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“How much do TSCM bug sweeps cost?”

The cost of a Technical Surveillance Countermeasures (TSCM) bug sweep will depend on the type and category of the inspection. There are basically two types of bug sweeps, Personal and Business.

Personal Location TSCM Costs

This category of TSCM bug sweeps cost less than Commercial TSCM inspections. This is mostly due to the lower level of complexity, expertise and instrumentation required to achieve the desired results. The going rate for an average sized home in the United States can range from $1,500 to $6,000 depending upon: location, square footage, type of audio-visual equipment, number of vehicles included, and the expertise of the TSCM specialist.

Bug Sweep Tip: Even the largest estates usually have less than 3-5 thousand square feet of sensitive areas requiring a detailed inspection. So, paying for more square footage is rarely necessary. Bonus: The radio-frequency / Wi-Fi analysis evaluations will cover the rest of the area by default.

Business Location TSCM Costs

Professional commercial TSCM bug sweep costs are usually estimated on a custom basis. Corporations, organizations, and other types of businesses generally budget between $15,000 and $30,000 per quarter to provide themselves with adequate, pro-active, TSCM bug detection coverage at their corporate headquarters locations. Cost estimates are based on the square footage of the most sensitive areas; areas which require a detailed physical inspection. If your inspection covers the whole office floor, do not use the square footage shown on the lease. This will likely be about 30% less than whatever the lease states.

Bug Sweep Tip: Create a priority list of your most sensitive areas, as shown on the sample floor map. Have your TSCM specialist work their way down the priority list. At some point you will be able to say, “If we don’t have a problem at this level we can stop.” If a problem is detected, you can always continue the search. Remember, the radio-frequency / Wi-Fi inspection will cover the other square footage by default. Doing this saves money while maintaining effectiveness.

If TSCM bug sweeps are new to you these two booklets provide an instant education…

TSCM Inspection Sample Floor Plan

Example of a TSCM Bug Sweep Floor Plan

Areas to Include When Requesting a TSCM Bug Sweep Estimate

  • Locations where sensitive activities take place, or are within earshot of these areas.
  • The number and type of communications items, within—or within earshot of—the sensitive areas requiring a detailed inspection. This would normally include: telephones, speakerphones, teleconferencing equipment, etc.
  • Audio-visual racks of equipment.
  • Rooms / areas having shared walls with untrusted areas, such as: restrooms, waiting areas, etc..

Special TSCM Bug Sweep Situations

Bug Sweep Tip: Obtain a line-item, written estimate in advance. Never accept a per-hour based fee because you won’t be able to control the cost.

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Murray Associates is an independent security consulting firm, providing eavesdropping detection and counterespionage services to business, government and at-risk individuals.

Headquartered in the New York metropolitan area, a Murray Associates team can assist you quickly, anywhere in the United States, and internationally.

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• Concerned about Spy Cameras? Learn how to detect them.

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