Episode 182 – New Mercedes Guard Car, Facebook Security Spending


Last week the ISDA shared an article from road and track describing The Mercedes Benz 2022 S Class Guard Car. The Guard Car is the Mercedes-Benz designation for an armored vehicle.

Known by its full name as the Mercedes-Benz S680 Guard 4Matic and available with a long wheelbase, the sedan has been engineered to receive VPAM VR10 certification. VR10 is the highest certification ballistic standard available to civilians. VPAM means a complete vehicle was tested and certified. Basically, It’s the highest level with regard to ballistic protection for a civilian vehicle, meaning it can withstand some gunshots and explosions.

If you ever are in a position to be driving or purchasing an armored vehicle, we strongly suggest you get a firm understanding of the armored levels and the weight associated with them. Also, we recommend getting a solid understanding of how the armor affects vehicle performance.

As a refresher, we would suggest looking at the ISDA article titled the Five Vehicle Characteristics that Affect Safety and Security. In the article, we share that all vehicles have inherent characteristics that can decrease a vehicle’s performance and create a dangerous scenario for the principal if not understood and monitored. There are numbers that represent these vehicle characteristics; most can be found in the owner’s manual.

The Security Driver does not need to understand the science behind these numbers, but they need to know these numbers and how changes in these numbers affect the principal and passengers’ safety and security.


Basic Outline of CG, Tires, Run Flats on Armored Vehicles

The Basics of Armored Vehicles and Their Use in Protective Services

Tire Pressure, Tire Contact Patch, and Armored Vehicles

Armored Vehicles

The price is rather steep at $650,000

Under the hood of the Mercedes Guard car, you’ll find a version of Mercedes’s 6.0-liter twin-turbo V-12, tuned to 604 horsepower and 612 lb-ft of torque. Power is sent to all four wheels via an automatic transmission that had to be recalibrated, along with the steering, to accommodate the limousine’s colossal 9259-pound curb weight. All those armored panels come at a price, after all.

While on the subject of Mercedes, it is necessary and interesting to note that Mercedes-Benz has announced that by 2025, four years from now, Mercedes-Benz will start offering electric vehicles in all their models. The plan is to go to all-electric vehicles by the end of the decade. Mercedes added the caveat where market conditions would allow we are not sure what that means

We can’t help but wonder what effect if any, this will have on the secure transportation community. ISDA is working on a white paper about electric vehicles. We’ll let you know when it is published.

By the way, Mercedes is not the only OEM that builds armored vehicles – BMW and Audi also manufacture armored vehicles.

What Facebook spends on Personal Security

The other news item that received a lot of attention was the announcement of what Facebook spends on personal Security. An article published in July of this year mentioned that Facebook spent $23.4 million on Mark Zuckerberg’s Personal Security.

That’s an increase of nearly $3 million compared to the previous year, and we can’t forget that 2020 was the year of the pandemic where lockdowns and stay-at-home orders were commonplace.

Facebook also shelled out $7.65 million to protect COO Sheryl Sandberg, up from $4.37 million in 2019.

According to the Proxy Statement, the catalyst for the 3 million dollar rise was the – “high level of scrutiny faced by our company and our executive officers and directors, as well as the dynamic and charged atmosphere following the 2020 U.S. elections and the attack on the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, 2021”.

The Proxy statement goes on to say –

We believe that Mr. Zuckerberg’s role puts him in a unique position: he is synonymous with Facebook and, as a result, negative sentiment regarding our company is directly associated with, and often transferred to, Mr. Zuckerberg. Mr. Zuckerberg is one of the most recognized executives in the world, in large part as a result of the size of our user base and our continued exposure to global media, legislative, and regulatory attention.

The amounts reported include approximately $13,439,634, $10,463,717, and $9,956,847 in 2020, 2019, and 2018, respectively, for costs related to personal security for Mr. Zuckerberg at his residences and during personal travel pursuant to Mr. Zuckerberg’s overall security program.

ISDA went through the Security Exchange Commission (SEC) SCHEDULE 14A Facebook Filing and did some quick analysis – the total dollars spent by Facebook on Personal Security was close to 35 million dollars. A quick search found that four of the top 10 Fortune companies spend 45 million dollars on personal Security.

So if you assume a 365-day coverage – the Thirteen plus million for personal protection works out to $36,821 a day, and if you use a 24 hour day, that works out to $1534 an Hour. ISDA looked at the 2020 SEC fillings of six companies and came up with total spending of a little over 21 million dollars on personal Security, which works out to $57,770 a day (365 days) and $2407/hour (24 Hours)

If you are supplying Secure Transportation services to the Corporate Sector, we suggest you look into a company’s Security Exchange Commission(SEC) SCHEDULE 14A.

Also interesting is that at the May 26, 2021 shareholder meeting, Facebook plans to unveil a new proposal that will allow non-employee directors to receive personal security details from time to time.

The Proxy Statement

It seems that it was not only the corporate community that got spooked by the capitol riots Expenditures on bodyguards and protective measures surged after the Capitol attack.
An analysis of campaign finance records by Mother Jones found that in the three months after the Capitol attack, security spending jumped 176 percent from the same period last year. Such spending is up 233 percent from the first quarter of 2019.

Spending on Security went from one million dollars in Jan of 2020 to 2.9 Million in Jan of 2021. Their spending was not for personal Security only, the money was spent on event security – residential Security.

Security has and always be an event-driven business – the past year, there have been a significant amount of events that have been the catalyst for increase security spending.

How to Plant Seeds to Success in the Security Industry

This white paper has been prepared for ASIS International by the Security Services Community and the Women in Security Community. It includes a great deal of knowledge sharing backed by data and metrics that should be recommended reading to all in the security industry.

The paper discusses the Paradigm Shifts That Are Changing the Security Industry.

They look at where the security industry was 20 years ago and then take a look as it is today. Several paradigm shifts have occurred, as indicated in the SSC/WIS Council 2017 survey results. The most notable paradigm shift is the increase in security professionals who did not enter the industry with a law enforcement background. The paper notes, “We are seeing a great deal more security professionals coming from nontraditional backgrounds including business administration and social sciences.”

By far, the most valuable content in the paper is the 17 Points of HOW TO PLANT THE SEEDS TO SUCCESS IN THE SECURITY INDUSTRY – starting with mentorship number 13 is Be a lifelong learner Never believe you know it all, always remain open to hearing the opposing view 14. Be the change you want to see Adopt positive culture building

The ISDA Roadmap Checklist

ISDA understands that for many practitioners, finding a career path or advancing their career is the most challenging task they face. Many have the desire and passion for succeeding in the profession, but to have a successful career requires a plan, a roadmap. A roadmap describes a destination or one’s goals. It shows the practical steps necessary to get to the desired destination. 


Contemporary Threats to Corporate Executives

Our friends at Ontic recently surveyed US corporate security leaders and found that the threat landscape is expanding, increasing corporate risk and impacting business continuity. Corporate intelligence failures regularly result in CEOs, their family members, and their employees being threatened or harmed. Still, most physical threats could have been avoided if cybersecurity and physical security intelligence were integrated.

  • 58% of the 300 respondents reported that their CEO received physical threats after expressing a position on racial and/or political issues.
    • 40% reported their CEO received threats after not expressing a position.
    • 56% said their CEO received threats after encouraging vaccinations and mask use.
  • 22% reported their CEO and/or family members have received physical threats.
    • 15% said they had received executive kidnapping threats.


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