidance to the business and make sure what the company is doing is sound,” notes the Accenture white paper.</p><p>Because fake news is still a type of news, the communication and media relations skills of the corporate communication function will be needed to analyze the content and develop and distribute counter messages to all fake news reports. This function may also be the appropriate host for the monitoring program because it is a logical extension to standard corporate media monitoring activities.  </p><p>Employees are a critical audience for fake news and an important distribution channel for counter messaging. This being the case, the human resources department needs to be involved in the creation and execution of corporate security strategy with regards to fake news.  </p><p>To ensure that the organization’s rights are fully protected, and that it does not itself cross the line in terms of libel, the corporate legal team should be involved in the fake news strategy, and have a role in vetting counter messages.​</p><h4>Communications</h4><p>Because of the potentially serious morale and operational ramifications fake news can have on an organization, it is vital that employees are provided with clear and accurate facts and count­er messages as quickly as possible.</p><p>Beyond reacting to a fake news incident, the organization should seek to inoculate its staff against its effects by undertaking a comprehensive internal communications and employee engagement program. This can be incorporated into the concept of encouraging employees to be brand ambassadors.</p><p>Organizations that are most vulnerable to fake news are those about which little is known. Without a base of preexisting knowledge, stakeholders who are exposed to fake news cannot immediately discount it, which is where the seeds of doubt take root. It is thus important that the organization be as transparent as possible, which includes regular proactive external communications. Corporate actions and policies should be communicated, explained, and contextualized to establish the reality of the situation before a fake news story can present a false narrative.  </p><p>It is especially important to get in front of any bad news stories and ensure that the organization is seen as working to resolve the issue, rather than hiding it. The idea of a first mover advantage with releasing properly contextualized negative information is a central tenet of contemporary public relations practice, and it can help thwart attempts to create a scandal by fake news outlets. ​</p><h4>Trust</h4><p>While a full discussion of trust-based relationships is beyond the scope of this article, it should be noted that the establishment of trust with key stakeholders is one of the best defenses against fake news attacks. Creating trust goes beyond simply telling the truth. It involves a range of factors including organizational reliability, competence, and benevolence, along with honesty and transparency. Because trust building involves all aspects of organizational behavior, it must be seen as a strategic initiative and be driven by senior management. Trust’s relationship to fake news defense is likely to be a collateral benefit rather than a primary driver of the initiative.  </p><p>The use of intentionally false or misleading information distributed through online and social media channels to disrupt or harm organizations is likely to increase dramatically in the years ahead. These actions are increasingly easy and cheap to execute, and take advantage of current weaknesses in organizational capabilities and the fact that societal trust in most traditional authority figures is at a historically low level. It is thus imperative that responsible corporate security professionals develop the internal capabilities and protocols to deal with this new threat environment before they are faced with a fake news attack. The good news is that most of the necessary resources already exist to some degree within the organizational structure and only need to be oriented around the fake news threat. This will include proactive measures such as audits, monitoring, training, and proactive communications, as well as moving quickly to react to the emergence of damaging fake news to contain it and neutralize its ability to damage the organization.  </p><p>In today’s hyperconnected global information environment no organization is safe from a fake news attack. We have had ample warnings that the threat is real and is likely to get worse.  There is no time to waste in hardening the organization against this new type of assault.  </p><p><em>Jeremy E. Plotnick, Ph.D., is founder of CriCom LLC. He has worked in international communications consulting, public affairs, and public relations for more than 20 years. ​ ​ ​</em><br></p>

 

 

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https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Why-Companies-Should-Hire-People-Not-Resumes.aspxWhy Companies Should Hire People, Not Resumes<p><em>Security Management</em> has partnered with the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) to bring you relevant articles on key management topics and strategies​. This article by Erin Binney ​discusse​s the value of hiring the underdog.<br></p><p>--​</p><p>​BOSTON—Two resumes lie side by side on a recruiter's desk. Candidate A has an Ivy League education, a 4.0 GPA and a slew of impressive internships. Candidate B graduated from a state school with a 3.4 GPA and once worked as a singing waitress. Which candidate is more likely to add value to the organization?</p><p>Regina Hartley, a vice president of HR at UPS, argues that it just might be Candidate B, and she explained why during her closing keynote presentation at the Human Capital Institute's 2017 Strategic Talent Acquisition Conference.</p><p>If the recruiter were to do a little digging, Hartley said, he or she might discover that Candidate B is a "scrapper"—someone who has faced adversity and succeeded in overcoming obstacles.