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Wanted: Protectors Who Can Fill Technical Skills Gaps

Why does this apply to you?

It's a fact that security companies are struggling to fill positions. the challenges of protecting a company or individual in the digital age are being compounded by the lack of available talent and skills to mount a comprehensive defense. The digital skills shortage is now at a critical point, but this also creates an opportunity for astute and ambitious protectors.

So, how does this apply to you?

If you can get your head around these technical skills and realise the opportunity that exists, then there is a massive advantage to add to your stock and make yourself more valuable to your principal.

In this edition of On the Circuit, we've got some great pointers to get you started on exploring these opportunities.

Let's get into it!

The Circuit Magazine Podcast

Beyond the 'hard' and 'soft' EP skills debate, what are employers really looking for today? Can they afford to be selective during what some have described as a shortage of qualified candidates?

We are delighted to be joined by Steve Hernandez, CEO, The North Group and Craig McKim, Co-Founder, Maverick Protection group, to ask:

  • Will we start to recruit from non-typical sectors to develop tomorrow's EP team?

  • What do 'technology skills' actually look like in the context of protection?

  • How marked is the gap between operator and business owner skillsets?

  • Is there a skill set gap or just a lack of available candidates?

  • Are some 'soft' skills actually key 'hard' skills today?

If you enjoy listening to the Circuit Podcast and can spare a minute, please rate/review us. Your rating will help us to rank higher making it easier for others to find the podcast.

The Need to Know

The Chinese Embassy's Liu Pengyu told Newsweek U.S. nuclear moves "gravely undermine global strategic stability and international peace and security."

Kim Jong Un’s middle child, Kim Ju Ae, made her second public appearance in recent days, fueling speculation the North Korean despot is considering her as his heir apparent.

An official within the Department of National Defence told Global News there were multiple interceptions, and that they happened “regularly” over the course of the operation.

The former director of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant claims that workers were tortured by Russian intelligence agents.

Former employees, including contractors employed at the company’s facilities as security guards, allegedly took advantage of a system that resets user accounts in exchange for thousands of dollars.

How far can its government, or any government or private company, go to proactively disrupt cyber threats without causing collateral damage?

For more timely global updates like this, get the Circuit Daily Briefing delivered to your inbox... daily! Get on the list >

From the Pages of the Circuit Magazine

Before licensing, the close protection industry was selective, discreet and understandably somewhat elitist - it had to be, as ultimately, the job could involve protecting someone's life. But now, as Robin Barratt explains "virtually anyone can train and get an SIA license to protect; all you need to do now is pay your money and turn up for your course. It really is as simple as that.

The simple fact is that by over-commercialising close protection training courses, finding work in the industry is extremely difficult because a standard CP course does not guarantee professionalism as it should. How can it if virtually anyone from any background can attend a course and pass?

In the protection industry, it is easy to create excuses for not finding work, for not attending further training courses, and for not studying the industry in your spare time. But for those that don't depend upon excuses for their failings, it is possible to achieve, and achieve big. It's up to you though."

If you enjoyed this article and want more great content from across the industry then subscribe to the Circuit Magazine >

Latest Issue of the Circuit Magazine

Circuit Magazine - Issue 63 - Get Your Copy

In the latest edition of the Circuit Magazine, we hear how the fear of Artificial Intelligence Impersonating Humans is no longer science fiction. From election rigging to affecting the course of war, it's a real threat being played out on the world stage right now.

"The magazine is wrote by professionals from the security and personal protection industry. You learn as you read!"

- Bob Martin

Geopolitical Analysis by RANE

Special Offer for On the Circuit Readers

From the Community

If there was one piece of advice you would give or wish you had received when entering the industry, what would it be/have been?

- NEVER accept a detail offered to you if you are not 100% ready to provide what is needed and expected. - CP

- Treat everyone you meet with equal respect and look to add value. - JM

- Forget about firearms and focus on OSINT and medical knowledge. - CT

Ask questions, get advice, and find industry resources from an active and thriving community of professional, working operators:

🇺🇸 NABA Protector >

🇬🇧 BBA Connect >

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Closing the Technical Skills Gap

Every physical security person should have an understanding of what's out there when it comes to OSINT. Both in terms of the threats posed but also how it can be harnessed in the service of protecting a designated person. So, whether you're a physical protector, a security company, or a corporate office, you should at least have an understanding of the capabilities out there.

There is a tendency for protectors to view OSINT as the purview of technical or cyber folk. But even a small amount of knowledge in this area could exponentially increase your capabilities when it comes to protecting your principal.

