Burrill Green Newsletter - July 2016.
Burrill Green corporate security consultants.

Welcome to the latest edition.


(click a subject to jump to item)

      Introduction »
      * Recruitment – Why we should be on your wish-list »
      * Talent Development »
      New Technology – Blockchain born of Bitcoin »
      Anti-Illicit Trade – Dealing with the new faces of old problems »
      Burrill Green Consulting »
      Training »

Note * We recommend you share these sections with your HR business partners.
Burrill Green.
Burrill Green security business school.

In this issue we look at old things in new guises, like hiring people, money and trade. We also look at the need for emerging practices to develop, but also at why certain up-to-date established practices can often still outperform emerging ones.

Across all our practices, we are constant and committed to adding value to security and lowering costs. The best security is a business enabler, not a cost of doing business, and the best senior security players make sustainable cross-functional and organization-wide contributions to key aspects of success, including strategy and implementation, resilience, reputation and goodwill, significant shareholder and stakeholder concerns and interests.

To make a difference requires the contribution of outstanding people. Identifying them and ensuring there is an excellent "fit" between the individual and the employer’s own team and operating culture is a critical strategic requirement. Doing this in a timely and cost-effective way is a challenge. It is the combination of wisdom and experience that our hiring team draws upon that makes us unique and enviable in our specialized search and selection sector. This applies to our processes of identification, interviewing, communication and post-hiring mentoring, and we have substantial testimonials from satisfied candidates to support all our claims.

In the feature article you will see a list of ten crucial aspects of being world-class in this environment. We deliver on every aspect.
Security consultants.
Recruitment – Why we should be on your wish-list

Believe in Recruitment as the Key Investment? Share this with your HR Department.

In the first part here, let’s look at continuing and growing problems with recruitment models. Outside the practices of a few world-class specialized recruitment agencies, there are too many who are making mistakes like the ones we note below. In the second part we lay out what we consider to be better practices, and ones we entirely subscribe to in our own unique specialized model. We know from the way a number of agencies are structured that they cannot deliver in the same way that we can, and that is to truly give an outstanding candidate the best opportunity first, not empty words and promises. Burrill Green's rewards are driven by people first, not profit at all costs.

In many instances the recruitment agency business model is failing to deliver for candidates, especially for full-time roles. Multi-listed offers benefit no-one. Large numbers of clients have tacitly concluded that they get a better service because they get agencies to compete. In fact they get a worse service because they are actively encouraging recruiters to work on speed and cost-reduction, instead of quality and best fit.

Recruiters end up being unable to partner or add value in this chase. The pursuit of profit but with ever thinner margins leaves no time for dedicated consultation, and the careers of the recruiters themselves are often curtailed through exhaustion or loss of faith in and commitment to the business model being practiced.

The candidates themselves suffer the most because they do not get service or due care from third party recruiters too busy chasing mythical job orders in competition with five or more other recruiters. Candidates may even be unaware of the almost total absence of attention they get because they receive no feedback and are left in the dark about where they might, or do stand. Recruiters in this model have to work five times as hard to find a candidate and fill a role, for an ever-decreasing return. They could end up being like ambulance chasers, not true professionals. Candidates deserve better, and should be treated like contracted partners, not as bait.

No wonder they are increasingly avoiding job-boards, and recruiters, and transferring their job search energy to web-searching, social media, and other tactics.

It is getting worse as recruitment allegedly develops under the belief that technology alone results in a superior service offer.

Look at the left circle. It represents all the candidates available for recruiters to place in jobs. Look at the little segment on the right of that circle. That shows the tiny proportion of suitable candidates that recruiters actually access. To this day, most recruiters focus on so called "active" candidates, those that come from job boards, or who are already on the database. There is nothing wrong with these candidates per se, except that they represent only a tiny percentage of the people available. What is more, because they are actively job-searching, they will in all likelihood be working with other recruiters already, or possibly well down another recruitment process.

Which means that the traditional recruiter and working practices mean they are not likely to place them. It's not only jobs that are "in competition". It's candidates too.

Look on the chart at the pool of candidates most recruiters do not access. There is an opportunity here.

Now look at the right circle. This represents the majority of clients' commitment to actually filling the job. We all know that most clients do not give most agency recruiters full commitment. That is what the shaded segment represents. Tiny commitment. In fact, many use third-party recruiters as an afterthought. The vast majority of the commitment clients give to filling roles goes somewhere else, such as the internal recruitment team, or using LinkedIn, or their own recruitment strategies.