</p><p>Attendance at a less prestigious educational institution may have been the result of financial limitations, not a lack of intelligence, for example, and an uneven work history might mean that the person had to take time off to care for a loved one.</p><p>But through these experiences, Candidate B may have become incredibly resilient or developed superior problem-solving skills. She can bring those and other desirable qualities to your organization—but only if you're willing to take a chance on her.</p><p>"There are people out there who can transform your organization," Hartley said, "but they're getting filtered out through the recruitment and selection process."</p><h4>Who Are Scrappers?​</h4><p>Hartley referred to a concept called "post-traumatic growth" and cited a study of 698 children who grew up in less-than-ideal circumstances. One-third of them went on to lead healthy, productive, successful lives.</p><p>Steve Jobs is an example of a scrapper, she said. He struggled with his feelings about being placed for adoption, was diagnosed with dyslexia and dropped out of college before founding Apple.</p><p>Kat Cole might consider herself a scrapper, as well. Cole experienced what she describes as a "Jerry Springer" childhood. She was raised by a single mother, worked as a Hooters waitress when she was a teenager and dropped out of college. Now, she's group president of FOCUS Brands, the franchisor and operator of Cinnabon, Carvel, Moe's Southwest Grill and other restaurants.</p><p>Cole recently told HR Magazine that her work ethic "came from watching my mom, who worked three jobs while she was single and taking care of us. In many ways, I grew up as a normal kid. But I also had to look after my sisters, so I had to develop a great work ethic early in life."</p><p>In many cases, Hartley said, scrappers succeed not in spite of their circumstances but because of them. In fact, many of these people "attribute their success to adversity," she said.</p><p>Hartley urged attendees to read between the lines on a resume. "Struggle is a great indicator of resilience, creativity and critical thinking," she said.</p><p>Scrappers also tend to:</p><ul><li>Be self-reliant.<br></li><li>Have a sense of purpose.<br></li><li>Be problem-solvers.<br></li><li>Refuse to give up.<br></li><li>Take personal responsibility for difficulties.<br></li></ul><div><br></div><h4>'Be the Gateway'​</h4><p>For talent acquisition professionals who are ready to introduce scrappers into their organizations, Hartley had this advice: Don't rely exclusively on technology. It's easy to let tech solutions whittle down your applicant pool, but doing so may not yield the best candidates. 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Find that person who started in the mailroom, worked her way up the company ranks and is now known as someone who helps drive the business.<br></p><p>Talent acquisition professionals have a lot of influence over which candidates get passed along to hiring managers and which ones are chosen for interviews, Hartley said. "Don't be the gatekeeper. Be the gateway."<br></p><p><em>© 2017, SHRM. This article is reprinted from https://shrm.org with permission from SHRM. All rights reserved. ​​ ​​</em><br></p>GP0|#28ae3eb9-d865-484b-ac9f-3dfacb4ce997;L0|#028ae3eb9-d865-484b-ac9f-3dfacb4ce997|Strategic Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a4344465
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Fake-News-Real-Threats.aspxFake News. Real Threats<p>​In November 2016, a man armed himself with an assault rifle and drove six hours from North Carolina to Washington, D.C. His goal was to storm Comet Ping Pong, a D.C. pizza restaurant, and rescue children being held captive and abused by Hillary Clinton. Once inside, the man fired on the restaurant, but no one was hurt. </p><p>The Comet Ping Pong story was one of many deliberately false news stories circulating in 2016. After the story was exposed as a hoax, “a post on Twitter by Representative Steven Smith of the 15th District of Georgia—not a real lawmaker and not a real district—warned that what was fake was the information being peddled by the mainstream media. It was retweeted dozens of times,” according to The New York Times.</p><p>The concept of fake news entered the popular vocabulary during the U.S. presidential election in 2016. While intentionally spreading false news reports for financial, political, or psychological reasons is not a new phenomenon, the practice has expanded significantly in the last year. During the particularly divisive U.S. election, numerous hyper-partisan blogs and websites posted a wide range of rumors, conspiracy theories, and fabrications, which have collectively been labeled fake news. Far from its original meaning—articles that are blatantly untrue—the term fake news has been embraced by all sides of the political divide to denigrate reporting that they feel is biased or incomplete.</p><p>While primarily political in nature, fake news has been used against various organizations and poses a real and increasing threat to private sector organizations of all sizes. It is important for security professionals to explore the relationship between fake news and corporate security, and determine how they can begin to address the threats posed by the release of false news and information.