Sabotage! Analyze Your Vulnerabilities and Manage Your Risk
Posted by Pamela S. on Thursday, October 18th, 2012
Sabotage sounds like something that only happens in the movies, or to other organizations. It can never happen to your company. Think again. Any organization can become a target of a saboteur, such as a disgruntled employee or group of employees, or a radical activist group. What are your vulnerabilities? How do you avoid becoming a victim?
An act of industrial or corporate sabotage can be something relatively minor, such as vandalism, or writing graffiti on your wall. It can be the destruction of property, product, or tools. Sabotage can involve hindering the operations of your company, or attempting to destroy the reputation of your company.
In a previous post we talked about cyber threats. Cyber sabotage is a growing threat to our nation’s businesses. Denial of service attacks, the introduction of malware and spyware to your system, and website defacement are all forms of sabotage. Saboteurs may also steal computer equipment, software and computer files. A saboteur may seed the Internet with negative information regarding your company.
A disgruntled employee or anyone with a beef against your company can decide to cause irreparable harm. An article on MSNBC provides one example: A Boeing employee at a Philadelphia plant cut electrical wires and caused over $110,000 worth of damage to a military helicopter worth $24 million, because he was angry about a job transfer.
Striking unions sometimes engage in sabotage. In 2011, striking workers of Verizon were suspected of cutting wires to phone services, which impacted a hospital and police station. The FBI was called in to investigate.
Radical activist groups may target your company if they take issue with some of your products or corporate policies. Some of these groups are anarchists who have no problem using explosives and other dangerous tactics to get their point across. Everyone has the right to peaceful protest or to speak openly about an issue, but these organizations damage property and put human lives at risk.
Ecologists bring attention to important issues, such as the way cheapest cialis prices we are destroying the earth, or how natural substances are much better for us than those laden with chemicals. Writing about these topics and bringing awareness is a good thing to do, but eco-terrorists perform acts of sabotage and in the process destroy any positive messages.
One example is the Animal Liberation Front. This animal rights group goes much further than PETA. They don’t have beautiful movie stars getting naked to protest the fur industry. The ALF works in cells
and conducts terrorist acts against companies and institutions, such as labs that use animals for testing.
Sabotage can endanger more than your company, it can also affect the general public and have deadly consequences. The most famous example was the Tylenol murders. In 1982, an unknown saboteur laced bottles of Extra-Strength Tylenol with potassium cyanide. Seven people in Chicago died from this tragic incident. Johnson & Johnson was seriously affected, but was respected for the way that they handled the crisis. There were some copycat attacks in the following years. This lead to the tamper-proof packaging we now have for medications and other products, such as food.
There were a number of suspects in the Tylenol crime, including the Unibomber, Ted Kaczynski. James William Lewis spent 13 years in prison for attempting to extort money from Johnson & Johnson to stop the tampering. It was never proven that he did the actual crime. The case was reopened in 2009, but has not been solved. No one has claimed a $100,000 reward offered by Johnson & Johnson.
The team at Sheer Investigations have FBI and other law enforcement experience. They are familiar with the act of sabotage.
Sabotage is difficult to predict, prevent, and prove, but there are steps you can take. Make sure your facilities are secure. A private investigation and security agency can conduct a security audit to help you improve your physical security and reduce risk.
A security specialist will analyze your facilities, point out your vulnerabilities and suggest and implement improvements in environmental design; such as lighting and barriers, access control, surveillance and security systems, and guards.
If your company becomes a target, contact your local law enforcement agency. A private investigator can work with your company to determine if the actions were caused internally and liaise with police to bring the suspects to justice.
Former FBI Assistant Director Tom Sheer has recruited the best from the FBI, DEA, IRS and Secret Service to build a formidable team at Sheer Investigations. Our private investigators have the sensitivity and experience to handle the most delicate investigations.