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Smartphones Changing Corporate Travel Safety


Large, multinational corporations face exposure to safety risks when their employees travel or work abroad. Yet bring-your-own-device (BYOD) strategies in the workplace are changing the face of corporate security as smartphone and social networking technologies are replacing antiquated, single-use security devices such as personal duress systems or panic buttons.

Today, smartphones are increasingly replacing outdated and costly security technologies such as corporate physical security efforts, physical security guards, personal duress alarms and international phone numbers for assistance. Newer technologies help companies ensure that employees abroad have unhindered access to pertinent emergency services, preventative advice and expertise in emergency situations such as civil unrest, accidents or illness.

The Problem with Personal Duress Systems

Not only is it expensive to outfit each and every executive with the personal duress software and hardware necessary, but these devices also have to be customized with a variety of individualized protection options as they pertain to each specific travel destination.

This makes portable personal duress systems expensive prospects, not to mention the fact that each system must be maintained, charged and carried every single day. If the employee forgets to charge the device, or unintentionally leaves it behind in his hotel room, the security systems’ effectiveness is nil.

In addition, device reliability can be a cause for concern.  During an incident at the Los Angeles International Airport last year, two out of a total of ten panic buttons failed to function when gunmen entered Terminal 3 with guns blazing1.

Smartphones Used for Employee Personal Safety

Mobile technology is an integral part of business life. Today, employees can use their smartphone to send and receive business emails, access company resources, and handle business anywhere in the world. By integrating personal security solutions with a device that employees already carry and use every day, smartphone technology can be leveraged as an integral and useful tool for ensuring the personal safety of employees.

The flexibility of mobile technology offers several advantages and allows authorities to:

  • Stay informed about employees’ location during global threats or during disaster recovery.
  • Initiate all-inclusive incident management systems that give authorities full investigation and situational awareness from mobile devices such as tablets.
  • Report new incidents from mobile devices.
  • Keep employees informed about the incident through MNS (Mass Notification Systems) via employees’ mobile devices.

In addition to providing a slew of security benefits to security stakeholders, smartphone adoption within the enterprise can offer employees with extra protection. For example, mobile applications such as TapShield can be used to identify an employee’s location and identity so that authorities can respond to mass notifications faster. If smartphones are equipped with NFC (Near Field Communication) technology, security personnel can access employee credentials to ensure their physical security.  And with TapShield’s Mobile Mass Notification System (MMNS), security can quickly identify the location of employees who might find themselves in the middle of active threat scenarios once they activate the application’s mass notification for help.

TapShield for Business

Shield Command

Figure A. – Shield Command Incident Response Platform

TapShield Enterprise turns employee smartphones into personalized mobile safety systems with the ability to harness the power of crowdsourcing and instantly send relevant information to emergency responders,

so help arrives more quickly and better prepared. Not only can potentially dangerous situations be averted, but response times to threats are improved by up to 47 percent, enhancing employees’ personal safety and peace of mind.

Unlike cumbersome, legacy solutions, TapShield Enterprise:

  • Helps corporations facilitate BYOD trends by providing security on the devices that are already owned by employees.
  • Locates and communicates with travelling executives both nationally and internationally.
  • Provides real-time, accurate GPS location data to facilitate timely response.
  • Provides two-way crises communication and mass notification using employees’ mobile devices.
  • Does not require employees to travel to specific emergency help points during emergency situations when time is of the essence.
  • Eliminates response delays that are common when information must be relayed from corporate security to pertinent third party security services.


Designed to help businesses reduce risk by improving response to threats against employees and corporate assets, TapShield Enterprise is ideal for corporations that have offices in multiple countries or employees who frequently work or travel abroad. The solution is easy to setup and configure, and can help companies minimize overall costs while improving security quality and peace of mind. Learn more about TapShield Enterprise here.


12 of 10 panic buttons were not working during Nov. 1 LAX shooting, Sumers, B. (2014, February 14).  http://www.dailybreeze.com/general-news/20140214/2-of-10-panic-buttons-were-not-working-during-nov-1-lax-shooting-source-says

About TapShield

TapShield is the market leader in mobile personal safety with enterprise grade solutions for emergency notification and response. With TapShield, you can dramatically reduce incident response times, lower risk and improve personal safety. For Universities and Colleges, TapShield transforms smartphones into mobile, social safety devices and sends GPS location and enhanced caller identification to incident management systems, reducing response times by up to 47%. For corporations, TapShield provides employees and executives with an instant two-way help point that works across the globe.

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