In Conversation with BluSkills

jetlogic recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Richard Christian, Managing Director at BluSkills to learn more about the specialist security services they provide to private clients, businesses and organisations.

Tell us about your background and your work at BluSkills.

At BluSkills, we are dedicated to keeping people safe. My journey in security started in the Royal Marines, the UK’s amphibious troops of the Royal Navy and widely recognised as one of the world’s elite commando forces. It is the same dedication to excellence and integrity displayed in the Royal Marines that helped me when working with FTSE 100 business leaders and now underpins the way we operate at BluSkills today.

Tell us about the types of services BluSkills offers and to whom.

BluSkills provide security services to private clients, businesses, security teams and those with unique and complex security and threat landscapes. We partner with subject matter experts from a range of security related disciplines to design effects based security schemes, delivered by our selected, customer focussed team. Some of our services include:

  • Risk analysis
  • Residential and commercial security assessments and guidance
  • Open-source intelligence assessments
  • Travel security assessment and analysis
  • Close protection

How would you describe BluSkills’ approach to servicing clients?

Our commitment to our customers is simply to do what we say we are going to do. Our service delivery often requires a great deal of work behind the scenes which often goes unseen. Clients may have no idea if their service is fit for purpose until it is tested. We design and deliver services for these moments.

What makes BluSkills unique?

My feeling is that our sector has been slow to adopt technology. We are living in very exciting times and while there can be fear regarding new technologies, we have found that we can leverage data and utilise existing and emerging technology to greatly enhance the safety and security of our clients, provide greater value for money and better understand the capabilities of threat actors.

An example of this would be our in-house application called Threat Tracker. Threat Tracker helps us identify potential threats through our unique matching algorithm and unlike humans it works 24-7 meaning our teams can get real time feedback to present threats.

How have the needs of high-net-worth clients evolved over the past few years?

My biggest and most obvious observation would be that we now live in an information age. Historically it has been much more difficult to locate persons with means, the internet has transformed this. This open source intelligence (OSINT) can greatly tilt the scales in the favour of the threat actor and I see many individuals either unsighted to or struggling to adapt to this risk, whether in the cyber or physical space.

One of our biggest projects, which I cannot talk about in detail, is to tackle a current leak of data which provides sensitive information which can then be misused. We help our clients to identify and remove this data but they shouldn’t be in this position.

What advice would you give to potential clients considering security services?

Reach out and speak to BluSkills if you have any questions as a first step.

It is essential to understand your threat and risk landscape. Without this understanding money can easily be misspent and threats left untreated, like building a home with a poor foundation.

Try not to design your service yourself unless you’re a security expert, instead describe the effect you are trying to achieve to any potential providers.

Don’t buy on price alone.

Verify your provider. Ask to speak to one or two of their clients to get a good idea of the business.

How can high-net-worth clients best protect themselves when travelling?

Most wealthy individuals dramatically reduce the risks associated with domestic travel. They have assistants to manage their diaries, book suitable accommodation and chauffeurs or security chauffeurs to transport them safely and critically they generally understand the area in which they are travelling.

It still surprises me that this good work stops when it comes to holidays or business travel. The tragic death of a UK businessman in 2019 in Buenos Aires led us to write a travel guidance blog to assist with safe travel, which you can read here.

To keep yourself safe:

  1. Understand the area you are travelling to, crime, crime techniques, wealth, customs etc. Use tools like the CIA Factbook, FCO guidance, Wikipedia, seek local knowledge. We provide country briefs to speed this up for our lone travelling customers.
  2. Plan your trip. Ensure you have reputable pre-booked transport from the airport to your hotel or residence, and consider security if required. If you are conducting activities make sure the providers are reputable, there are many domestic luxury activity companies who have done the hard work for you.
  3. Profile. Avoid becoming a target. If you travel to a low wealth country and arrive in the airport sporting your Patek Philippe and LV bags, you’ll have the attention of every bag carrier and unfortunately every criminal element in the airport.
  4. Prepare. Think about what might go wrong and rehearse mentally and physically the actions you would take. Even luxury hotels in some countries will fall way short of the basic health and safety standards you should expect. Have a plan, know your exits.

Learn more about the services BluSkills provide over on their website

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