So there is a dysfunctional situation.

The majority of recruiters accesses only a tiny percentage of the good candidates and what's more, secure only a fraction of the clients' commitment to filling the job. What other laudable professions deal with customers on such flimsy premises? Who else would invest time and resources, on the off-chance that a fee might be generated? It gets worse.

Not only do most recruiters run their businesses on the same basis as someone playing a lottery, they do it in competition with, say, at least five other agencies. This is not great business practice. Some very significant recruitment companies with massive turnover still can't make any real profit because such a huge percentage of their staff time is spent on fruitless work that results in no returns. The cost base is too high for income generation ability.

It generates a vicious cycle of discontent. Clients get irritated because they are dealing with low-level recruiters, who can’t do a thorough job. But ironically it is the often the client who asks recruiters to compete on the same job, so dumbing down the process. Recruiters get disillusioned, and take shortcuts, which continues the cycle. And of course worst of all, of course, the candidates continue to suffer.

The prize goes to the recruiter who can develop strategies to access those candidates in the segment of the circle that are not active. The skill of bringing top hidden talent that clients can't find themselves to the hiring table is where the added value begins.

That is where quality and reward really lie, for candidates and ultimately for the recruiter. And recruiters who can blend technology with genuine recruitment tradecraft skills, those who can secure a greater percentage of client commitment, will differentiate the service positively, now and into the future.

In this second part now, let’s review ten aspects of great recruitment services. We begin with laying out an important backcloth to the whole list.

Choosing a recruitment agency to handle employee recruitment for your business can be a daunting task. With so many options, a lot of people have a hard time selecting the right one and often end up picking one that is actually not suitable for their organisation. When done incorrectly, it can cost your business time, money and reputational damage – resources every business would prefer not to waste. When looking for a recruitment agency to hire for your organisation, cheap may seem appealing. It is this prospect of saving a few bucks here and there that leads most people to make the wrong decision. Cheap is not necessarily bad, but nine out of ten times you get what you pay for. Price definitely comes a distant second to the importance of getting a recruitment agency that provides a quality service. So before affirming your signature on the dotted line, make sure that your desired recruitment firm has the following aspects covered:

1 Specific Industry Expertise - Unless you have very general recruitment needs, it’s crucial that you make sure the recruitment agency in question has the expertise to recruit for your specific business/industry and the specific function. If they do not have the expertise, they will struggle - and most likely fail - to identify the most suitable candidates for you.

2 They Cast a Wide Net - Good candidates for any vacant positions are hard to find. Great recruiting firms are able to dig deeper to find the best and don’t limit themselves to one method of recruitment like online job boards. They should be able to apply a combination of recruitment strategies to find the best for your organisation.

3 Have an In-depth Quality Assurance Screening Process - Screening is one of the most important steps in employee recruitment. You don’t want a recruitment agency that dumps 10 CVs on your desk and leaves you to figure out which ones will be the most suitable for your role. A diligent recruitment agency spends significant amounts of resources (including time) pre-screening candidates and will only introduce to you those that match your needs.

4 Qualification - The recruitment agency should be able to demonstrate an understanding of all current employment laws and ethical standards. You do not want to hire a recruitment agency that will tarnish your business’ reputation or get you into trouble with the law.

5 Offer a guarantee – A great recruitment firm provides a guarantee on their results. It shows they are confident in their ability to find the right candidate for you. If they fail, you will be able to hold them accountable.

6 Have a High Employee Retention Rate - Most agencies will boast of being able to fill 100% of their clients’ vacancies. This, however, does not matter if only a few of the candidates pushed to clients make it through 1 year of employment. Ask your prospective agency to provide hard numbers on the employee retention rate of their candidates.

7 Offer an After-Sales Service - The agency's work does not end once the employee has been placed with the client. The recruitment agency needs to check in regularly for at least the first six months to ensure that their candidate is progressing well and help out with any teething problems.

8 Reliability - A good recruitment agent should be reliable. They should be able to deliver suitable candidates within agreed timeframes. Each day spent with an empty position costs the organisation in terms of productivity, so having a recruitment agent who can deliver on time can help reduce this loss. Ask around for recommendations to find reliable agencies.

