Rusty Gilmore and Christine Peterson present “Enemies at the Gate or Are they Already Inside?”

Posted on 12, Dec | Posted by RMA

Christine Peterson and Rusty Gilmore presented Enemies at the Gate or Are they Already Inside? The presentation was given to a group of small business professionals hosted by RBC Wealth Management and sponsored by DJK HR Consulting, LLC, ABEO Insurance Agency, LLC, and SOULE Employment Law Firm on December 3, 2014.
Small business owners often display a combination of guts, grit, competency, and work ethic. They have everything to gain and everything to lose. They have bought into the idea that a security program is a cost they cannot afford instead of the reality which is a framework for the businesses stability and prosperity. The attendees at the seminar got a crash course in the people side of business and the concept that even “good” people make “bad” decisions once they have justified the rational for their actions. Focusing on the protection of the “secret sauce”, the program encouraged interaction between the attendees, presenters and sponsors in a discussion of physical security, IT security, BYOD (Bring your own device to work), and compliance considerations.

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Russell Gilmore Attends Active Threat Training

Posted on 17, Nov | Posted by RMA

Russell Gilmore attended an Active Threat Training program sponsored by Orange County Emergency Management. The course provided a history of active shooter events and included a tactical movement lecture and demo along with a skills overview. The objective of the training session was to review and learn from past events so as to be better prepared to respond and manage active shooter events in the future.

The program was conducted by Dr. Stephanie Crapo, Orange County Assistant Medical Director, UNC Emergency Medicine ED Fellow.

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Christine Peterson and Russell Gilmore Present at Meredith College

Posted on 7, Nov | Posted by RMA

Chris Peterson and Rusty Gilmore presented Enemies Within at Meredith College to the Sociology and Criminology Classes on November 7, 2014

The presentation was created to expose the students and future business leaders that the majority of business security breaches are committed by current employees and former employees. This requires employers to create and implement comprehensive security programs that blend the people, processes and technology. People cause security problems and security programs provide the guardianship that protects businesses’ assets and competitive advantage.

Chartered in 1891, Meredith College is one of the largest independent private women’s colleges in the U.S. Meredith also offers coeducational graduate programs in business, education and nutrition, as well as post-baccalaureate certificate programs in pre-health and business, a dietetic internship program, a didactic program in dietetics and a paralegal program. Meredith’s programs – undergraduate and graduate — challenge each individual student to think deeply, push hard, discover new strengths and grow even stronger. Meredith has been cited as one of the “best colleges” in the region and the country by U.S. News & World Report, The Princeton Review and Forbes.com.

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RMA Welcomes Michael Epperly as Director of Investigations

Posted on 30, Oct | Posted by RMA

Risk Management Associates, Inc. (RMA), recently reengaged Michael Epperly mre1.jpgto lead our investigations division. Michael previously served as RMA’s vice president and general counsel. Mike’s experience as a consultant, investigator and attorney make his addition a valuable asset to both RMA and its clients. Michael is a graduate of Campbell University and former law enforcement officer and will serve as our Director of Investigations, focusing on white collar crime, misappropriation, due diligence, compliance and ethics investigations and consulting.

Epperly, a native of Roanoke, Virginia, received his Juris Doctorate degree in 2002, and served in various investigative capacities in Virginia law enforcement before moving to North Carolina to begin his legal career. Prior to his hiring by RMA, Epperly worked for the NC Attorney General’s office and as the lead investigator for the NC Innocence Commission, where he investigated post-conviction claims of innocence by examining new evidence not presented at trial. Epperly also served as an intelligence officer in the US Navy.

“I am honored to once again be associated with RMA,” said Epperly. “RMA has a long history of superior investigative outcomes. Much of this success is directly attributable to the unrivaled skill and integrity of its people. RMA has a proud tradition of pairing each client with investigators and analysts who are uniquely qualified to deal with the issues at hand, and who also have the courage and integrity to report the truth – even when not favorable to the client. I intend to ensure that this tradition continues, and am both honored and humbled by this opportunity.”

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RMA Welcomes New Intern

Posted on 5, Sep | Posted by RMA

Nia Singletary has joined the staff of Risk Management Associates as part of an internship opportunity through Meredith College. Nia will be assisting with background investigative services, including maintaining FCRA compliance, conducting employment verification, gathering historical information about applicants, creating complete and accurate reports, and other tasks as needed.

Meredith College, an independent, private women’s college located in Raleigh, NC, offers a transformative educational experience. The College’s rigorous curriculum and leadership development programs prepare graduates for successful lives as engaged global citizens and leaders. Since its opening in 1899, Meredith has expanded to become one of the largest private women’s colleges in the U.S. Campus life at Meredith is shaped by more than 2,100 students representing 35 states and 45 countries.

