Confidentiality Assurance for Executives, Directors & High-Profile Individuals
The home is increasingly becoming the primary working location for many individuals, while a far greater proportion of the workforce are now spending more of their working week in the home environment. In 2019, the TUC reported a 27% uplift in home working compared to ten years previously. The desire and need for flexibility and improvements in well-being, coupled with the greater sophistication and reliability of communication tools such as video conferencing thanks to increased Internet bandwidths, have been two of the key instigators of the move to increased home working.
For the C-suite and senior executives, home working has always had a higher take-up (over double compared to the rate for administrative workers, according to the same 2019 TUC research), and with the recent Coronavirus pandemic, this trend is only predicted to escalate.
The Challenge for Security Assurance
Whether you are responsible for physical and information security, or a Director or individual who has become aware of a threat to your information confidentiality, it is clear that there is now the need to assess and ensure the integrity of the home in the same way as that of the work office environment. Assuring that IT hardware and software provide adequate levels of protection for the home worker are hugely important to protect confidential proprietary information from malicious activity such as ransomware and data breaches. Having access to education and training on how to recognise, take action against and report scams and attempts to steal information or conduct fraud by methods such as phishing is also needed and needs to be refreshed often as the cybercriminal employs increasingly sophisticated techniques.
But in much the same way as cybercriminals are becoming more sophisticated, the eavesdropper is also learning and adapting to the changes in working practices. With the move to home working, an adversary is seeking to infiltrate home offices in the same way as an office building environment and one of the methods they will employ is using increasingly discreet listening devices which can be disguised as household objects and activated remotely to actively listen in or record sensitive conversations. With the strategic level of conversation taking place by the C-suite and the highly sensitive nature of some roles or the industries they operate within, the home environment is now a prime target for an attack.
The Threats Posed to Private Residences
Private homes and residences by their nature have lower levels of access granted to them by the public. However, the following threats remain:
- Planting of a listening device by a third party into the home, private vehicle or computer hardware. However far-fetched this may sound, the threat is very real. Retained staff or visitors with access to executive homes are susceptible to bribery and means of intimidation to plant devices on behalf of those wishing to listen in to sensitive conversations.
- The unintentional introduction of a disguised device from outside the home, e.g. within a corporate gift.
- Radio Frequency interception to listen in and steal information sent via unsecured WiFi, telephones and mobile phones. In addition, an unsecure WIFI can allow eavesdroppers to gather information the connected devices.
- Devices attached to computers to enable remote control.
- A GPS tracker attached to your vehicle or an electronic eavesdropping device planted in your vehicle, allowing an eavesdropper to gather information about your movements, contacts and private conversations.
In order to provide assurance that security has not been compromised and to assess the risk of an eavesdropping attack in the future, a security review of the residence including technical surveillance countermeasures (TSCM) survey is highly recommended. By taking a proactive approach, the risk of data loss or compromise is minimised and the potentially devastating impact of highly sensitive information falling into the hands of a competitor or undesirable third party is avoided.
As world-leading counter-espionage and counter surveillance experts, Esoteric Ltd offers a range of services to help assure the confidentiality of the executive home office environment.
Technical Surveillance Countermeasures (TSCM) surveys
Using the latest in counter surveillance technology, Esoteric Ltd conducts TSCM surveys to detect and prevent unauthorised interception of sensitive information by illicit electronic surveillance, bugs and eavesdropping devices.
Electromagnetic Egress Review
Homes are susceptible to signal leakage or electromagnetic egress from sources such as WiFi, telephones, mobile phones or computer hardware. These can be intercepted by adversaries to steal critical information. Esoteric Ltd can identify and assess these vulnerabilities and ultimately recommend how to protect the home office against them.
Physical & IT Security Reviews
To understand the vulnerabilities of a home office to eavesdropping attacks and to put measures in place to deter and protect against them, Esoteric can provide full information security reviews, either of the physical or IT security or both. Once the physical or IT environment have been assessed, practical recommendations are offered to address identified vulnerabilities and risks to information confidentiality.