Corporate Threat and Security – An Intro


Increased interest in holistic corporate security from our clients has inspired us to take our show again on the road! Our clients are tired of the piecemeal approach to business operations, cybersecurity, compliance, hiring, training, etc. They want a comprehensive “playbook” for integrating appropriate measures into day-to-day functions and operations.

We are traveling to provide tailored executive seminars to address these leadership concerns in business operations, physical security, personnel security and cybersecurity. Attached a short presentation derived from recent “brown bag” discussions.

If your company or activity needs assistance understanding how basic security practices can improve business results and performance, please contact us. We are happy to tailor an executive seminar for you brought to you by the best in the business. From there we can discuss what specific areas of interest we can assist you with.

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The entire presentation is here:  Threat and Security – Intro for Companies

Please respect the Creative Commons licensing below. If you would like to use the content – please let us know at We can provide more detail and context than exists in just a slide or two.

Thank you!

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Corporate Threat and Security by S. Michelle Farr, Zofia Consulting, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Relationship of Behavior to Security



Personality-based, or behavioral, assessments help reduce the subjectivity involved when employers only use interview techniques. An accurate personality-based assessment can provide objective insights into key personality traits intrinsically related to workplace dynamics and performance. The insights help key talent functions avoid mistakes related to bias, politics, “gut decisions,” and chance. These types of errors can produce a litany of organizational issues that can devastate business results and compromise security and performance.


Zofia Consulting, working with our 42 Group, leverages taxonomies, psychological profiling, real-time data, and machine learning combined with decision support systems to identify threats to client assets and resources. This unique combination of factors assists our clients in evaluating weaknesses in their systems and also opportunities for engagement and risk mitigation.


When used correctly, behavioral assessments lead to better hires and higher levels of performance, job satisfaction, improved security, morale, and long-term staff retention.

Interested in learning more? Send us a note!

Zofia Celebrates a Fantastic 2014

Another year already! 2014 was an amazing year at Zofia.

This year, our team focused on building capacity and strengthening our offerings to our clients. Global demands for increased full-spectrum security sharpened our skills and hastened our pace. Our clients wanted to ensure they were best postured to meet the dynamism of threats to their physical and cyber footprints. It is our job to make sure they are prepared!

Here are a few 2014 Zofia highlights:

download (1)2014 was a year with a domestic security focus. Our client concerns kept us close to home and inside clients’ facilities as we shored up our clients’ physical and cyber presence. With thousands of reported intrusions, huge recovery expenses, and liability concerns across the USA – this was a year to double check security operations. We kept a watchful eye on global trends and threats to inform our clients’ domestic US position. We trained client corporate staff on issues of security, competitive intelligence, and analysis. We teamed with multiple other consultancies to bring holistic approaches to satisfy diverse client needs.

Our network of associates and advisors was never busier. We addressed a variety of topics for our existing clients and tapped into more new resources than in the past years. Our advisors introduced our associates to experts downloadaround the world in cybersecurity, terrorism, novel security capabilities, and more to ensure our clients had the best information available to mitigate threats and evaluate risks. In the area of strategic planning and support, we assisted Team Gleason with kicking off their >$600M initiative “Answer ALS” – a project to finally end ALS.  How amazing to be a part of a campaign that is changing the face of research and brain science.

Zofia continues to grow and enhance our partnerships with top firms in the USA in support of multiple government and commercial clients. It is part of our philosophy to find and discover the best talent for our clients. If that means the expertise resides in another firm, we facilitate a mutually beneficial partnership to ensure our clients’ needs are fully supported with the best talent.

We noted an increased demand for specific global expertise in Africa and Eastern European countries. We delivered smartly by tapping into senior consultants with on the ground expertise that proved very accurate and timely. Most importantly – our clients referred us to their partner companies.  The best advertising for Zofia is a word-of-mouth referral and we are grateful for the continuedTroops 4-18-09 027 confidence our clients place in us.

Zofia continues our commitment to being a valuable member of our local community. Zofia provided more than 85 hours of pro bono consulting to a variety of nonprofit activities and we proudly donated portions of our profits to: Robert Packard Center for ALS Research, Team Gleason, America’s VetDogs and Jill’s House.  Inspired by the work of Steve Gleason – our CEO also became a board member of Team Gleason to more fully support them directly.

Zofia had a tremendous 2014 thanks to our team, partners, clients, friends, and family.  After a very short break – 2015 is already starting for us, and we are ready.  We look forward to helping you get your year going smartly, safely, and securely.

Suzanne McDermott: “Global Branding on Ice”

disneyoniceWe have all seen the tragic mistakes made by corporate cultural blunders in their attempt to market globally. These failures could have been prevented with proper research, insight, and experience.  Products and services, no matter how fabulous and wanted, will never transcend local culture(s).  To be successful in a new territory means having a keen understanding of local traditions, ideology, dominant philosophies, languages, politics, and more.  Create corporate success by using intelligence to drive your organizational decisions.  That is our Philo-Zofia

Our own Suzanne McDermott writes about “Global Branding on Ice.” When creative assets leave US air space – Suzanne notes how important it is to ensure you know your audience and understand the local domains where you intend to operate.

