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Overt or Covert Camera

Security breaches in the workplace

Recent news has emerged this week, regarding security breach concerns. Ministers have demanded an ‘urgent sweep’ of all high-level government offices. This comes after a potential security breach of a government official’s activities.

Justice secretary Robert Buckland, warned about the potential dangers of footage being used as ‘a national security breach.’ Also, expressing his stern view that sweeps for bugs in offices should be ‘conducted regularly.’

Our recent blogs touch on planted bug devices. Focusing primarily on the potential dangers that post-covid life could bring about. As well as, how easy it is to fall victim to an eavesdropper. In the blog titled, ‘Is your office free from “bugs” post-Covid?‘, the potential risks of ‘eavesdroppers’ lurking around the office was highlighted. The blog also explained how easy it is to overlook the impact of the spoken word in relation to office security.

But what exactly is a “Bug Sweep”?

In technical terms, a ‘bug sweep’ is known as a ‘Technical Surveillance Counter Measures survey’ (TSCM). Conflict International have a dedicated and professional bug team that are deployed to regularly check your premises. Our team carry out specialist TSCM counter surveillance sweeps to uncover any active or passive devices. Also, providing telecommunication sweeps to determine whether any illicit devices exist within the telephone system. When conducting a bug sweep, mobile phones and IT can also be assessed for any signs of interception or spyware.

However, at Conflict International we don’t just focus on doing a physical examination of your workplace. We can also carry out a security audit assessment that highlights any weaknesses in your traditional security practises. We aim to protect, prevent and provide you with expert recommendations on how to be safer in your workplace.

Once a bug sweep is thoroughly carried out, we compile a detailed report that will show our findings and security recommendations.

How would you know if security has been breached at your workplace?

If there has been a security breach at your office or workplace, you may be none the wiser. Eavesdroppers look just like me and you.

Electronic bug devices can be placed anywhere around your office. They can be latched on to any existing devices. Existing devices that would normally be perceived as standard measures for an office. Speculation in the media on the current news surrounding the Health Secretary, has led people to believe that a bug device could have been potentially latched onto a smoke alarm.

According to Conflict International’s Director of Compliance and Development, Roger Bescoby:

“In any event, this episode illustrates perfectly the damage that can be done to an individual or organisation by low cost and swiftly deployable ‘bugs’. Smoke Detector ‘Spy Cams’ are just one kind of eavesdropping devices that can be easily and legally bought in the UK. They cost as little as £35.00 and can be deployed in seconds with double sided tape.”

Although, the theories around this issue keep changing. Latest news now suggests that there was in fact no security breach and the camera that caught the Health Secretary, was possibly just a standard CCTV camera. The camera has now been disabled.

Mark Stratford, Head of technical operations at Conflict International, explains that:

“When looking into an issue such as this, it is important to identify, firstly, whether the footage was recorded ‘overtly’ or ‘covertly.’ That way, we can understand the initial purpose for the recording being released in the first place, amid speculation.”

Should you get a TSCM for your office?

Again, electronic bug devices can be easily concealed and hidden anywhere. Therefore, to reduce the risk of possible compromise, it is wise to hire a TSCM team to carry out regular bug sweeps. By which, your communication is kept confidential, as well as, keeping your reputation intact.

Roger Bescoby, further explains:

“So much time, effort and expense is put to the prevention of ‘cyber crime’ when so often we see the real damage is caused right above your head by such ‘cheap and cheerful’ devices. For the victim however, it’s usually far from cheerful.”

Carrying out regular bug sweeps ensures a safe and secure working environment. Weaknesses in existing security practices can leave your company’s information or reputation vulnerable to possible exposure and compromise. If you suspect your workplace may be vulnerable or if you would like to ease your conscious, please get in touch with Roger Bescoby or Mark Stratford. They can both provide you with information on TSCM and the process of sweeping your workplace.

It is better to be safe than sorry!

Please contact Roger in confidence on +44 (0)77 9967 3010 

Please contact Mark in confidence on +44 (0)20 7917 2939 

When you have suspicions that something isn’t quite right, our experts can help you get to the truth.



To discuss how we can assist with an issue, contact us now in confidence.

Call our Head Office on +44 (0)20 7917 2939 or email our team.