interview for WirtschaftsWoche

The Russian intelligence service plan to assassinate the Rheinmetal CEO documents a significant increase in the threat situation for managers in the defense industry.

What other means is Moscow resorting to? Are key personnel from other industries also in the agents’ target spectrum?

Regardless of the answer to the above questions, companies and security authorities are called upon to reposition themselves in view of the changed risk landscape.

WirtschaftsWoche interviewed Proteus CEO Oliver Graf together with other experts on this topic.

The article “Suddenly in the crosshairs” was published in issue no. 30 of 19.07.24 on pages 56-58 under the heading “Business and Technology – Security”.

Suddenly in the crosshairs



Oliver Graf in the VDI News

The article “How bodyguards protect top managers and politicians” in the VDI-Nachrichten of 17.07.2024 focuses on high profile assassinations and concludes that there is an increasing threat to politicians and business representatives. Managing Director Oliver Graf is quoted with regard to the question of suitable security measures: “A sophisticated system of preventive and corrective measures is needed to ensure effective and far-reaching protection”.

How bodyguards protect top managers and politicians



Guest lecture by Oliver Graf at the 10th meeting of the German Corporate Security Working Group (AKDU)

We are pleased to be able to give a guest lecture at the 10th meeting of the AKDU working group on October 10, 2024 and to exchange views with its members on current developments and challenges in corporate security.

The keynote speaker will be Prof. Dr. Udo Helmbrecht, former President of the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) and Director of the European Network and Information Se-curity Agency (ENISA).

German Corporate Security Working Group (AKDU)



“Security for a special sporting experience” – Article in SECURITY INSIGHT SicherheitsPraxis, Issue 2/24

Michael Sorge and Oliver Graf have been supporting the NFL, the most valuable sports league in the world, since it commenced the hosting of regular US matches in German stadiums in 2022.

A key factor in the strategic security planning and operational implementation of security concepts for this major sporting event is the close and trusting cooperation with the NFL’s Security Department, as well as with official security agencies from Germany and the USA. In an article in SECURITY INSIGHT 2/24, Michael Sorge and NFL Germany head Alexander Steinforth provide interesting insights into the significant differences between the NFL German matches and Bundesliga football matches in terms of professional sports marketing and risk assessment.

Sicherheit für ein besonderes Sporterlebnis



Lecture by Oliver Graf on the topic of “Personal protection – a profession caught between image and reality”

Increasing social, political and economic upheavals and criminal developments are forcing us to take a differentiated view of the corresponding risks of the present.

In this light, personal security must also be rethought from several angles. Together with our partner SÜDVERS as a high-performance insurance broker and risk manager, we have created a consulting approach that covers all facets and fulfils the highest demands. We are therefore particularly pleased to be able to contribute to this year’s Laser Focus event with a lecture.

Event programme



Article by Oliver Graf: SECURITY INSIGHT SicherheitsPraxis 4/23

Film and television have portrayed personal security in a very one-dimensional manner. Compounding this issue, business associations, politics, and relevant authorities have yet to establish a recognized professional standard for this field. Both factors have not been beneficial for the industry. The absence of national training and certification standards allows amateurs to enter a market marked by maximum uncertainty and information asymmetry. “Adverse Selection” is almost inevitable: the client simply doesn’t know what service to expect and how to assess the provider’s quality effectively. In the end, they often opt for the cheapest personal security provider, an unsustainable situation in a segment concerned with safeguarding life, limb, and health.

So, how should modern executive protection be understood and carried out according to established principles?

Read an article by Managing Director Oliver Graf in SECURITY INSIGHT SicherheitsPraxis 4/23.



Security Measures for Players, Teams, Coaches, and Officials of an Internationally Operating Sports League


An American sports league is planning its first major sporting event in Germany in 2022.

Security services for the protection of players, coaches, teams, referees, officials, media representatives, and events are being put out for competitive bidding. had already been recommended and prequalified for all procurement requirements. After submitting and reviewing the proposal, was awarded the contract as the General Security Service Provider.

Following ticket pre-sales, it was expected that there would be immense public interest and high attendance.


Between the award decision and the game day, there were only 14 weeks for complex planning and project management. Professional communication among all relevant security stakeholders had to be conducted across two time zones. Personal meetings were scheduled every four weeks. Given the involvement of numerous police and regulatory authorities, the fire department, airport operators, and transportation companies from the outset in security planning, extensive coordination was required.

The significant need for specially qualified security personnel presented unique challenges in terms of personnel, contingency planning, and accommodation.


Internally, Proteus established a matrix project organization. The role concept included overarching responsibilities for project management, team security, security for other stakeholders, event security, interface organization, as well as administration and organization.

The recruitment of security personnel had to be carried out on a national scale. Due diligence checks were conducted on all vendors based on specific client requirements.

Special attention was given to the security planning of team movements at the airport, their accommodation in hotels, and training activities and bus transfers throughout the Munich area. Virtual meetings were scheduled for regular exchanges with security representatives of the client and participating teams.

The multifaceted collaboration with law enforcement authorities was a prime example of a highly successful informal “Public-Private-Security-Partnership” throughout all relevant project phases.