</p><h4>Transmission<br></h4><p>There has been an explosion in the creation and distribution of fake news through various online channels, including blogs, websites, discussion forums, and especially social media platforms. According to a 2017 survey, A Real Plague: Fake News, conducted by Weber Shandwick, Powell Tate, and KRC Research, approximately 7 in 10 American adults reported having read a fake news story in 2016. Research conducted by Hunt Allcott and Matthew Gentzkow and published in the spring 2017 edition of The Journal of Economic Perspectives also found that a database of 38 million shares of fake news stories on social media translated to about 760 million instances of clicking on, and reading, fake news stories. </p><p>The subject matter of these stories has run the gamut from political conspiracies to alleged criminal conduct by high-profile individuals to allegations of corporate political bias. A unique aspect of the current situation is that these stories are shared more widely, and more quickly, than ever before due to the ubiquity of social media. According to Allcott and Gentzkow, the list of fake news websites compiled by Stanford University received 159 million visits during the month of the election, while some 41.8 percent of individuals reported that they were exposed to fake news via social media.</p><p>Another important aspect of the current situation is that many of these fake news stories have gained a level of credibility among segments of the population that is surprising considering the sometimes bizarre nature of the claims made. In a study by Ipsos Public Affairs for BuzzFeed, 75 percent of respondents who reported remembering a fake news headline believed it to be accurate. In the study by KRC Research, 74 percent of individuals surveyed reported that it is difficult to determine what news is real and what is not.</p><p>The increased acceptance of baseless rumors and extreme conspiracy theories is due in no small part to a widespread decline in trust in media, government, academia, and most other forms of traditional authority. The falling levels of trust in media have been well documented by Gallup, Pew Research, and the Edelman Trust Barometer. This collapse of trust has led to the increased importance of the “people like me” category as a trusted source of news and information. according to Edelman’s 2017 global report. Because of these developments, sources such as Reddit, personal blogs, Facebook accounts, and quasi-official websites have gained credibility, while trust in traditional news media and government sources has declined. The fact that these fake news stories are rebroadcast many times, through cross-links and reposts on social media, further adds to the illusion of credibility. </p><p>If fake news were limited to stories about Area 51 or the JFK assassination, it would represent an interesting sociological case, but with limited relevance to corporate security. However, both the subject matter and the intensity of emotion elicited make fake news a real threat to corporations in terms of potential financial losses, reputational damage, and the physical security of facilities and personnel. This enhanced threat environment will require adaptation by corporate security professionals and the incorporation of new defensive and offensive capabilities to existing corporate security plans.</p><p>The increasingly widespread use of false or misleading information to cause confusion or harm to an individual or organization is not likely to disappear in the near term. The efficiency of this technique has been clearly demonstrated and the tools facilitating it are becoming ever more powerful, accessible, and easy to use. It is also difficult to imagine a significant increase in trust in traditional authority figures in the near future. </p><p>For corporations, some of the most serious fake news risks relate to stock manipulation, reputational damage, and the related loss of business—through boycotts for example—and direct threats to staff and property.</p><h4>Stock Manipulation</h4><p>At the macro level, fake news has been used to move entire stock exchanges. This was the case in April 2013 when a tweet that appeared to come from the Associated Press (AP) Twitter account reported that there had been an explosion at the White House and that U.S. President Barack Obama was injured. The Dow Jones Index lost 145 points in two minutes, while the S&P lost $136.5 billion. The news was quickly disproved and the market corrected within minutes, but the potential for large-scale disruption was demonstrated. In this instance, the fake news attack was claimed by the Syrian Electronic Army, according to The Washington Post.</p><p>In October 2009, the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) fell 7.2 percent because of an online rumor related to the health of the Thai king. The market made up about half of the loss within the next trading day, and the Thai police made several arrests related to the case later that month, as reported by Reuters.</p><p>Fake news has been used to manipulate the shares of individual companies as well. In May 2015, a fake offer to purchase Avon Products led to a surge in trading and a significant increase in the share price, according to The New York Times. Then in November 2016, a fake offer to acquire Fitbit shares led to a spike in activity, and a temporary halt to the trade in Fitbit stocks as reported by The Financial Times. In 2013, a fake press release was posted claiming the Swedish company Fingerprint Cards AB would be acquired by Samsung. Company shares surged until trading was halted. </p><p>In the United States, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has taken an increasingly aggressive stance in combating this threat to market integrity. It has filed enforcement actions against 27 companies and individuals involved in “alleged stock promotion schemes that left investors with the impression they were reading independent, unbiased analyses on investing websites while writers were being secretly compensated for touting company stocks,” according to an SEC statement.​</p><h4>Reputation</h4><p>False stories, rumors, or statements taken out of context have led to both reputational harm, as well as to threats to corporate personnel and property. In this type of threat, a corporate statement or action that would be innocuous under normal circumstances has taken on an increased risk due to hyper-sensitive stakeholders.