Uncontrolled and unorganized information is no longer an informative resource … Instead, it’s an adversary.
The information age has created an overwhelming amount of digital information across all industries and market sectors. Social media and digital media produce volumes of information, and the Internet of Things has permeated both commercial and consumer products and services, also producing a vast amount of information. The intersection of the physical and cyber worlds includes everything from QR codes to video doorbells, wearables, and “smart” refrigerators.
In the industrial world, robotics have revolutionized manufacturing while using cloud and remote services are exposing these processes to disruption and creating crisis’. Medical devices now send telemetry of the patient to the doctor or hospital using cell services. As more robotic, cloud, and IoT technologies appear - they only produce more data.
As new recognition technologies are able to “identify” things and people, this only creates more unstructured data. Given this overwhelming amount of data that’s available and accessible, no human can process, manage and analyze it effectively or efficiently. For each of the proprietary applications that create or acquire data, they typically store it in isolated databases then use dedicated, highly specialized tools for data mining and reports.
If a report or analysis is required and there are different data types and formats in segregated databases, the request relies on human operators to curate and correlate across different sources to deliver a result.
In days of “yore”, when describing the lineage of royalty or family, the word begat was a favorite word used to connect the origin and next generation. It seems to apply again to the need for new technology to come and save us from other technology. This is one of those times when a new technology is needed to address the issues created by other technology.
There is a high demand for solutions and platforms that can converge the information from multiple physical and cyber sources that can curate, index, and correlate the data, video, text, and images together, connecting the dots and providing a broader picture of information to treat a situation. Converging information from multiple digital domains includes normalizing the data and media as it’s acquired into a common format. Once that is accomplished, curation and correlation can be applied to produce the results requested.
The recent efforts to identify the Covid 19 virus and then correlate data and images from multiple sources was/is a daunting task. Many scientists spend considerable time and effort gathering information from multiple devices, including images, unstructured data, and outputs from analytic machines. This was and still is a highly manual process of curating, correlating, and analyzing the vast amount of data coming in to evaluate efficacy, risk, and a plethora of other needed information.
Law enforcement and public safety professionals struggle to identify potential threats to be more preventative. Security and public safety are good examples of how this applies. The number of open and public violent events is challenging our public safety professionals as they try to be preventative rather than reactive. This is not only a US domestic issue. It’s a global issue and crisis.
It is known that the people and groups committing these actions spend considerable effort announcing their intentions on as many digital platforms as they can access to garner as much attention as they can before they act.
The horrific event that happened in Washington DC on January 6, 2021, is a good example of the challenges. Many of the people involved are posting on social media, while law enforcement is posting pictures as well as asking people to identify the offenders. In addition, months after the event, security professionals realized that many of the participants posted their intentions and plans as early as August 2020. This is where the expression “Hindsight is a Science” should NOT have to apply.
If the indicators and warnings were out in the open, how were they missed?
One of the emerging technologies addressing this challenge is Converged Security Information Threat Intelligence. This is where an advanced intelligent solution would help professionals discover and identify the planning and organizing of a potential incident. This type of technology should have the ability to monitor across multiple open sources to help professionals discover when groups of people are announcing their intentions to commit something bad.
If the intention is to create attention, the number of potential digital outlets is beyond what current tools and technologies are capable of monitoring.
Businesses involved in public gatherings like entertainment and sports venues are constantly monitoring for potential threats, industry supply chains moving high-value assets look to mitigate risk and loss. Every time there’s an incident, the insurance company becomes involved, so it’s very much in their interest to be more on the preventative side of risk.
The number of new and emerging technologies generating more digital information is growing at an alarming rate. At the same time, the number of emerging technologies capable of using the data is moving at a different and slower rate. The tools and technologies to process and manage the data need to evolve. It’s critical to understand how important it is to be able to correlate data from multiple disparate sources in different formats and types in a single display platform that is user intuitive.
Gary Olson GT Digital Ltd.