Technical Surveillance Counter Measures

TSCM Sweeps:

Technical surveillance counter measures or TSCM sweeps are known by many different names, bug sweeping, TSCM Inspections or electronic counter-surveillance etc. really, they are all one in the same thing, an electronic and physical check or inspection of a room, building, area or vehicle. For ease we will refer to these services as a TSCM Sweep.
In this guide we cut though the technical speak and look at some of the latest equipment employed (as of June 2015), what a TSCM Sweep should include, look at present and future threats and dispel some myths surrounding eavesdropping.

When should a TSCM sweep take place?

Ideally companies should look at TSCM sweeps being part of their security housekeeping policy; they should have a security and risk policy that includes the budgeting for TSCM. The frequency and the requirements are very much down to the individual company and how they perceive the level of threat against them at that particular time. For instance a company might be involved in a hostile take-over or substantial litigation and may wish to increase the level of service at that particular time.


If a company feels that it may have an issue of loss of sensitive information then a TSCM sweep is not the only thing that it should be thinking about. This is very much a common mistake and one that is very much regretted in hindsight.
Should a company find that it is in the position where it feels it is losing information or data then really that company should launch a full internal investigation and where were required call in external counter espionage experts.


In many cases the loss of sensitive company information can be down to failing in internal policy, such as office refuge, key staff leaving. It’s not always about targeted acts of espionage, but if this is the case, it’s often worthwhile managing the issue correctly leaving options of legal action. Should this be miss-managed at an early stage then it is difficult to regain the situation and opportunities to gather key evidence may be lost.

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