9 Relationship building - When a recruitment agency builds a relationship with their client, they are able to get a better understanding of the client's business, their culture and the kind of people that would fit well in the organisation. Candidates brought forward will therefore have a greater chance of succeeding.

10 Communication - For successful employee recruitment, there needs to be two-way communication between you – the client – and the recruitment agency. This will help both parties understand the role they have to play in the recruitment process. A great recruitment agency should have good communication systems in place.

If you can tick all these aspects with your current recruitment partners, you are doing well. Then ask which of these services they provide at no additional cost - a fully included part of the Burrill Green Service:

With his belief that success is ultimately always dependent on the Right People in the Right Positions, David Burrill, our CEO, personally oversees the operational process for every recruitment from start to finish. By the way, David has recently received recognition from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development for having been a Fellow for 30 years.

Our recruiters are all former senior security and risk management specialists with extensive hands-on experience, having worked for multi-national companies in challenging global and local roles around the world. They are not generalists or career-long recruiters.

We have extensive and deep networks in public and private sector enterprises, government and commercial entities, law enforcement, armed forces and risk mitigation specialists.

Our expert interview panel pre-selects outstanding candidates.

We support CV presentation efficiency and effectiveness, offer interview coaching and consulting over compensation packages. We offer continuous mentoring to successfully placed candidates, and comprehensive debriefing to unsuccessful candidates.

We are committed to adding value and lowering costs across all our business applications, for you, as our wider consulting business can testify. How many recruitment specialists are also respected practitioners to businesses in their specialized field? Talk to your HR people and see if they agree with our stance and form of contribution, and invite them to talk to us if they don't!

Alternatively, call or contact us yourself to find out more - we welcome new prospects and challenges. In the first place, connect to:

David Burrill on: + 44 (0) 1233 625 838 or email: david.burrill@burrillgreen.com
Talent Development. Share this with your HR Department.

Opinions on our latest Masterclass throughout this feature article:

"What a terrific and informative week I have enjoyed. The 'Masterclass' was all and more than I had hoped for - full of matter and material which will be immensely helpful as I move through my career. To learn so much in a warm, engaging and open environment by way of your teaching style, quite apart from the excellent structure, was especially satisfying."

If you’ve got the wrong people, change them. Got the right people? Then develop them. This requires a strategy, a polished, relevant and challenging strategy. If you or your company see this as a relatively unstructured process left to individual whim or a responsibility met by attendance largely at "talking heads" conferences which may or may not earn a few points, then what we have to offer may be lost on you!

The best practice of corporate security depends on first class security and intelligence skill sets and tradecraft (there is always room for improvement), business acumen and engagement, powers of persuasion, listening leadership, confidence (dare to fail), cultural awareness and sensitivity, relevant geographic experience, learning from others, commitment to diversity, being unfazed by crisis, first class communications skills (clear, concise and compelling), a "can do" attitude, an enduring commitment to people etc., etc.

"Just a few words to thank you for the great Masterclass last week.   It was terribly interesting and informative and, most of all, it really made us think and reflect on our profession and how we manage our respective security programs."

This not exhaustive list of characteristics above embraces skills, experience, and personal characteristics. A meaningful Talent Development plan needs to develop all of these and to apply them for the good of business – the fundamental value proposition. It should be clear from the foregoing that support for development needs to extend way beyond tradecraft. Leadership, broad business craft skills and engagement in multi-functional business teams are all topics which should be addressed for the benefit of Corporate Security, individual security executives and the business.

Burrill Green has helped a number of companies to produce talent development plans which have been recognized at C-Suite/ExCom level, recognized as a great investment which steadily spawns success - measurable success. Our Corporate and Cyber Security Masterclass provides, in our opinion and that of student graduates, the finest business-aligned short course available anywhere in the world, a step up for the rightly ambitious. Indeed, the course is an essential element for talent development.

"Fantastic course, which allows you to tap into a wealth of experience both from the instructors and other students."

"Thank you for a great course and for the first time in a long time being taken out of my comfort zone."

