Technical Surveillance Countermeasures (TSCM): Protect Your People and IP from Prying Eyes and Ears

By May 4, 2017 Protection

Massive Internet cyber attackEavesdropping – the unauthorized interception of private communication (audio, video, fax, IM, social media, Internet and Intranet) – has always been with us; but with the recent explosion of use of digital communications devices at home, on the road, in the office and on overseas travel, our exposure and vulnerability have increased hundredfold. Similarly, so have the technical abilities and the appetite to take advantage of these vulnerabilities.

Fortunately, the security industry has dedicated significant thought and technical ingenuity to counter these worrying, privacy-eliminating trends. The result is a re-energized and innovative area of expertise called TSCM (Technical Surveillance Countermeasures) – another component in TAL Global’s suite of personal and technical security and safety-enhancing services.

Today’s Communications Vulnerabilities

The list of current “Junctions of Vulnerability” in today’s business and private life is impressive. It includes:

  • All radio transceivers (including the home and business two way radio AKA “walkie talkie” and other personal and business communication devices)
  • All cellphones, including basic and “smart” phones
  • Infrared transmitters
  • All microphones and digital cameras, including those installed in laptops, smartphones, tablets, notebooks
  • All devices equipped with communications capabilities such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and other communications protocols

In addition to all these “organic” devices that have become an integral part of our daily lives, we have to be mindful of a whole array of additional devices specifically designed to intercept, monitor and eavesdrop on our communication. These include:

  • Covert radio transmitters
  • Covert audio recorders
  • Covert video recorders
  • Covert telecommunications interceptors (land and cell lines)
  • Covert fax interceptors
  • Covert communications protocol interceptors

TSCM Sweep and Audit Service

One of the best ways to counter eavesdropping attempts is by conducting a thorough Sweep and Audit Service.

Our method of operation is to search for a surreptitious or clandestine device. We also search for evidence of past “bugging” attempts. Our procedures and methods utilize various types of equipment and technologies to overlap and help failsafe against mechanical or electronic error.

A TSCM sweep and audit covers all possible threats and vulnerabilities. These include telephones of all kinds, fax machines, associated telecommunication devices (e.g., office switchboards), telecom wiring in and around each facility, as well as relevant electric wiring. The sweep also includes physical and electronic inspections. We examine all offices, conference rooms, copy rooms, kitchens, lunchrooms, smoking areas, and other gathering spaces. Particular attention is given to parking facilities, emergency staircases, and all other locations where employees may gather, communicate and/or operate communication devices. And, of course, we physically and electronically inspect every item of office furniture, false ceilings, floors, and electric and telecom outlets. Furthermore, we scan the electromagnetic spectrum (RF) to detect “friendly” and potentially “hostile” signals (e.g., those signals emitted by a clandestine listening device).

TAL Global’s TSCM Experts

Our TSCM team is comprised of in-house and external experts, all proficient in the relevant backgrounds, and well versed in the latest developments in the field – both in offensive and defensive capabilities, including RF, investigation, electronics, wire technology, telephone systems, and programming, computer security, wireless technologies, etc. The RF equipment and analysis is generally performed by a specially trained broadcast or radiofrequency technologist.

As part of our sweep, we conduct a physical search that includes overhead spaces, removal of applicable cover plates on the walls, and any other searches and inspection warranted in the designated areas. We search for both active and inactive devices or evidence of a past device or past “bug” attempts.

Any anomalies noted during our TSCM sweep and physical search are noted and included in our report, along with recommendations to bolster general security. Our report is designed to enhance security and raise awareness of office personnel as to how they can do their part in protecting the company’s proprietary information.

Our focus and methodology is not just designed to locate a surreptitious, clandestine or an unauthorized device, but to also provide recommendations on how to better protect and safeguard sensitive, confidential, and proprietary information. Most projects take several hours to complete, while some may require several days.

Need More Information?

TAL Global is happy to provide additional information regarding our services and equipment as provided by our staff of qualified, local vetted partners. The information given above is only representative of our capabilities. Contact us to discuss your specific concerns.

© TAL Global, 2019