Development and Implementation of a Family Security concept


A long-established supplier company is sold to an international corporation, and the preceding M&A process garnered significant media attention. There were no significant threat risks to executives or company owners during the post-merger integration. The new residence of the owner’s family is located in a foreign capital city. They have substantial experience with personal security. A concept for space, route, and object surveillance had been in place for many years at the family head’s residence and that of his wife in Germany. Given their above-average media visibility and growing perception of economic and social disruptions, the clients believe there is an ongoing need for increased security. is requested to develop a sustainable Family Security Concept and roll it out in collaboration with a country partner.


Considering unique legal and regulatory conditions in the target country, obtaining numerous permits is necessary for deploying our own security personnel and assets. An 8-week ramp-up phase must be factored in. Given the high flexibility requirements, we plan for contract cooperation with a foreign network partner. Despite a long-standing and stable client relationship, we place increased emphasis on meeting specific customer expectations and preferences in service customization.

Methodology and Results:

With a secondary focus on the symbolic and public image of the corporate brand and country-specific risks, a family-oriented threat analysis is conducted. Recognized risk management standards provide a theoretical framework. During the investigation, an inventory and vulnerability analysis of structural and technical security features in relevant residential properties are also conducted. The result is an elevated threat level. Risks arising from so-called non-personalized crime in the areas of burglary and robbery are particularly noteworthy because regional crime statistics are highly significant, and criminological studies show that residential burglaries often lead to perpetrator-victim confrontations with critical dynamics. With the owners’ assets and structure being well-publicized, there is also an above-average abstract threat to individual persons, especially grandchildren, in the context of kidnapping and extortion.

From a best-practice perspective, a basic personal security concept is derived, implemented, and staffed.

Key components include:

  • Event-driven, separate security escort.
  • Ongoing Surveillance in the Living, recreational, and work Environments, as well as for Children.
  • Mobile emergency alert devices (smartphone app mit flic Button).
  • 24/7 alarm and Intervention readiness with emergency medical equipment.
  • Mechanical and electronic security measures.
  • Sensitization discussions and risk awareness training.
  • A Basic Crisis plan for exceptional situations.

Supporting a Corporate Security Organization in Response to Changing Risk Conditions


When the economic and financial situation of a publicly traded company and its representatives undergo significant changes, risk management in the context of Executive Protection faces new challenges. Following a B2B recommendation, was requested to develop an executive security concept and integrate it as an external service provider into the existing Corporate Security organization.

Later, the service delivery was intended to be managed by a Retained Organization to be established. Elevated threats to individual top executives had already been attested in accordance with relevant police regulations, and commercial firearm permits had been applied for with the relevant authorities.


Even at a superficial glance, the risk landscape for the company must be assessed as complex and dynamic on an ad-hoc basis. The company’s brand and executives had suddenly gained significant media visibility. There were also occasional politically motivated threats. Corporate security was organized at a low level, with limited structures and knowledge in the area of executive security. A detailed risk analysis, as well as the derivation and implementation of a personal protection concept, had to be carried out under time pressure. This involved considering parallel responsibilities of the police and private security providers, resulting in high interface requirements.

Methodology and Results:

Initially, personalized threat analyses were conducted, including an examination of “digital footprints,” interviews with individual board members regarding their daily routines and habits, as well as an inventory and evaluation of structural and technical security measures in their residences and workplaces. A comparison of threat profiles and already implemented protective measures provided insights into relevant risks and corresponding optimization needs.

From a best-practice perspective, a target concept was derived, presented to the company’s security authorities, and subsequently approved by the affected executives.

The implementation planning included’s support in security technology consulting and project planning, including the integration of hazard detectors and alarm systems in residential properties into the overarching personal protection management.

All positions in the security team were filled externally by Some employees had to be recruited, with suitability diagnostic and psychologically validated methods used in the recruitment process. Essential selection criteria also included candidates’ specific professional experience and emergency medical qualifications.

Initially, a core team was launched, and the target headcount was reached after 6 weeks.

The protection program included not only armed protection but also an intelligence component in the residential and work environments of individual executives, with 24/7 intervention readiness. A smartphone emergency app allowed location-independent alerting of the security team at any time of day or night. Sensitization discussions and training sessions provided impulses for security-conscious behaviour. A personal protection-specific basic crisis plan was created for handling exceptional situations and integrated into the company’s crisis management organization.

Following the PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) concept, protective measures were integrated into a threat risk management system and regularly reviewed for effectiveness. In the areas of Risk Monitoring and Protective Intelligence, collaborated with in-house teams of the contracting company.

Israeli Behavioral Detection Officer Certification

Israeli Behavioral Detection Officer Certification “Behavioral Detection” is a method used to identify individuals with criminal intentions by observing their behaviour and activities.

It was primarily developed for safeguarding “soft targets” and relies on a combination of observation, casual and targeted conversations, and the evaluation of verbal or physiological responses. Behavioural Detection can thus provide valuable assistance in the context of personal protection and be part of a systematic approach to deter or expose violent individuals, and if necessary, isolate and apprehend them.

We have standardized the online course “Israeli Behavioural Detection Officer Certification” offered by Cherries as a training module for personal protection personnel. This is undoubtedly just a first step, but it forms a solid foundation for further education and training on this highly relevant specialized topic. Cherries was founded in 2015 by Aaron Cohen, a recognized expert in counterterrorism and a former CTU operator for special operations, in collaboration with other former members of various Israeli intelligence agencies and special forces units.