Coaching and mentoring, especially when provided from an external source, can be an emotional topic. Does it indicate a process to overcome inadequacy? Is it something to avoid, to be ashamed of? Not at all. Many a CEO has a mentor, coach, sounding board or other description you might choose to adopt. The process suits those who are happy to be taken out of their comfort zones. The point is that such a service offers an opportunity to discuss thoughts and potential actions externally with a trusted partner before launching them on an internal environment. And "Yes"- it is a learning process for all involved - mentored and mentor. Burrill Green provides an unmatched Corporate Security mentoring and coaching service for senior executives. Frankly, we find that more capable and confident Chief Security Officers and other senior Corporate Security executives make up our main clients. They are individuals who want to raise the bar for their companies, their teams (security and multi-functional) and themselves.

"Your wealth of experience is second to none that I have seen in the security profession."

"This course was a world class one and one of the best courses that I have ever taken, benefited from, and enjoyed."

Why choose Burrill Green as the source for mentors/coaches? This takes us back to our fundamental difference. Our people have done it for real with great success in major multi-national companies across a range of industries for many years. They are accomplished in people development and have never lost the desire to "give back" to the profession that has given them such joy and reward over time. They do not sit in that potentially harmful "know-all" corner. They facilitate development, thought leadership and sound strategic thinking, and "Yes" - they too are always learning and then sewing that learning back in to the process.

Alternatively, call or contact us yourself to find out more - we welcome new prospects and challenges. In the first place, connect to david.burrill@burrillgreen.com and on +44 (0) 1233 625 838.

"What a terrific and informative week I have enjoyed. The 'Masterclass' was all and more than I had hoped for - full of matter and material which will be immensely helpful as I move through my career. To learn so much in a warm, engaging and open environment by way of your teaching style, quite apart from the excellent structure, was especially satisfying".

"I want to say that the Burrill Green Masterclass in Security Management was indeed a Masterclass package, delivered and facilitated by Masterminds. The discussions were indeed worth every minute of my time and I will spread the good news and encourage qualified candidates to attend."

New Technology – Blockchains born of Bitcoin

Since the Industrial Revolution technology has ben a key drive of change. When technology becomes embodied in capital, physical or human, economies create more value with less input. Technology can also disrupt, making established skills and organisational approaches irrelevant. We need to be flexible and agile in harmonising our behaviour with the kinds of benefits technology can unlock.

If our old world can be reduced to a bunch of digital records that we update from second to second and move from place to place, then, of course, protecting those records from corruption is of vital importance. Security still has a role to play in making this viable. Traditional solutions to threats in both the physical and digital worlds used to focus on restricting access to a group of people you trusted - For Your Eyes Only.

Not every emerging technology will alter the business or social landscape. But some have the potential to alter the way people live and work. Security leaders must understand which technologies will have such impact and prepare for them. Blockchain-based innovations, such as those triggered for example by the 2008 paper on Bitcoin and its resulting testing, like the Ripple Labs payment protocol or the R3CEV start-up backed by 25 banks including UBS, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan, have the clear potential to rival ARPANET, the technical basis of today’s Internet, in terms of global impact. These organisations are testing blockchains as a means to transfer value between each other more efficiently.

In essence, blockchain, on a simple level, uses computer code to engender trust in digital-economy transactions, and transactions that can be migrated to these, like property titles, business licences and birth certificates. These distributed ledgers - blockchains - are the means for creating trust - paradoxically in a way, because they are zero-trust consensus networks. Burrill Green heartily supports these developments because in very clear terms they give results faster, cheaper, openly and with greater transparency than many existing practices and procedures today.

They will have a profound impact on corporate security thinking and processes. We don’t want to dwell on the technicalities of cryptology or other aspects that provide security to blockchains here today. Rather, we’ll focus on the impact they will have upon all aspects of business that involve "trust transactions".

For many, blockchains are synonymous with Bitcoin, the most widely known of the decentralised digital cryptocurrencies. Yet to many observers this brings a notoriety similar to that associated with Napster, the anarchic peer-to-peer file-sharing service that was the precursor of now eminently respectable services like Skype and Spotify. This analogy is actually not fair. The generic technology and cryptography that underpin blockchains are wholly legitimate. Users log in to a decentralised network to create transactions in the normal course of business. Transaction data are converted in "blocks" by other users known as "miners". Flip to the next paragraph if you aren't interested in the next brief explanation of the methodology.

