The mainstream media treated us to a rare look at a most unique and rather fascinating photo and article the other day. The photo was of President Obama and two top officials sitting in what most certainly appeared to be a modest-sized blue tent. While it almost seemed comical – lo-tech science fiction – it was anything but lo-tech or fiction.
Known as a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility, or SCIF, this strange structure enables a President to conduct the most top secret of discussions while on the move. Looking for all the world like a blue polyester tarpaulin, it is soundproof and made from a secret material which is designed to keep emissions in and listening devices out. Command Consulting Group, which supplies SCIFs to government agencies, describes that a ‘ring of electronic waves’ ensures that only signals from an encrypted satellite phone can get in and out.
The President rarely travels without it; and former President Bush employed one regularly when discussing Iraq with Tony Blair.
Most of the rest of us don’t exactly need such extreme precautions. Carefully following the latest sensible guidelines for securing personal and business data from hackers and identity thieves is usually sufficient, and there are companies that specialize in security services for those who require a higher level of protection.
Another form of security, of course, is financial security; and job one is to make sure we are doing all we can to guarantee the success of our business enterprise. Opening one or more virtual offices can help achieve this. Without leaving the security of home base, an entrepreneur can have multiple satellite offices in prominent locations across the country, and maintain contact with clients, data at hand, with the communications services a virtual office provides. Professional live receptionists enhance the virtual office experience; and the cost is remarkably low.
No mobile tent required.