Listening Device "Penetration of a Board Room"

The Victim - The Security Officer - Vulnerability of Procedures

“We could not understand how we had been undercut on this major contract. All our information was very sensitive, and had been kept under lock and key. 

In hindsight, I now know how those electronic listening devices were installed in our boardroom.  We had a visit from a local fire extinguisher company asking if they could quote for our fire extinguisher business, so we agreed to have a quote given. The salesman arrived the day before we were due to have a very sensitive board meeting the following day. He said he would be okay to find his own way around the building and locate the fire extinguishers, but I followed security protocol and assigned a security officer to escort him. 

However, the security officer was called away due to an incident taking place. That is when he must have placed the listening devices in the board room. After the loss of the contract, and back-tracking on what may have occurred, we checked with the local fire extinguisher company who had no knowledge of anyone from their company cold calling for business. The loss of that contract cost us two million pounds in lost revenue”

Lessons Learned:

  • Due diligence on the identification of the Fire Extinguisher Salesperson.
  • Most company's invite more than one supplier to quote for services.
  • Security protocols and procedures should be followed at all times - the fire extinguisher salesperson should have been escorted back to reception.
  • A Security officer should be positioned at board room entry points to prevent unauthorised entry.
  • The Boardroom(s), of particularly top 100 Companies, should be swept for electronic devices prior to a boardroom meeting taking place, and the room should remain in a secure sterile environment until the board of directors enter the room.

Authored By:

Alan Smith CPP, PSP, FSyl