This post is also available in: heעברית (Hebrew)

9037269_m featureBy Shavit Or, Strategy 360

Part 2 of 2

Advanced technological security systems can help improve the response to a variety of threats and security challenges, from border protection and internal security, through terrorist threats, to malicious activities online. Developing responses relies first and foremost on defining the threat. Response development helps mostly with magnifying the deterrence effect or completing the investigations into the incident. In this article we examine the preliminary actions required to prevent or complete the investigation while the incident is ongoing.

The rising tide of global violence created the modern fortress cities. You won’t find moats, walls, a portcullis that’s closed at night or guards patrolling the streets, although the comparison is apt. The defenses themselves are different but the goal is the same: Protecting the city from external and internal threats while allowing the residents of the kingdom to go about their daily lives. The high stone walls were replaced by “smart” fences and proximity sensors, guards were replaced by cameras and armor-wearing patrolmen were replaced by regular police and private security. Every system carries with it its own traits, advantages and flaws, which don’t necessarily match the requirements of other systems.

iHLS – Israel Homeland Security

This leads to the conclusion that since there are a large number of systems, each one a closed system with few interfaces – if at all – between it and others, we need an operative model that facilitates maximum efficiency for every system without sacrificing the efficiency of any individual one. A city peppered with security cameras, but without a central organization that can use all the data to locate an event that took place at a specific time, will lose its relative advantage in general and the ability to disrupt negative incidents or to quickly complete investigations. Here command and control systems enter the picture, allowing for a certain integration of system elements and creating a definite relative advantage for the “good guys.”

We have to remember, however, that those systems have their own “lacunae”, also requiring a clearly defined operative approach and optimal integration of sub-systems. This can only take place if three central elements are fully analyzed and understood:

  • The threat itself
  • The existing resources
  • Operative methods and required response times

There’s no doubt that technology, in an information-rich world full of personal technological sophistication, has its own respectable place in the overall solution, but at the same time technology is not, by itself, the entire solution.