“When you’re marketing a global brand, you need to be on your toes—especially when you’re promoting Disney On Ice. Produced by Feld Entertainment, the visual tour below gives you a sense of how our original materials migrated as the show made its way around the world. I’ve always been fascinating by what happens when creative assets leave US air space. Beginning with the key art, I hope you enjoy seeing how the work evolved from the US to Australia to several Asian markets.” -Read the rest at

Suzanne McDermottSuzanne is Zofia’s Senior Creative Services Advisor.  With over 20 years of global experience, her creative voice helps our clients envision success in new markets and with new resources. Learn more about Suzanne and our other advisors here.

The Making of an Intelligence-Driven Organization

“Analysts think analytically of what can go wrong…Executives tend to think wishfully of what might go right”*

I recently had the opportunity to attend and speak at a senior round-table session in Europe.  Truly amazing sessions with fascinating speakers.  My session was titled “Intelligence-Driven Organizations” which is a topic I present on frequently in light of recent and increasing global dynamism (Please see blog on Hyperconnected and Hyperturbulent)

Government and private-sector organizations are eager to find new ways to understand the changing environment and adapt – not just to survive but to prosper.  The reality of the world in which we do business is increasingly one where external forces – social, technological, economic, political and more – continue to play a major and often decisive role in the success or failure of an organization.

Effectively leveraging intelligence know-how helps an organization prepare when competition over scarce resources increases and the nature of the competition foments greed, corruption, lies, and security threats. How does an organization best posture itself to check their exposure to global uncertainty and protect themselves from unfair market/adversary forces?  Create resiliency and agility by using intelligence to drive organizational decisions.

Here is a synopsis of the topic:

Intelligence-Driven Organizations
Noting the environmental impacts of globalization, demographic shifts and the environment, how do decision makers prepare their organizations to not only address issues but get in front of them.  This roundtable will outline the key aspects of intelligence from a US National Security perspective as well as discussion on how to develop intelligence capability in your own organization and align it to your overall strategy. Finally, the conversation will discuss counterintelligence and highlight the importance of integration of security into corporate intelligence activities.

To keep from developing yet another dry powerpoint presentation, I enlisted the support of Brian Tarallo of Lizard Brains Solutions to help me craft something a little different to go along with the discussion.

Brian took my draft slides and together we crafted a graphic storyboard that in itself would be a handout for the seniors to take back to their respective organizations. Our hope is that this better assists the attendees in remembering our conversations in this session.

First…Brian crafted the icon set and then set the storyboard in session:

Icon_setStoryboardCreative Commons License

After the initial design decisions were made – the rest of the story board came together nicely (and quickly)….

The discussions/handout covered many points including:

  • As a discipline, intelligence seeks to remain an independent, objective advisor to the decision maker.
  • The realm of intelligence is that judgment and probability, but not prescription.
  • The Intelligence product does NOT tell the decision maker what to do, but rather, identifies the factors at play, and how various actions may affect outcomes.
  • Intelligence analysts must actively review the accuracy of their mind-sets by applying structured analytic techniques coupled with divergent thinking
  • Critical thinking clarifies goals, examines assumptions, discerns hidden values, evaluates evidence, accomplishes actions, and assesses inferences/conclusions
  • Networking, coordinating, cooperating, collaboration, and multi-sector collaboration accomplish different goals and require different levels of human resources, trust, skills, time, and financial resources – but worth it to ensure coverage of issues.
  • Counterintelligence and Security to protect your own position
  • and more….

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If you want the whole presentation and the knowledge behind it – drop me a note.  Happy to discuss how your organization can more effectively leverage intelligence solutions and tie these solutions to your organizational strategy.

My gratitude to Brian at Lizard Brains Solutions for his help in putting together my thoughts and presentation in a new way that captured the flow perfectly in a fun layout.  He even made it into a “Prezi” for me in case it was needed.  Here is the final handout in Prezi mode.   (please respect the creative commons licensing – info below). Additionally – If you need a fantastic graphic facilitator or someone to give your ideas a different medium – you can contact me or Brian directly.

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Intelligence-Driven Organizations by Zofia Consulting, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.  Based on a work at

*Treverton- “Reshaping National Intelligence in the Age of Information,” 2001

Preparing for a Future That is Hyperconnected and Hyperturbulent

In discussions this week with clients – I shared my review of recent reporting from the World Economic Forum (WEF): Global Risks: 2013 and the Director of National Intelligence Worldwide Threat Assessment.   Both of these reports discuss perspectives of a presumed coming future.  These reports discuss the continued turbulence in global economic systems coupled with global shortages in the basics: food and water. These issues are coupled with climate changes, continued political strife, extremism and terrorism.

