A travel security services provider has told Aberdeen firms not to become fixated on the threat of terrorist attacks when deciding whether to send employees abroad.
International SOS, which provides medical advice and referrals for offshore workers and business people travelling to remote locations, said that while the risk of attack has become more prevalent in developed countries, it will never be the biggest danger.
Even if you are in a country with a high level of risk, the main hazards will always be petty theft, road traffic accidents and muggings, said Peter Cooper, the company’s regional security manager for the UK and Ireland.
At a seminar on the implications of the November Paris terrorist attacks and the security outlook for 2016, Mr Cooper said it was important to make sure employees know how to avoid falling victim to these risks.
“Do not become fixated on terrorist attacks. The run of the mill stuff is still more of a threat. You need to take care of the easy wins as well,” Mr Cooper told the 29-strong audience at the Village hotel in Kingswells yesterday.
Though the odds of becoming caught up in a terrorist attack are long, Mr Cooper said he knows of clients who changed travel plans following the most recent Paris attack.
He said while companies have a responsibility to look after their employees, some need to temper their expectations.
Mr Cooper said: “One client, an airline, had flight crew arriving in Paris and wanted an armoured vehicle to pick them up, but the French security forces were capable of dealing with the threat – there weren’t running battles on the streets. So you need to manage expectations and decide what’s appropriate for your organisation.”
He also said some big companies now feel that data breaches are a bigger threat to their business than terrorist attacks.