</p><p>A case in point was New Balance, when Matthew LeBretton, vice president for public affairs said, “The Obama administration turned a deaf ear to us and frankly, with President-elect Trump, we feel things are going to move in the right direction,” during an interview with The Wall Street Journal. The statement related specifically to President Trump’s plan to withdraw from the TransPacific Partnership (TPP), but was widely misinterpreted. This caused a twofold issue for New Balance. First, anti-Trump individuals saw the statement as an endorsement of the candidate and everything he was purported to believe. This in turn led to calls for a boycott, and many social media posts depicting the destruction of New Balance products as reported by CNBC. A few days later the same statement led Andrew Anglin, a blogger associated with the white supremacist movement, to write on his popular Daily Stormer blog that New Balance shoes were the “Official Shoes of White People.” New Balance was blindsided by the intensity of reactions to a single statement related to a proposed international trade agreement and was forced into reactive positions throughout the crisis.</p><p>Another executive statement that was taken out of context and twisted to fit a partisan narrative was made by Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo in her interview with Andrew Sorkin of The New York Times on November 9, 2016. Her statement included congratulations to President-elect Trump on his victory, while also indicating that some of her employees expressed concerns about their safety as a result of the election. Numerous fake media outlets exaggerated the statement by claiming that she and her employees were “terrified” of Donald Trump and his supporters. This led to a firestorm of social media protests against Pepsi, including calls for a boycott and threats against the company.</p><h4>Direct Threats</h4><p>As noted above, one of the most serious cases of threats to an organization based on fake news were the reports of child abuse allegedly masterminded by Hillary Clinton and carried out at a D.C. pizza parlor. While the story was repeatedly debunked, it nevertheless continued to circulate and was supported by Michael Flynn, Jr., son of then National Security Director General Michael Flynn, according to The Washington Post. The shooter was arrested immediately after leaving the pizzeria, where he found no evidence of any abuse. He later pled guilty to the interstate transportation of ammunition and a firearm, a federal charge, in addition to a D.C. charge of assault with a dangerous weapon, according to The Hill.</p><p>This case indicates that even the most ridiculous story, if repeated often enough, will find an audience that believes it, and possibly someone who is willing to take action based on its claims. It is possible that a less extreme story focusing on a corporate executive or brand would lead to similar examples of direct action.​</p><h4>Countermeasures</h4><p>Countering fake news is difficult when the target audience finds it easy to discount facts and the usual sources of information are distrusted. However, there are a number of actions that corporate security teams can take to mitigate the risks posed by this new threat.</p><p><strong>Risk assessment. </strong>As with any threat to corporate security, the place to start is with a detailed risk assessment. The corporate security team needs to look at both internal and external factors to determine both the level of risk, as well as the most likely points of attack. Internal factors include employee demographics, employee morale, and computer use policies. The external factors include the competitive environment, the current perception of the organization and its management, the level of openness and transparency, and the nature of current conversations about the organization. With this information, corporate security will be in a much stronger position to establish policies and procedures to mitigate the risks from fake news attacks.</p><p>A white paper by Accenture focusing on social media compliance and risk in the international financial industry highlights the importance of identifying areas where an institution has vulnerabilities and incorporating the findings into its risk mitigation plans. A survey of executives cited in the white paper, A Comprehensive Approach to Managing Social Media Risk and Compliance, found that 59 percent of respondents reported having no social media risk assessments in place, while only 36 percent reported being offered any training on social media risk mitigation.</p><p><strong>Monitoring. </strong>To have any hope of effectively countering fake news, the corporate security team needs to have as close to real-time visibility of its appearance as possible. This points to the requirement for a comprehensive monitoring program that builds on any existing media or social media monitoring capability the organization already possesses.</p><p>It is important that this monitoring program specifically focus on channels that are outside the organization’s norm. These channels may be antithetical to the values of the organization, targeted to a demographic that is generally not associated with the company, or linked to apparently phony information sources. It is also important to look specifically for negative references to the organization.</p><p>After experiencing a number of negative stories driven by news and social media, Dell Computer adopted an “everyone is listening” approach to social media monitoring. A Framework for Social Analytics by Susan Etlinger of the Altimeter Group discusses Dell’s hybrid model for media monitoring, which gives a large number of its 100,000 plus workforce some responsibility for monitoring social media channels related to their lines of business. The company also has a Social Media Listening Command Center, which employs sophisticated social media monitoring software to complement its traditional media monitoring program.  </p><p>A company’s monitoring system should also include an analysis component that helps vet the material, determining how it should be classified and its importance from a risk management perspective. This component would then ensure that any important material is routed to the key decision makers for immediate action.</p><p>Finance, investment, and hedge fund companies have been taking a lead in the area of monitoring and identifying fake news stories. The growth of organizations that can deploy multiple content generators focusing on specific companies poses a significant risk to stock market investors. According to reporting in Forbes, companies are also seeking to develop algorithms that can sort through large quantities of content and identify malicious fake news campaigns. One such company that has been widely cited in this regard is Houston-based Indexer LLC.​</p><h4>Response Plans</h4><p>Based on the results of the risk audit, the most likely fake news scenarios should be identified and used to create detailed response protocols that can be activated in the event of an actual fake news situation. At a minimum, these plans should include contact information for all crisis team members, checklists for key actions, prepared statement templates to be used with internal and external stakeholders, and escalation metrics in the event that the fake news situation is not immediately contained.</p><p>The importance of incorporating the social media environment into a robust crisis response system is shown in the Nuclear Energy Institute’s Implementing and Operating a Joint Information System planning document. The plan covers the importance of preassignment of roles and responsibilities, training and readiness exercises, and media monitoring and engagement. The last item includes specific information on the importance of ensuring that information on social media regarding nuclear facilities and incidents is accurate, and that rumors and falsehoods are flagged and corrected.​</p><h4>Training</h4><p>The weaponization of news represents an evolving threat for many organizations and is not often included in corporate crisis management plans or training programs. As examples of fake news incidents increase, corporate security professionals should build this new threat into security training that is offered in conjunction with the corporate communications and human resources functions. Members of the senior leadership team should also be involved in any fake news response training.</p><p>Countering fake news requires fast decision making and decisive action on the part of the organization. To be able to execute effectively, the relevant personnel should be exposed to these scenarios in a simulated environment.</p><p>The communications function at DePaul University in Chicago, recognized the importance of building a mix of true and false information on social media into its crisis response training program. The result was a multi-party simulation exercise involving real-time interactions with traditional media, Twitter, and Facebook, as well as direct stakeholder communications. One of the key challenges in this type of training is sorting through incoming information quickly while still ensuring that key facts are not overlooked.​</p><h4>Cross-Functional Teams</h4><p>By its nature, the threat posed by fake news needs to be met by a comprehensive organizational response. This implies a cross-functional approach to fake news management. While corporate security may take point, the expertise and resources available to the corporate communications, human resources, and legal teams will prove critical.</p><p>An executive from an international bank reported to Accenture that it was important for all key functions to participate in risk management planning, especially when it concerns social media. “However, it is always important to have a representative from risk sitting at the table—someone from compliance, someone from legal, and so forth, to provide guidance to the business and make sure what the company is doing is sound,” notes the Accenture white paper.</p><p>Because fake news is still a type of news, the communication and media relations skills of the corporate communication function will be needed to analyze the content and develop and distribute counter messages to all fake news reports. This function may also be the appropriate host for the monitoring program because it is a logical extension to standard corporate media monitoring activities.  </p><p>Employees are a critical audience for fake news and an important distribution channel for counter messaging. This being the case, the human resources department needs to be involved in the creation and execution of corporate security strategy with regards to fake news.  </p><p>To ensure that the organization’s rights are fully protected, and that it does not itself cross the line in terms of libel, the corporate legal team should be involved in the fake news strategy, and have a role in vetting counter messages.​</p><h4>Communications</h4><p>Because of the potentially serious morale and operational ramifications fake news can have on an organization, it is vital that employees are provided with clear and accurate facts and count­er messages as quickly as possible.</p><p>Beyond reacting to a fake news incident, the organization should seek to inoculate its staff against its effects by undertaking a comprehensive internal communications and employee engagement program. This can be incorporated into the concept of encouraging employees to be brand ambassadors.</p><p>Organizations that are most vulnerable to fake news are those about which little is known. Without a base of preexisting knowledge, stakeholders who are exposed to fake news cannot immediately discount it, which is where the seeds of doubt take root. It is thus important that the organization be as transparent as possible, which includes regular proactive external communications. Corporate actions and policies should be communicated, explained, and contextualized to establish the reality of the situation before a fake news story can present a false narrative.  </p><p>It is especially important to get in front of any bad news stories and ensure that the organization is seen as working to resolve the issue, rather than hiding it. The idea of a first mover advantage with releasing properly contextualized negative information is a central tenet of contemporary public relations practice, and it can help thwart attempts to create a scandal by fake news outlets. ​</p><h4>Trust</h4><p>While a full discussion of trust-based relationships is beyond the scope of this article, it should be noted that the establishment of trust with key stakeholders is one of the best defenses against fake news attacks. Creating trust goes beyond simply telling the truth. It involves a range of factors including organizational reliability, competence, and benevolence, along with honesty and transparency. Because trust building involves all aspects of organizational behavior, it must be seen as a strategic initiative and be driven by senior management. Trust’s relationship to fake news defense is likely to be a collateral benefit rather than a primary driver of the initiative.  </p><p>The use of intentionally false or misleading information distributed through online and social media channels to disrupt or harm organizations is likely to increase dramatically in the years ahead. These actions are increasingly easy and cheap to execute, and take advantage of current weaknesses in organizational capabilities and the fact that societal trust in most traditional authority figures is at a historically low level. It is thus imperative that responsible corporate security professionals develop the internal capabilities and protocols to deal with this new threat environment before they are faced with a fake news attack. The good news is that most of the necessary resources already exist to some degree within the organizational structure and only need to be oriented around the fake news threat. This will include proactive measures such as audits, monitoring, training, and proactive communications, as well as moving quickly to react to the emergence of damaging fake news to contain it and neutralize its ability to damage the organization.  </p><p>In today’s hyperconnected global information environment no organization is safe from a fake news attack. We have had ample warnings that the threat is real and is likely to get worse.  There is no time to waste in hardening the organization against this new type of assault.  </p><p><em>Jeremy E. Plotnick, Ph.D., is founder of CriCom LLC. He has worked in international communications consulting, public affairs, and public relations for more than 20 years. ​ ​ ​</em><br></p>GP0|#28ae3eb9-d865-484b-ac9f-3dfacb4ce997;L0|#028ae3eb9-d865-484b-ac9f-3dfacb4ce997|Strategic Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a4344465
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Building-a-Professional-Guard-Force.aspxBuilding a Professional Guard Force<p>In today's environment of heightened security in all areas, security departments are struggling to attract and retain high-quality guards. Now more than ever, it's vital to examine how security guards are evaluated, trained, and compensated.</p><p>All entities, including corporations and government facilities, understand the importance of a top-notch security force. However, not all of them recognize the elements needed to create such a force.</p><p>Security managers may presume that a security guard who passed the preemployment screening and successfully completed training when hired will perform the required duties well. And that may be true. But human nature allows people to become complacent, cut corners, and get too comfortable. Continuing education, regularly scheduled evaluations, and enhanced training can improve the team's performance.</p><p>On March 1, 2016, at Escuela Campo Alegre, Caracas, Venezuela, we initiated a new method of recruitment and selection for incoming loss prevention and control analysts (LPCAs). At that time, we chose to enhance our program by hiring 10 people with bachelor's or associate degrees in engineering, economics, administration, education, and other related fields.</p><p>We developed a screening and training program for candidates hoping to join our security team as LPCAs. In addition, we created a regimen of close supervision and daily evaluation of the security force to reinforce the training. </p><p>Here are the elements that led to success in creating excellent employees for our school's protection, from the first job application to seasoned protection professional.</p><p><strong>SCREENING AND TRAINING</strong></p><p><strong>Detailed job description. </strong>Experience has taught me the importance of a detailed and clearly stated job description. Candidates for the position of LPCA receive a precise explanation of the duties and expectations. This is presented first so that potential candidates fully understand the duties and responsibilities of the position. If the job description isn't something the candidate wants to do, we have saved everyone a lot of time.</p><p><strong>Required qualifications. </strong>Every security force has necessary requirements when seeking team members such as age, place of residence, experience, physical abilities, criminal background, and computer skills. Education, of course, is taken into consideration, and at Escuela Campo Alegre we look for higher education, from associate degree to bachelor's degree and up, for LPCA candidates.</p><p><strong>Testing potential candidates. </strong>LPCAs must have certain abilities from the beginning.</p><p><em>Observation.</em> The candidate must be attentive and aware at all times of the general appearance of people, placement of objects, locations, colors, vehicles, and location of security equipment.</p><p><em>Oral communication.</em> The candidate must be able to respond in detail when relaying and explaining the facts of a situation. The candidate must also be able to delegate duties to a third party using clear directions.  </p><p><em>Written communication: </em>The candidate must be able to write a report using correct grammar and vocabulary. An excellent memory is needed to write a complete report. Also, the candidate must be computer literate to produce the report.</p><p>During the interview process, we determine if the candidate has the qualifications listed above. We evaluate the ability to give directions properly to a third party. Observation skills are also evaluated. Reporting skills are tested by having the candidate read and summarize a paragraph using a computer.</p><p><strong>Introduction to private surveillance. </strong>A candidate who passes the initial interview process is invited to attend an eight-hour training presentation the next day. This introduction exposes the candidate to the basic requirements of private security. Among the topics addressed are the expectations of a security officer, the organizational mission, legal aspects, visitor management, keys and locks, and guard tours.</p><p>After the presentation, the candidate undergoes a test, which requires 17 points to pass. If successful, the candidate is invited to come the following day to read the operations manual. </p><p><strong>Operations manual. </strong>This next step is important. We determined that it requires five business days to read, analyze, and understand the school's operations manual. We administer an evaluation at the end of each day to determine whether the candidate has understood the reading for the day. This helps to clarify questions or misunderstandings the candidate may have. If the candidate does not reach the minimum score during the first evaluation, the average of the first and second tests must be a passing score. Candidates who do not receive the required score are no longer considered, but those who pass the evaluation are invited to the induction program.</p><p><strong>Induction program. </strong>This phase of our program provides detailed descriptions of the jobs to be performed. Candidates learn that they will rotate throughout the facility and understand that there are multiple and varying tasks at each location. They receive on-the-job exposure to the work by staying at our institution during four day shifts and two night shifts.</p><p>The candidate is evaluated each day, and the minimum passing grade is 17 out of 20 points. Once again, candidates who do not receive a passing grade will no longer be considered for a position.</p><p><strong>Final evaluation. </strong>After passing the induction program, the candidate will meet with the security manager for the final assessment. This assessment includes topics such as employee identification, addresses of various locations, location of safety equipment, knowledge of the operations manual, recognition of patrol routes, and disciplinary code.</p><p><strong>Assignment to a guard group. </strong>Candidates who advance through the final evaluation receive the rank of Officer I and are assigned to a regular working group. Together with the supervisor, the officer will put into practice all theoretical and practical knowledge achieved through training. The officer will work as an auxiliary for 90 days and will perform day-shift and night-shift tasks in conjunction with the assigned group. </p><p>During this trial period, the officer will be guided and instructed by the supervisor regarding the responsibilities of the log book; closing and opening of facilities; operation of lighting; vehicle fleets; entry and exit of students; entrance of drivers, chauffeurs, and caregivers; Escuela Campo Alegre staff, contractors, tutors, substitutes, trainers, and frequent visitors; entry and exit materials; fire alarm system; evacuation drill; and many other activities. </p><p><strong>Completing the probationary period</strong>. Once Officer I completes the probationary period, we administer an evaluation to demonstrate readiness to assume multiple responsibilities. If the officer does not pass the evaluation, an additional 15 days as an auxiliary allows for more instruction, followed by another evaluation. When this evaluation is passed, the individual is promoted to Officer II.</p><p><strong>Certification as Loss Prevention and Control Analyst. </strong>An Officer II will work for nine continuous months at the new job, demonstrating knowledge of establishing priorities, situation analysis, decision making, safety, conflict management, investigations, and first aid. Depending on performance and the results of monthly assessments, it can be determined that the officer has a clear understanding of what constitutes the work of the supervisor. The officer is now eligible to be certified as an LPCA. A further evaluation involves a series of cases and situations and requires a passing score to become a certified LPCA.</p><p>Out of 120 people who apply for a position as an LPCA, only about 10 successfully reach this point.</p><p><strong>EMPLOYEE DEVELOPMENT</strong></p><p><strong>Training updates. </strong>In our organization, we believe that providing continuous training enhances the performance of each member of the group. Daily training is provided to each member of the guard force for 15 minutes prior to the day shift and the night shift. This training is different every day and covers more than 40 areas related to the fulfillment of security tasks. The training aims to strengthen the knowledge and ability to perform required tasks.</p><p><strong>Daily evaluations. </strong>From the first moment the candidate joins our ranks, we stress the importance of maintaining our organization with a spirit of healthy competition within the groups. This interest and enthusiasm in our organization fosters respect, pride, and knowledge about the organization.