Users are developing specialised software to apply mathematical formulae to the data, turning that into far shorter, seemingly random sequences of letters and numbers known as a hash. Miners also timestamp the hash of batches of recent valid transactions, proving that the data must have existed at the time. Each block includes the prior timestamp, forming a chain of blocks, with each additional timestamp reinforcing the ones before it. Each block chain record is enforced cryptographically and hosted on miners’ machines working as data store nodes, extending this validation to the network as a whole. New blocks are tacked on to the blockchain every ten minutes or so. By consensus miners accept the longest chain as the validated data to use for future blocks. Streamlined processes, reduced costs and enhanced service delivery virtually in real time can ensue.

So, a generic blockchain is a value-exchange protocol that a recent UK Government report noted: "has the potential to transform the delivery of public and private services. It has the potential to redefine the relationship between government and the citizen in terms of data sharing, transparency and trust and make a leading contribution to the government’s digital transformation plan."

One key reason for this assertion is that blockchains can reverse one big issue - the lack of "true agency" on the Internet. Mostly, the data we create online and the operations we execute are handled for us by centralised servers, most of which sit in massive data centres operated by corporations and government institutions. We depend on these servers for everything. Our data may nominally belong to us, but in order to access it or manipulate it, we require "chaperones" to usher us from digital room to digital room. You can argue that we don’t own our data - we just visit it from time to time. This creates problems. Practically all of these machines have architectures that were designed to be controlled by a single person or a hierarchy of people who know and trust each other. They can read, alter, delete, or block any data on that computer, server or network at will.

With current web services we are fully trusting, yet fully vulnerable to the computer, its software, or more specifically the people who have access to that whole system, both insiders and hackers, and who are charged to execute our orders, secure our payments, and so on. If somebody on the other end wants to ignore or falsify what you’ve instructed the system to do, no strong security is stopping them, only fallible and expensive human institutions, which often stop at national borders. Additionally, centralised servers need an array of networking and messaging systems to communicate with the outside world, which adds cost and complexity. Highly centralised systems present a high cost single point of failure. They may be vulnerable to cyber attack, and the data is often out of sync, out of date or simply inaccurate. In contrast, distributed ledgers are inherently harder to attack because instead of a single database, there are multiple shared copies of the same database, so a cyber-attack would have to attack all the copies simultaneously to be successful.

The technology is also resistant to unauthorised change or malicious tampering, in that the participants in the network will immediately spot a change to one part of the ledger. Added to this, the methods by which information is secured and updated mean that participants can share data and be confident that all copies of the ledger at any one time match each other.

That is not to say that blockchains are invulnerable. In Autumn last year there was widespread reporting of "MMM Global Republic of Bitcoin." This scheme was set up by Russian fraudster Sergey Mavrodi, who ran one of Russia’s largest Ponzi schemes in the 1990s, with the same name. Vulnerabilities also exist in the exchanges that must be used to convert real-world currency into crypto-cash. The wallets used to store crypto-cash are also vulnerable. But, unlike a bank ledger, which can be altered by its owner (or a government), the blockchain cannot be changed without simultaneously overwriting all of the thousands of copies used by the miners at any one time.

The definitive version of the blockchain is whatever a majority of the participating computers accepts. None of them is connected to any centralised organisation. There is no Bitcoin central bank to sway them. To overwhelm the system, someone would need to control more than half of the computing capacity of, say, 10,000 or so miners - the so-called 51% attack. This is possible but more challenging.

It is not surprising that interest in exploiting blockchains is concentrated in the financial sector at present. Apparent from the challenges to the authority of Central Banks, clearing houses etc, there are significant opportunities to reduce back office costs. Banco Santander estimates savings for banks up to $20 billion a year by 2022.

New methods will contrasts with today, where every bank, government department and law firm has their own paper copy of the truth. If we could rely on the system to "sync" the truth between us all, we could cut out a lot of paper from, for example - Trade Finance., Land Registry, Social Welfare and Insurance. The UK Government sees applications in terms of welfare and benefits payments. The digitally advanced Estonian government has been experimenting with distributed ledger technology for a number of years using a form of Keyless Signature Infrastructure (KSI). KSI allows citizens to verify the integrity of their records on government databases. It also appears to make it extremely difficult for privileged insiders to perform illegal acts inside government networks. This ability to assure citizens that their data are held securely and accurately has helped Estonia to launch digital services such as e-Business Register and e-Tax. These reduce the administrative burden on the state and the citizen.