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Chris Peterson Guest Speaker on Radio Station WCOM 103.5

Posted on 2, Apr | Posted by RMA

On Tuesday, April 1, 2014, Chris Peterson was the guest speaker on the program “Focus on Business” hosted by Lea Strickland which aired on radio station WCOM 103.5. “Focus on Business” provides insights, information and perspective on building strong businesses, sustainable businesses that build sustainable communities. Guests include area business leaders, experts and professionals who share their experience. If you want to start, expand, grow or repair a business, tune in.

Chris and Lea had a discussion on fraud in the workplace and that a typical company loses 5% of their revenue each year. The discussion expanded to the vulnerability of employees bringing their own electronic devices including phones, tablets and computers into the workplace.

WCOM 103.5 is listener-supported, volunteer-powered community radio station located in Carrboro, North Carolina. The mission of WCOM is to educate, inspire, and entertain the diverse populations of Carrboro, Chapel Hill and nearby areas. They cultivate local music and facilitate the exchange of cultural and intellectual ideas, with particular regard for those who are overlooked or under-represented by other media outlets. They provide a space for media access and education by providing equipment and training to our community. “Focus on Business” airs on Tuesdays from 12:00 – 1:00.

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RMA Presents Continuing Education Training

Posted on 12, Mar | Posted by RMA

RMA presented six hours of training to students in Raleigh, NC, on Monday and Tuesday, March 10 and 11. Rusty Gilmore taught Computer Forensics II, Billy Green delivered A Pragmatic Approach to the Terrorist Threat, and Tasha Dyson presented Report Writing and Documentation. The last presenter of the day was Michael Epperly with Legal Issues for Private Investigators II.

RMA will be presenting six hours of training in Raleigh on April 7, 2014, and April 14, 2014. The classes being offered on Monday April 7, 2014, will be Planning and Conducting a Successful Surveillance presented by Marty Coolidge, Workplace Violence Prevention presented by Billy Green, and Executive Protection presented by Stan Carroll. On Monday April 14, 2014, the classes include Planning and Conducting a Successful Surveillance, Workplace Violence Prevention, and Use of Forensic DNA in Private Investigations presented by Lindsey Smith.

Effective January 1, 2012, all PPSB license holders must have completed 12 hours of approved continuing education credit to qualify for license renewal. RMA has developed training programs that are relevant to practice as a private investigator and protection and security professional and is offering these in one-day seminars. Our goal is to provide opportunities for licensees to obtain the required CEU’s and to provide interesting and relevant instruction on protection and investigative topics. Students can register and pay online on the Continuing Education page of our website.

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The “Fractional” Security Manager

Posted on 12, Mar | Posted by Martin F. Coolidge

The “Fractional” Security Manager:

A Cost Effective Approach to Managing Security

Fractional Security Manager I have met with a large number of business leaders – especially in small business – over the years because of a security issues they faced such as internal theft, threat to executives, employee malfeasance, compliance issues, or other security problems. These issues turned into the need for an investigation and/or an assessment to determine what happened and how to prevent future incidents. What I have observed is that most of these problems could have been prevented through the use of sound security practices. The lack of a competent security plan is usually due to lack of industry knowledge and typically due to the lack of a security manager. By security manager, I mean someone dedicated to the position, not someone simply appointed as such, which seems to be common in many small to medium-sized companies.

Security events are not accidental but are the deliberate actions of employees and/or non-employees who have the motivation to take or destroy an asset because they perceive there is no guardianship over that asset. They often take place without warning, requiring quick-minded response. Sometimes security events can develop from minor issues and failures – security events that might have been avoidable with proper security controls in place.

Security is also about people. It’s not about whether a tree branch may fall onto a roof; it’s about how that tree branch is making it easier to gain access to the roof. It’s about deterrence, target hardening, proactively seeking out security lapses and addressing them, properly investigating the incidents that do occur to resolve them, and identifying and installing safeguards to prevent future such incidents. It includes making security a part of company culture. For this to occur, there has to be a competent level of knowledge of current security issues and practices.

If security is not of high importance to a company, it can expect that some people – employees included – will take advantage of them because they are vulnerable. We have seen high-paid executives steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from their employer because the security lapse was so significant it was too inviting to pass up.

A good security program can reduce a company’s exposure to loss, help make risk more manageable, and increase the safety of employees and visitors. However, a good security program needs an effective security manager. For some companies, this is often not practical. For many small businesses, physical security is limited to the obvious: locking doors at night, installing a few CCTV cameras, and installing intrusion alarms. Unfortunately for many of these companies, this is the extent of their security program, making them more vulnerable and more prone to an incident. Many of them already have a security issue in progress and are not even aware of it.

One approach for a small business is to utilize an existing manager or supervisor and then add security duties to that person’s job description, with or without additional salary. However, a title does not bring industry knowledge and it is not what builds a proper security program. There are too many variables in play to expect a job description to create effective security solutions that protect your company’s assets and economic advantage. A security manager is someone educated, trained, and experienced in applying the principles of security, not a human resource representative that took a few “security” courses. To believe otherwise is to not take security seriously.