</p><p>The daily evaluation is a practical application that consists of the exchange of files and questions that the coordinator of vigilance presents to each member of the group. Officers must demonstrate their ability to recognize the faces of employees, know the geographical location of any room on campus, know the exact location of the security equipment, provide detailed information of the operations manual, run the courses correctly, and honor the disciplinary code. This daily evaluation keeps officers on their toes and objectively assesses their knowledge.</p><p><strong>Monthly evaluations. </strong>At the end of each month, the scores from the daily assessments are reviewed, allowing us to determine who has been an outstanding analyst and who may need more supervision and additional training. Officers who come up short three times during the school year are reassigned to jobs outside of Escuela Campo Alegre. </p><p><strong>LPCA lectures. </strong>Each LPCA of Campo Alegre School, as part of ongoing professional development, must present a lecture about security once a year. Each 20-minute lecture is followed by a 10-minute question-and-answer session. The topic of the lecture is assigned by management. </p><p><strong>Annual research presentation. </strong>For further professional development, each LPCA at Escuela Campo Alegre must research and propose new tools, criteria, or procedures to make the job function better and more efficiently. This improves the LPCA's skills while helping management meet its objectives.</p><p><strong>Interpersonal communications with management. </strong>Once a week, an off-duty analyst will attend an hour-long meeting with management. The parties discuss topics not related to work, such as sports, hobbies, and leisure pursuits. Management gains an appreciation of the social, cultural, and familial environment of the analyst, and both participants strengthen their communication. </p><p><strong>Disciplinary court. </strong>If any officer is involved in a disciplinary action, that officer seeks a member of his group to act as his "lawyer." The lawyer will represent the officer and help to clarify the situation. Likewise, management will choose an officer to act as "prosecutor" to argue the case of the disciplinary action. This interaction allows each party a fair chance to present facts. </p><p><strong>LPCA authors. </strong>Every member of the security team is required to write an article about campus security. The article is published in our digital magazine and is shared with the Campo Alegre community, including parents, students, teachers, employees, and contractors.</p><p><strong>LPCA of the month. </strong>Each month, an officer who has successfully met all objectives is awarded LPCA of the month. The objectives include staff identification, detailed knowledge of the campus, analytical prowess with regard to the operations manual, location of safety equipment, completion of duties, and adherence to the disciplinary code. The officer must demonstrate clear concise communication and common sense.</p><p><strong>LPCA of the year. </strong>This honor is awarded to the LPCA who has received the greatest number of monthly awards.</p><p><strong>Compensation. </strong>In addition to careful training, we know that humans respond well to a good salary and benefits. They feel appreciated for a job well done. We are proud to say that our LPCAs are the best paid in the country. In addition, they receive a stipend for being a university graduate, a stipend for transportation, and bonuses for work performance. The Escuela Campo Alegre community also shows appreciation through thank you notes and personal gratitude. That goes a long way in making our team feel appreciated.</p><p><strong>RESULTS</strong></p><p>Since Escuela Campo Alegre began this program of recruitment, training, supervision, daily evaluations, and professional development of analysts, management has observed both positive and negative behaviors: distractibility, obscurity, lack of discipline, lack of confidence to perform duties, inequality when working in groups, selfishness, and lying, as well as professionalism, fairness, honesty, transparency, and overall pride in the work and the institution. </p><p>Our evaluation system contributes greatly toward a successful program. A Google Doc is available so that every person on the task force can monitor his behavior and improve in areas of operation, manual details, face recognition, geographic location on campus, security equipment location on campus and security rounds. With this information available at any time, they can self-motivate and improve. The same Google Doc can show them where they stand as far as positioning and they can see what salary increase they may expect on their next evaluation. The disciplinary system tracks all mistakes made by the analyst on duty. This provides the analyst the opportunity to correct mistakes and advance in the program.</p><p>Our turnover is very low because of our evaluation system. It not only helps those who wish to advance, but it also allows others to realize, on their own, that their job performance is too low to continue.</p><p>The analysts take pride in their work and, because they can see what other analysts are achieving, they can collaborate and ask questions of those higher achievers. There are fewer missed shifts. Because the analysts work so closely together and respect each other, they are more willing to cover for a team member.</p><p>It has been arduous work that involves a great deal of discipline, ethics and morals, teaching, and faith in what we are doing. We are proud of our successful program and will continue to refine and improve it in the future.</p><p><em>Guillermo Guevara Penso was security manager at Escuela Campo Alegre in Caracas, Venezuela, until July 2017 when he elected to seek other security related opportunities in Chile. He has more than 30 years of experience in the security field.</em></p>GP0|#cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8;L0|#0cd529cb2-129a-4422-a2d3-73680b0014d8|Physical Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a4344465