Online Vulnerability Assessments

Do you know what information is openly accessible on your principal across the internet? Would you want to know what’s being said about them, what images they appear in, what locations they’re linked to and what documents they feature in, including anything which exists on the dark net also?

You’re going to need some help.

OSINT Toolkit

The following platforms (both free and paid) are a great starting point for building a comprehensive suite of tools for monitoring open sources.

Monitor the Web for interesting new content

Google Alerts is one of the easiest ways to get set up and started. It’s a ‘set it and forget it’ service. Set it up once and it will continue monitoring for you indefinitely. You can simply enter your target search term, along with a few basic parameters, and Google Alerts will then advise you if anything new comes up on the internet. It's an effective yet simple way to start monitoring, regardless of proficiency.

TweetDeck is your personal browser for staying in touch with what’s happening now.

Tweet Deck monitors tweets that are going out across the internet. You can set it up and customise the data you get back through keywords, hashtags, usernames, or location-based filters. If you have a more advanced understanding, you can use boolean operators and advanced operators. You can set up different columns and constantly monitor what's being said about a particular person, about an activity, an event, or a location.

Google Alerts, but better.

Use Talkwalker to monitor the web and Twitter for interesting new content with Talkwalker Alerts. Set up an alert for free and receive mentions as they happen, once a day or once a week.

Skopenow is an analytical search engine that uses social media, deep web, and dark web data to facilitate an investigation into a person or business.

With Skopenow you can compile a full social media report, using all the information you've entered on your target, your Principal, CEO or whoever you're trying to protect. You can run the reports every day, every week, or whatever timeframe you want, and you can set filters and date ranges, etc.

Gain situational awareness and detect potential threats with real-time data from mainstream social media, fringe networks, news outlets, and messaging apps.

Echosec monitors across 27 different social media platforms that are location enabled. So you can refine your results to a specific location. You can filter by area, address, city, or zip code, enabling you to geofence specific locations and monitor only those areas. You might have a particular person of concern that you want to geofence to a certain area, and the platform will send you alerts, which you can set to high or low alerts.

Echo Sec comes with more advanced features, such as searching for images as well as text references to your search term, such as the word gun, for instance.

DarkOwl is a darknet data provider offering access to the world’s largest dataset of deep and dark web content.

If you want to dig deep and take your search beyond the realms of the internet, Dark Owl is a service that will allow you to search the Dark Net. It collects data from over 95,000 sites, monitoring the dark net for your search criteria every 60 to 90 seconds, which they save and archive.

If you want to learn more about Online Vulnerability Assessments, check out our podcast episode with Sandra Stibbards, Founder Camelot Investigations


The Biden White House recently said that roughly 700,000 cyber-defense-related positions nationally are unfilled.

As organizations begin to address the risks of an increasingly complex digital landscape, they are recognizing that cybersecurity challenges are compounded by a lack of available talent and skills to mount a necessary defense. The digital skills shortage is at a critical point, highlighting a need for increased investment in workforce training.

Clearly, CISOs and leaders across the C-suite are focused on the challenge, and many are investing heavily in shoring up gaps in their cybersecurity approach.

But organizations are struggling to fill these roles. Cyber professionals face ever-increasing pressure to keep up with more sophisticated and complex threats. Burnout in the profession is significant. What’s more, there hasn’t been a good understanding of the variety of jobs that there are in cybersecurity and the various skills that can be leveraged for those jobs.

Final Thoughts with Matt Beer

Please stop posting photos of yourself standing next to a famous principal or sitting on their private jet.

I know ‘other people’ do it.

I know that self-promotion is important.

But this is NOT the way to get ahead in this industry.

The most in-demand CPOs do not do this. They’re known because of their years of professionalism and discretion. They have earned it legitimately, the hard way. The only way.

There is no shortcut.

Whilst you might feel like it gives you instant credibility to show yourself working at a certain ‘level’, it actually does the exact opposite.

For prolific recruiters of CPOs, the immediate reaction is ‘Ah. An over-excited amateur who lacks either the knowledge or self-discipline not to publicly shout about it. I’ll never use them.’

I’ve had people argue how it didn’t impact operational security for this reason or that reason, that it’s an old photo, that the principal insisted on the photo, that it was already open source anyway so it doesn’t matter….the list goes on.

The reality is, there is no way of 100% knowing of any operational vulnerabilities it may represent.

It also shows you either haven’t read or have chosen to break your contract and NDA, or worse, you’re working for a company that has not provided a contract or NDA. Oh dear.

This is enough for ‘some’ competitors to capitalise on as a way in to take the contract. And I don’t blame them. Why should that client be paying for an amateur service? Serious repercussions for you, the company you work for, and any others who work with you.

Think about the bigger picture not the Instagram picture.

Until next week...

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