Another approach is to hire a security manager with the education, training, and experience to create an effective security program. A security manager can help make a business run more efficiently because security issues are addressed before they become problems, employees and vendors know someone is watching, and problems like workplace violence and internal theft can be minimized. While this is a common business practice for larger companies, it is not cost effective for smaller businesses, whose bottom line is usually fairly thin. Every company could benefit by employing a security manager – some just cannot afford to do so. A security manager is likely to cost around $100,000 per year or more with salary and benefits. This cost is absorbed in large business settings where losses could easily total much more than that. An alternative is to find a security manager willing to work part-time, but it is rare to find someone with the requisite skill-set willing to work part-time. It is difficult enough to find a full-time security manager who individually possesses the expertise necessary to effectively manage all of the aspects of a comprehensive security program.

There is a third approach: “lease” a security manager through a professional service agreement (PSA). This is accomplished by contracting with a security consulting company that can provide a security manager with the education, training and experience needed to competently fulfill the position. In our current economy, many companies are switching to “fractional” titles to save money. A PSA provides an economical and efficient solution to security management needs. It is economical because the cost is a fraction of what it costs to employ a full-time, salaried security manager. It is efficient because a company pays only for the time expended on security-related matters as directed by the company, unlike a full-time security manager that is paid 40 hours per week regardless of how the time is used. Under a PSA a company does not pay a full-time salary and does not pay benefits. With a “leased” security manager the company gets the services of a security professional that can conduct professional security assessments, provide loss control, oversee installation of technology, interview employees, create policies, assist HR during terminations, conduct pre-employment background screening, escort individuals from company property, investigate incidents, liaise with law enforcement when necessary, and provide any other security-related function deemed necessary by the company. Similar to a security manager, the “leased” security manager works for and at the direction of the company. Under a PSA model, companies have a security manager who has “real world” experience. The PSA is tailored to create an effective security program, to fit the company’s culture, and to be cost effective and sustainable.

Another benefit of a PSA agreement is that, depending on the “leasing” organization, the company gets the investigative and administrative support that complements a security and investigations program. This is something large companies with security managers rarely have. With the right organization, the company retains an entire division of security and investigations professionals at their disposal complete with security experts, design experts, and former police investigators, complete with thousands of hours of professional law enforcement, security and military training.

So how does a PSA work? Each PSA is tailored to meet the needs and budget of each individual company. It starts with an evaluation of security needs based on current security posture, trends in the community, company history, vulnerability and exposure, industry, annual hiring rate, and interviews with company officials. A minimum monthly rate that fits the company’s budget – the base rate – is agreed on for which time and expenses are incurred. Services are anything related to security that a company requests, such as workplace violence and other training programs, internal and external investigation, employee investigation, outplacement of terminated employees, background investigations, security assessments, threat assessments, policy development, review/check security systems operations, card readers/keypad systems, CCTV, oversee installation of new systems, creation of security related documents, reports and logs, and many other services. PSAs not only help businesses achieve effective security solutions but they can also be used to provide training and expert security consulting to existing security directors and security managers.

Failure to properly address security is like driving without insurance: you’re gambling your personal worth on a hope that a mistake is not made by you or someone else. Most likely that failure is driven by company economics. With a fractional security manager under a PSA, security management can not only be achieved, it is cost-effective.

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Christine Peterson and Marty Coolidge Present at Institute of Management Accountants Luncheon

Posted on 28, Feb | Posted by RMA

Christine Peterson and Marty Coolidge presented at the IMA NC Triangle Chapter and the Carolinas Council Annual Winter Conference on February, 28, 2014, at the Prestonwood Country Club in Cary, NC. The presentation titled Enemies at the Gate or Are They Already Inside? focused on fraud and abuse in the workplace which costs businesses on average 5% of revenue per year.

IMA is the worldwide association of accountants and financial professionals working in business. They are committed to helping more than 65,000 members to expand professional skills, better manage organizations, and enhance careers. For more than 90 years, IMA has been a champion of – and resource for – the financial management and accounting profession. The organization was founded in Buffalo, N.Y., in 1919 as the National Association of Cost Accountants (NACA) to promote knowledge and professionalism among cost accountants and foster a wider understanding of the role of cost accounting in management.

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Rusty Gilmore Interviewed by WRAL

Posted on 26, Feb | Posted by RMA

An investigation that began in Wake County of nude photos of high school students on Instagram has expanded to at six more North Carolina counties, bringing the total to at least nine, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Justice said Wednesday.

School system representatives have said they are cooperating with authorities in the investigation, and authorities are urging parents to talk to their children about the dangers of posing for or posting sexually explicit photos.

“They have to be made aware that what they do is on there forever,” said Russell Gilmore, a cyber-security specialist with Raleigh-based Risk Management Associates.

“When you share a photograph through a social media website or with a friend, you don’t know where that picture is going,” he said. “You have no clue if it’s being shared with one person or 1,000.”

Read more: SBI now investigating Instagram photos of nude students in nine counties

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