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As these words are being written, an Austrian citizen is held captive in Yemen, the attack on the Amenas gas complex in Algeria has claimed a toll of 37 foreigners including three Americans, and reports suggest homicides in Mexico are on the rise (86 at the Estado de Mexico in January, 2013 alone).

It is an unsafe world. From abductions to targeted assassinations, travelers in general and high-profile executives in particular are being targeted for political statements and/or monetary gain.

Yet our global economy and interconnected culture leaves little choice for many executives but to travel more than ever before. And often, those executive trips are to areas that are less than stable since those markets offer the largest potential return on investment in terms of resources and opportunities. This poses a potential risk which often becomes the responsibility of the organizations Chief Security Officer to address and mitigate.

Most organizations recognize the need for a specialized security expert. The Chief Security Officer rarely deals with minute issues such as traffic control and/or petty theft. Rather, the CSO is now part of the “C-suite” that directly affects the organization’s bottom line by mitigating threats and protecting assets. Most common among the CSO’s responsibilities are data security, personnel management, continuity of operations, and emergency planning. Assuring executive safety when traveling, however, has now become an added responsibility that requires specialized knowledge and tactics.

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