Are You a Soft Target? Here’s How to Find Out
Whether at home, work, or play, it’s easy for a busy executive to remain blind to all manner of risks and threats. Yet just because you don’t see a threat, doesn’t mean it’s not there.
Security professionals refer to such individuals as “soft” targets. As the name suggests, a soft target in this context is a person who lacks the appropriate layers of security to mitigate the risks they face. Being a soft target doesn’t mean that any particular threat or risk will automatically result in a problem, but it does mean that when an event happens, the potential for serious injury or death goes up significantly.
How can you tell if you’re a soft target?
You assume bad things happen to other people
Through no fault of their own, business people, especially those in high-profile, senior executive roles, sometimes find themselves facing serious threats. And while it is normal to want to see the best in everyone, in reality, some people have the potential to act in violent ways. Additionally, threats don’t come solely from individuals with a grievance or criminal intent; senior executives also run the risk of experiencing a significant medical event, such as a heart attack or stroke. In either event, the existence of a robust security program can mitigate threats and deliver critical help when an executive needs it the most.
You don’t understand how your behaviors might raise your risk
While business executives spend most of their time at the office or on the road, threats don’t disappear when an executive isn’t working. In fact, certain risks may increase when an executive is outside the confines of their office. A predictable routine allows a would-be assailant to develop a well-thought-out plan of attack. For example, if an executive regularly plays golf or tennis at a certain time, a disgruntled employee may choose to confront him or her during that planned activity, which may result in a physical encounter.
You overshare on social media
When an executive posts the details of an upcoming business trip on a social media platform such as Facebook or LinkedIn, anyone accessing their profile knows their intended destination—and, depending on how much detail they share, how long they will be away from home. It’s quite possible to share too much on social media, and for an individual who plans to harm an executive or their family, social media provides an unparalleled view of their intended target’s activities.
You view security as a barrier to productivity
There’s a widely held belief that mitigating risk comes with rules and restrictions designed to make an executive’s life difficult. But that is far from the truth. Hardening a soft target often requires minimal changes to an executive’s lifestyle. Even in extreme circumstances when the risk justifies the use of protective detail, the impact on the executive is minimal. In fact, many executives find that a protective detail helps improve their productivity by ensuring they arrive on time to every appointment in their packed schedule.
Keep in mind that if you are currently a soft target, solving this problem is not as simple as hardening your defenses. An effective security program requires a detailed assessment of the potential for a risk or threat that could impact an individual or their family. That’s the purpose of a Personal Security Vulnerability Assessment (PSVA), which provides a comprehensive risk assessment of an executive’s lifestyle to help determine the need for and potential elements of an executive security program.
Schedule a complimentary security conversation to determine whether you or your peers could benefit from a PSVA.