In sum, blockchains are potentially much more than Bitcoin and distributed ledgers are much more than blockchains. We ignore them at our peril. Watch this space.

Anti-Illicit Trade - Dealing with the new faces of old problems

You can, if you wish, legally buy a lorry load of genuine tobacco product in Ukraine, smuggle it across Europe and into the UK, then sell it on the streets at less than half the retail price. The profit in today’s terms is about £1.5M for just one such trip. Organised criminal groups across the continent do this daily.

An increasingly lucrative means of funding crime in all of its forms is the phenomenon known as ‘illicit trade’. This is such a vast topic, now increasingly being understood by Police and other Law Enforcement agencies around the globe, and yet still so widely misunderstood by consumers and the general public, deliberately or otherwise. We believe some explanation is needed.

"Illicit trade" refers to the counterfeiting and pirating of genuine products, and the smuggling of goods along with associated tax evasion. The topic is worthy of greater scrutiny and increasingly attracting academic research in both the UK and the USA. The link to crime and terrorism drives much of this modern day study.

Industry and industrial sectors have varying approaches to dealing with damaging impacts. Illicit trade undermines business through stealing intellectual property rights and trademarks, stifling innovation as well as seriously denting financial profits, and harming goodwill and reputations. Some companies or sectors are inclined to address the problem in isolation, while others see cooperation and partnership as the most credible and effective way to confront the criminal gangs behind the bootlegging or copying of merchandise.

A typical consumer-based example would be for a recognised designer clothing label on the high street to be unaware their latest fashions are being copied in SE Asia and then being sold for a fraction of the genuine retail price in a market a few miles from their head office, even outside its front steps on a Fifth Avenue headquarters in New York, or via online trading sites. Not only do many of the brand manufacturers still lack the resources to begin addressing their losses, they are ignorant as to how to do so, or where to start.

On the other hand, brands that are knowledgeable about illicit trade and versed in anti-illicit trade methods are slowly recognising that merely seizing product at the point of entry into the country, or at point of sale, has little success in halting matters. Cooperation with Law Enforcement through intelligence collection, sharing and exploitation is far more likely to be accepted as credible and having a realistic effect.

Goods that are prolific amongst criminal gangs engaged in illicit trafficking - an internationally recognised Police term - include pharmaceuticals, tobacco and alcohol. These goods are high volume, have enduring appeal to worldwide consumers and are relatively easy to counterfeit and smuggle. The significant factor common to all three is the huge volume of money that is accrued through escaping the associated large excise levels (in the case of alcohol and tobacco) - the criminal’s "profit margin".

This is an immense money-spinning business for criminals on a huge scale - smuggled tobacco alone generates around $40 billion annually; counterfeit pharmaceuticals is a 200 billion business; the tax loss associated with illicit alcohol each year is some £550m in Britain on its own. Such vast profits resonate with the general public, with Law Enforcement Agencies and governments, yet none have any real appetite for countering these enormous losses to the exchequer.

Population surveys repeatedly expose the fact that most members of the public who buy counterfeit goods do so knowingly and do not consider it a crime, merely a piece of luck, an opportunity for a quick and deserved deal some other mug has missed. Yet the impact upon society, business and the nation’s tax revenues is not understood at large and at worst ignored. There is a lack of public communication regarding the ensuing problems - crime, loss of revenue and jobs and risks to health are but a few – never mind the simple fact that serious and organised criminal gangs in the UK and abroad are the sole beneficiaries of huge cash benefits as a result of these illegal operations, benefits that are used for other frequently nefarious activities.

This has a serious impact upon our society since it also fuels other more violent insidious types of crime. Gun-running in large parts of Africa alongside the associated money laundering schemes both feed at the table of illicit tobacco racketeering. Counterfeit medicines and health supplements openly advertised and sold on the Internet (yet mailed by legitimate couriers) are thriving and immensely profitable businesses with a global presence for many years. Illicit alcohol (and other goods) funded para-military groups in Ireland. Yet, a recent survey in the UK reported that 90% of adults were unaware that illicit trade was in any way associated with organised crime groups.

Frustratingly, it is an easy ticket to riches for criminals.

Business pressure to facilitate trade through the free movement of goods (Free Trade Zones, The Schengen Agreement, bi-lateral Trade Agreements) unwittingly facilitates the straightforward criminal movement of contraband and counterfeited goods across and into countries.

