The ability to hold face-to-face meetings online has not reduced the need for corporate travel. More than ever, organizations are sending their personnel on business trips internationally. Travel risk management is a growing industry that proactively mitigates security threats for business travellers.
What Is Travel Risk Management?
Effective travel risk management not only addresses how an organization responds when a security threat arises, but also how to monitor potential threats and prevent travellers from encountering them. Social media has long played a role in informing the security industry, and its applications are quickly evolving. Social media threat intelligence is now a crucial tool for any organization sending their employees abroad.
1. Gain Situational Awareness
The types of risks facing travellers are constantly changing. Public alerts and news feeds often lack context, and further validation is required to determine appropriate security actions. Social media threat intelligence helps provide nuanced information that's useful for gaining situational awareness about a potential threat:
- Where exactly is the threat located?
- How severe is it?
- What is happening on the ground?
- What security risks could this threat trigger?
Location-based tools like Echosec can access and locate relevant data faster and more comprehensively than many similar social media applications. The depth of information provided in a location-based tool improves the ability for security teams to gain situational awareness about a threat and respond appropriately.
2. Assess And Respond To Threats Faster
Travel risk management processes of the past involved manually digging through social media pages to monitor particular events and locations for potential security risks. Researching data providers that way is a time-consuming and unreliable risk assessment method.
Social media intelligence tools like Echosec are capable of aggregating data from multiple providers, often in real-time. Users can search by provider, location, keyword, and username, and filter saved searches for images, violent sentiments, or events related to security threats. Security management teams can be notified via email around-the-clock when potential security risks arise and take appropriate action immediately.
Costs associated with interrupted travel programs and assignments can also be avoided with social media data aggregation. If there are natural disasters, accidents, or any other threats near a traveller’s route or destination, security teams can assess the incident in advance of their arrival and take a proactive approach to their security strategy.
3. Determine The Exact Location Of Potential Threats
If your VIP is traveling for business, location-based social media intelligence is crucial for ensuring their safety and security. Rather than only tracking social media pages or hashtags, geofencing tools can track social media activity across a number of providers based on location.
Geofencing is an incredibly useful tool for any travel risk management plan. It allows users to draw a border around a specific location and monitor relevant social media activity within it. A geofence can contain an area as specific as a transportation route, as large as a city, or as small as a building. Facilities or routes where your personnel are headed can be monitored before and during an event to assess and mitigate threats.
Searching for geotagged photos and posts means that users can see exactly what’s happening and where on the ground in real-time. Security teams can determine if routes are obstructed or unsafe and alter travel plans accordingly, or act quickly if an emergency response is necessary.
4. Stay More Informed And Prepared In High-Risk Areas
Effective travel risk management is vital to protecting travellers where security and medical services may be unreliable. Travellers in areas susceptible to natural disasters, terrorism or political unrest need to rely on more than just travel advisories or an action plan to stay safe.
Social media intelligence provides security teams with vital information to protect travellers in high-risk areas. Location-based tools can monitor potential threats across a number of social media data sources. This equips security teams with on-the-ground situational awareness in areas where access to other up-to-date communications and news feeds may be lacking or be much slower than social media.
Social media intelligence is now a crucial part of travel risk management as more organizations send their employees abroad. Location-based tools such as Echosec can help prevent and mitigate security threats by aggregating relevant data in real-time.
Find out how Echosec can improve your travel risk management strategy by requesting a consultation with our team.