What is TSCM?

“What is TSCM?”

TSCM is an old military acronym — Technical Surveillance Countermeasures, or “Look around the room. Let me know if you find any hidden microphones.” Times change. Surveillance technology advances. Anyone can afford to spy now. From the Boardroom to the restroom everyone now needs some level of TSCM protection.

There are three basic levels of TSCM or electronic surveillance detection:

1. The Basic Bug Sweep — A cursory look-see for obvious electronic surveillance devices. A voice recorder taped under the table, or a spy camera in the bathroom or bedroom, for example. This level of inspection can be self-conducted if one is knowledgeable. Some private investigators also offer the service. Finding a competent TSCM specialist takes some assistance. Make sure your specialist is not relying on this type of knowledge or instrumentation. If your concerns are personal and your budget is tight, read these first: DIY spy camera detection, automobile TSCM inspections, and what you need to do before an inspection. Basic bug sweeps, although inexpensive, are not recommended for business-level protection. Basic bug sweeps in a corporate setting will leave behind a false sense of security; much worse than a healthy sense of caution.

2. Mid-level Technical Surveillance Countermeasures — This inspection is more detailed than a simple bug sweep. The battery of expensive gear shown on the website proves it. The TSCM tech may be quite competent. However, the sole focus is the electronic surveillance bug hunt. While this might appear to be the point of the exercise, the approach is myopically flawed. Information isn’t only vulnerable to electronic surveillance. Information protection is what businesses want. Discovering electronic surveillance is just the first step. Recommendation: If your business uses a competent TSCM specialist, please keep them. Good ones are hard to find. Consider employing an information security consultant to compliment their efforts.

“I thought all bug sweeps were basically the same. How is Murray Associates TSCM advanced?”

Icons of places where spying bugs may be hidden | Counter Espionage

3. Advanced Technical Surveillance Countermeasures — Our approach combines electronic surveillance detection with discovering other information security vulnerabilities. This includes: weaknesses exploited by classic spy tradecraft, weaknesses in commonly used technologies, employee adherence to corporate security policies, perimeter security, access control, information storage and disposal, and security hardware flaws and failures. Conducted by a professional information security consultant, this approach seeks all the ways information, conversations and personal privacy are at risk. It is a holistic approach to information security. It is doing the job right, and provides 360º protection.

So, when our clients say… “Check the place for bugs and taps,” we automatically hear… “Keep my information and conversations secure, now and in the future, no matter what methods are being used to against me.” Simple bug sweeps and old style TSCM don’t accomplish this. The best part, doing it the right way hardly changes the price, and greatly increases effectiveness.

Advanced TSCM vs. the Bug-Centric Mindset

Maximum information security protection and personal privacy is obtained if and only if the TSCM inspection is implemented holistically.

Simple “bug sweeps” and traditional TSCM may be fine for matrimonial and nosy neighbor problems, but corporate privacy protection is a multifaceted process. Executed correctly, you gain a protective envelope – ensuring your intellectual property and privacy stays safe and intact. Simple bug sweeps don’t do this.

What is TSCM?

Technical Surveillance Countermeasures (TSCM) considers the following:

  • audio bugs / video bugs / data eavesdropping bugs,
  • optical surveillance,
  • networking issues,
  • teleconferencing wiretaps and vulnerabilities,
  • boardroom audiovisual equipment compromises,
  • covert video voyeurism in expectation of privacy areas,
  • Wi-Fi hacks, vulnerabilities, security and compliance,
  • non-electronic information security vulnerabilities,
  • outdated and decaying security hardware,
  • missing, ineffective or lax information security procedures,
  • poor employee implementation of existing security policies,
  • abuse of vulnerabilities of everyday office technologies,
  • architectural shortcomings which promote information loss,
  • maintaining legal status for your business and trade secrets in court,
  • your future plans, which might change the security landscape,
  • and additional considerations unique to your organization.

Anything less is a mental security Band-Aid that masks vulnerabilities instead of solving them.

Typically, advanced technical surveillance surveys are conducted quarterly or biannually by corporations. In critical cases, they are conducted more often, depending on an organization’s immediate needs and concerns.

Murray Associates Advanced TSCM is a comprehensive inspection methodology that includes the items described above; customized to address individual needs and issues.

No two businesses or individuals are the same. We create a plan that fits the needs, and dovetails with your business or privacy goals. We collaborate with you to develop your counterespionage strategy rather than “upsell” services that aren’t fruitful.

Your information security, eavesdropping, and privacy concerns can be solved, using our combination of:

  • Electronic Surveillance Detection (To detect illegal audio, video and data surveillance.)

  • Information Security Analysis (Verification of current security procedures, with enhancement recommendations.)

  • Physical Security Survey, to amplify the effectiveness of the first two items above.

Planning Your Protection Strategy

Keeping conversations safe from eavesdropping, and intellectual property safe from theft requires a counterespionage strategy. Developing a protection strategy is not difficult, but it does take some thought and experienced guidance. Without this help, the strategy can easily become flawed and expensive.

We will help you create a serious, well-planned protection strategy.

The best part… your protection will be very cost-effective. Just ask us. Our help with this is free, and there is no obligation for you.


Green target scope over an office building window | Counter Espionage

Advanced TSCM by Murray Associates

A standard corporate practice
because you don’t want to be a target.

Workplace Inspections

  • Law offices
  • Boardrooms
  • Trading floors
  • Executive suites
  • Conference rooms
  • Board meeting inspections
  • Info-loss vulnerability surveys

Proactive Wi-Fi Cyber Espionage

Optical Surveillance Detection

Vehicle Inspections

  • Eavesdropping Detection
  • GPS Tracking Detection
  • Limousines
  • Aircraft
  • Yachts

Intellectual Property Protection Information Security Audits

Residential Inspections

Have a Question About TSCM?

If you have any questions about the TSCM services provided by Murray Associates, simply fill out the form below, or call us from a safe area and phone. If you think you are under active electronic surveillance, or believe you have discovered a bug or covert video camera, go to our Emergency TSCM page. The procedural checklist there will tell you exactly what you need to do next.