Lawbreakers disregard borders, and the world-wide-web doesn’t recognise them. Unwittingly the Internet proves to be an accessible and virtually undetectable vehicle for advertising and selling illicit products to consumers.

The proliferation of Police, Customs and other agencies ranged against illegal activity often results in diluting enforcement action, largely through a lack of information-sharing coupled with political matters.

Although the resourcing of these crime fighters is steadily being addressed, they still necessarily have to prioritise their efforts. So, drugs, terrorism, people-trafficking and paedophilia are understandably the focus of their attention. For the smuggling gang in the Baltics, or the counterfeit factory in Europe, this considerably lessens the likelihood of detection. The penalties are generally small in any case which further reduces the deterrent effect of their activity. This is changing the nature of organised crime. Inter-gang violence is making way for cooperation across borders. Huge money-laundering schemes are on the increase. The digital revolution and the "Dark Web" provides for low risk but highly lucrative criminal operations on an enduring scale.

Contemporary organised crime is sophisticated, diverse and yet networked - the profits make it worthwhile for them.

As these crimes flourish, the public faces only more harmful and unregulated products. Companies lose control over trademarks and patents, their profits reduce significantly and innovation is stifled or stolen. Hard fought reputations tarnish and resource is often diverted from activity they expect the Police and Government to tackle.

Business in today’s commercial environment faces a tough and enduring task, and we continue to advise our clients of ways they can work to help this enormous burden on legitimate enterprise. Once again, emerging technology, cross-enterprise cooperation, and transparency, will serve to support corporate security’s role and contribution to legitimate profits and product integrity.

If you need help to manage anti-illicit trade in your business whether in respect of policy, strategy or operations, turn to us. Seven of our consultants have managed the problem, in house, for multi-nationals. We have developed philosophy and policies, led complete global multi-functional programmes and driven operations, including intelligence, i all regions of the world and the most exposed countries. In the first instance, contact Geoff Gillion, our Director Operations.

Connect to Geoff on: +44 (0) 7903 474 357 or: geoffrey.gillion@burrillgreen.com

Burrill Green Consulting

Malcolm Norman.

We have a new Associate - Malcolm Norman. Let’s welcome him to the team.

After a successful career in the UK Armed Forces, Malcolm entered the Corporate Security profession in 2007 as the Regional Chief Security Officer for Hewitt Associates, a Global HR Consulting and Outsourcing provider and was accountable for the risk management of all hazard security risks across Europe, Middle East and Africa. Following the acquisition of Hewitt Associates by Aon plc, the leading Global provider of Risk Management, Insurance Broking and Reinsurance, he was appointed in 2012 as the Global Chief Security Officer for Aon with accountability for the management and mitigation of converged security risks. He led a global team that provided physical security and fraud investigations, and delivered business continuity management (including crisis management). Additionally, he ensured information and technology security excellence (including cyber security) across 120 countries, 600 locations and for 69,000 colleagues.

Malcolm has developed and delivered converged security policy and strategy on a global scale. He has built highly engaged global multi-functional teams. He has developed and delivered world class security programmes, successfully navigated the corporate, government and regulatory environments and also ensured the security risk management profile enabled the organisation’s strategic vision of empowering results for clients.

Malcolm has a B Ed (Hons) from Exeter University, an MBA from Cranfield University and an MA from Kings College, London.

Cyber security.

Here he is in action, delivering a presentation titled Cyber Security - What Every Managing Partner Should Know in Prague in May this year to The MSI Group.


Cyber security masterclass.

At our recent Corporate and Cyber Security Masterclass held in London from June 13 to 16, some candidates and tutors found time to pose for a laugh and picture between intense debate in interactive teaching sessions.

Security masterclass Londaun June.

In the Talent Development part of this Newsletter, there are a number of quotes from students showing just how outstanding our Masterclass is. We usually run two courses a year in conjunction with an administering partner such as the MIS Training Institute. We can also provide the course for "in house" development for a client company, or client companies partnering each other (we can help here).

In house courses cost less and can be run for numbers ranging from as few as four students up to eighteen. For more information, contact:

John Hedley, Director Training: +44 (0) 7534 993 244 or email: john.hedley@burrillgreen.com

All the best from David, Kevin and your whole Burrill Green Team.

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