Kidnap, Ransom, and Extortion Scenario Planning
The CEO lands in Rome for an executive leadership conference and never arrives at his hotel. Calls to his mobile phone go straight into voice mail. His scheduled driver and security detail in Rome have also gone missing. The clock is ticking…..
What do you do?
Crisis preparedness planning is not just about how to manage the loss of data from a cyber attack or a critical location being impacted by a natural disaster, it is also about people.
The loss of personnel is not always at the top of the scenario planning list when it comes to assessing corporate risks. If we lost the CEO or other employees, how quickly could we replace them and how vital are they to the bottom line? Have you thought these scenarios through in detail?
- When was the last time you conducted a crisis simulation exercise that focused on the kidnapping of your CEO, a senior executive, or other employee?
- Do you have a plan in place and has it been tested?
- Do you simply rely on the Kidnap and Ransom insurance policy? If you do have insurance, have you worked with the hostage negotiation team to understand roles and responsibilities?
Having a plan in place to recover personnel from sticky situations is important. It is equally important to test that plan to ensure you understand what your organization needs to do throughout the situation. A simple Tabletop Exercise will help you understand some of the challenges you might face during such a situation.
Related: Economic Espionage and the Business Traveler
There will need to be close coordination with the Crisis Management Team and decision-making will have to be quick and decisive. Coordinating with external parties such as the insurance agency through your risk management team will be high on the list of priorities as they will want to activate the localized hostage negotiator as soon as possible. What about informing stakeholders? Who do you inform? What do you say? Who informs what stakeholder group and when?
There are many other questions that will need answering before you have a solid Kidnap and Ransom plan in place. Test it regularly to ensure you’re ready to go at a moments notice.
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About Rob Burton
Rob is a Principal at PreparedEx where he manages a team of crisis preparedness professionals and has over 20 years of experience preparing for and responding to crises. Part of his leadership role includes assisting PreparedEx clients in designing, implementing and evaluating crisis, emergency, security and business continuity management programs. During his career Rob has worked for the US State Department’s Anti-Terrorism Assistance Program, as a crisis management consultant in Pakistan and Afghanistan where he negotiated with the UN and Pashtun tribal warlords and he served with the United Kingdom Special Forces where he operated internationally under hazardous covert and confidential conditions. Rob was also part of a disciplined and prestigious unit The Grenadier Guards where he served Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at the Royal Palaces in London. Rob was a highly trained and experienced infantryman serving in Desert Storm and commanded covert operational teams and was a sniper. Rob has keynoted disaster recovery conferences and participated in live debates on FOX News regarding complex security requirements and terrorism. Rob has a Queen’s Commendation for Bravery.
I’m rather surprised that even in this short synopsis there was no discussion of coordination with family. It’s critical IMO to get buy-in from all the critical players; the alternative is mixed messaging and conflicting objectives.