As investigators, we often find that there is a significant disconnect between what less-informed security managers THINK can be discovered during the course of an online investigation versus what ACTUALLY can be discovered. This two-part series from Ami Toben and Travis Lishok gives an appropriate account of how online investigations inform operations on the ground and vice versa. Each has its strengths and weaknesses. And when used in combination with each other our protective operations have a great advantage.
In the protection industry, the topic of threat information sharing has not entered many of our industry dialogues, which is overdue. Although information sharing is no easy task for our organizations, we cannot ignore the fact many potential threat actors we investigate may target multiple public figures over time. Therefore, it makes sense to consider sharing our investigative insights with the broader community, which will likely encounter this same potential threat actor – giving our colleagues broader visibility of threats, saving them investigative resources, and potentially saving lives.
In 2018, we saw continued evidence of how vulnerable our organizations truly are to the threat of violence (specifically shootings). Currently, various news sources estimate that the number of deaths in 2018 from “mass shootings” (3 or more deaths) is between 80 and 209. Regardless of where the true number falls in this range, we can say with certainty that these numbers are similar to those of 2017 (approximately 112 deaths) and all of us in the asset protection industry have an opportunity to improve the practices of our security programs.
The first step in working to prevent any type of attack is to understand how such attacks are conducted. This pertains not just to the tactics and techniques used in the actual attack but also to the planning process that must occur before the attack can be launched. Viewing attacks as the result of a discernible planning process — what we refer to as the terrorist attack cycle — and then breaking that process into its distinct phases and tasks makes it possible to identify times during the attack cycle when those conducting it are vulnerable to detection.
Here is our Ultimate Threat Assessment Checklist. It is meant to serve as a tool to keep your mind oriented toward key topics and ideas as you conduct your protective intelligence research. There are no shortcuts in threat assessment and protective intelligence research, but there are tools.
Checklists serve as a guide to keep us on track when we’re performing tasks that require us to consider a range of important variables, any of which may be critical.
AI is simply computers/programs, also referred to as machines, imitating intelligent (human) behavior. Machine learning is a subset of AI, where computers receive data and use it to learn from themselves.