The WEF report also discusses that not one of these issues can be separated from the other – that all of these systems are not just connected, but hyperconnectedwith factors including the rapid nature of communication, improved technology, and access to social media – collectively fueling the digital flames with misinformation and political rhetoric. The dangers here are all too real – including the potential toppling of governments (e.g. Arab Spring), mass physical tragedy, and severe economic losses.

The DNI report expands that discussion identifying specific countries at risk.  One can see that no country is immune from a variety of threats – each leading to potentially disastrous outcomes.

It turns out that despite our best efforts – the world remains a world of great risks.  In addition to national policies and corporate innovation, WEF also suggests that preparation for and survival through this future will involve resiliency.

The WEF states that knowledge of these issues will help prepare companies and governments to make changes NOW to prepare for an uncertain future.  They state that what is needed is a strategy that best positions companies, agencies, and governments to be resilient…but not in isolation…rather in a partnered network with allies and friends.  Image

No single agency or organization will be able to efficiently and effectively navigate the future without working collaboratively, building communities of trust, to help weather the storms ahead.

How is your organization prepared? Were you even aware these dangers are lurking around the corner? How will you allocate resources given the dynamism ahead? Where and who is your community?

Certainly there are paths to success – but they must be carefully mapped – specific to your goals and mission.

Key to success will be forming a long-term strategy.  One that involves the effective use of intelligence information, knowledge management, security best practices, and building collaborative communities.  Next – implementing and measuring the strategy must be well-planned and communicated to your team – or the strategy will be nothing but decoration on the shelf.

Intelligence, security, and strategy are core competencies of Zofia Consulting, LLC. 

If you want to know how to prepare your organization, first – read the WEF and DNI reports.  Next, send us a note.  We are here to help you – not only with today’s problems – but with tomorrow’s.

Let’s hope the outlook is incorrect and the forecasts will prove wrong over time.  But as time has told, hope is not a strategy….,

– Michelle Farr

CEO, Zofia Consulting

Happy First Birthday to the Innovative Solutions Consortium!

Zofia Consulting is a proud member of the Innovative Solutions Consortium (ISC)! We joined in June 2012 and our CEO was so excited by the idea of the ISC- she joined the executive committee to participate more fully in this powerful alliance!

The purpose of the ISC is to combine the talents of  companies with a shared vision to develop solutions to our Government’s toughest security challenges.  How can we do this? By creating an unprecedented collaborative framework leveraging the talents of our partners! Our platform is built in a “cloud”, joined by collaborative tools like Rofori, to allow for cross industry sharing and innovation of the latest and greatest security technologies – encryption, big data analytics, semantic search, integrated IT solutions, and much more.

If one big brain is great on a problem, then what would happen if we pulled together a diverse set of talent and attacked our nation’s toughest security problems together – in a new way – breaking all the rules of how business has always been done.

(We have a few projects going on now – and we will write more about those as they unfold. )

The ISC also works to create new and different networking options so these great companies can meet/greet and build their network of trust.  Just a few days ago, the ISC hosted an evening event at the Congressional Country Club where Glenfiddich came by to do a single-malt scotch tasting. The ISC received a fantastic bit of history on the Club as the OSS used the facility as its initial training grounds.  The ISC also brought in an awe-inspiring combat historian named Patrick O’Donnell to share his recent adventures and to sign his latest book – Dog Company.    (Great gift idea!)

Adding to the evening was the ISC’s deep appreciation for one of their ISC Associate Members – the Robert Packard Center for ALS Research at Johns Hopkins University.  It isn’t enough that the ISC gathers to explore new technologies, solve hard problems and network like crazy…they like to do it for a good cause.  In this case – all proceeds of the night went to the Packard Center.

This is just one event of many throughout this past year.  Last night we had the chance to honor the growth and accomplishments of the ISC as they marked their first anniversary.

Last night, we listened and participated in topics concerning innovation in government. Special guests included former the former Chief Scientist of the CIA, Chief innovation officers from industry, a renowned Professor from Georgetown University, CIO of DISA and more!

The ISC also discussed their delivery of a white paper to the the Congressional Commission for Review of Research and Development Programs of the Intelligence Community.  The paper details new ways for government to look at public-private partnerships with groups like the ISC to advance innovation and solutions for security challenges. It is, after all, what the ISC was built for!

Then we all gathered and celebrated our partnerships, our friendships and our commitment to tackling our Nation’s hardest security challenges.

If you missed the event last night, or the previous networking events, don’t worry – you can catch the next ISC summit in January! Details are on their websiteHint: If you are a member of the ISC – you get to participate in these events for free!

Happy Birthday ISC! 2013 will prove to be your best year yet!

-Zofia Consulting