In the last decade, the threat landscape has evolved rapidly. Understanding the increasingly complex ways in which threat actors operate has become key to making informed decisions in security, risk, and resilience.
The Power of Intelligence Analysis in the Global Context
In a world marked by uncertainty, intelligence services are not confined to governments or law enforcement organizations. Businesses of all sizes, including small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), can access actionable insights that empower them to navigate challenges effectively.
At Securitas, our goal is to open doors for a broader market, ensuring that our clients, regardless of their scale or industry, can leverage the power of intelligence to their advantage. By staying ahead and anticipating potential threats or disruptions, businesses can safeguard their operations, protect their assets, and mitigate threats before they become risks.
"In a world where everyone is interconnected, there is more opportunity than ever for businesses to flourish. But where there's opportunity, there is also risk," says Michael Evans, director of Securitas’ Risk Intelligence Center (RIC).
Various scenarios highlight this, such as geopolitical tensions between various global actors. While information is accessible on many open sources, this information landscape is increasingly undermined by the spread of misinformation, disinformation and malinformation. Misinformation is information shared by individuals who are sharing the information because they have been misled; disinformation is the practice of intentionally spreading false information to advance specific agendas. Malinformation involves using true information for malicious purposes, like doxing, where personal information is shared online. These risks are heightened as organizations and their people, including executives, are increasingly connected to the online world.
An All-Source Method for Risk Prediction
RIC’s all-source intelligence strategy revolves around utilizing all available and appropriate sources of intelligence tailored to specific requirements. This includes open-source intelligence (OSINT), collecting data from open sources of information like public websites, news outlets or industry journals. Social media intelligence (SOCMINT), a specific field within the wider OSINT space, is harnessed to provide valuable insights on emerging incidents, social signals and to synthesize data points into meaningful trends and analysis.
To augment the organization’s understanding and monitoring capabilities, the RIC collaborates with other operations agencies, and closely monitors threat actors within their own information landscapes. These specific sources, along with Securitas-specific sources including our global human intelligence (HUMINT) network of employees and sensor data collected by the technology division, comprise an extensive repository of information.
Ultimately, RIC’s approach goes beyond acquiring data and information; it focuses on the production of finished intelligence, and effectively disseminating this for clients to make decisions and act, leveraging all of Securitas’ protective services. The RIC channels intelligence directly to the clients, providing real-time notifications through their preferred communication platforms. Simultaneously, Securitas integrates intelligence into operational processes, ensuring that on-site officers and account teams are aware of potential threats. By sharing this responsibility, we ease the burden on our clients and enable on-the-ground teams to proactively mitigate threats.
The Opportunities for Intelligence
The wide availability of data and information implies that anyone can collect intelligence, but the accuracy, timeliness, and relevance may vary. Reliable and credible intelligence requires subject matter expertise, access to various sources, and industry insights. Actionable intelligence is crucial, as it enables organizations to protect their people, premises, operations, and brand reputation.
"Intelligence can help break down siloes. Leaders can integrate intelligence into their business across the different divisions, departments, and functions, and find value for everyone,” Michael says. “It's about getting it in all levels of an operation and an organization, not just the security officers and the frontline, not just the C-suite."
Intelligence plays a pivotal role in managing risks and identifying opportunities in a connected world. However, it is essential to approach intelligence-collection and utilization in a responsible and strategic manner.
Professional advisory services can guide organizations in making decisions that benefit their business while mitigating potential risks. Moreover, it offers a decision-making advantage and the situation assessment necessary to plan and implement contingency plans. By staying informed, organizations can make proactive decisions in real time or adjust the course of action as needed. This applies to both day-to-day decisions, like planning security postures, business-as-usual decisions, such as selecting a venue for an event, or major events such as market entry and geopolitical developments.
By utilizing intelligence services, organizations can align insights with business objectives and respond to threats in a more efficient manner. This includes capitalizing on lessons learned from past events and identifying new opportunities that may have otherwise been overlooked. Ultimately, intelligence empowers businesses to make informed decisions, maximize profitability, and adapt swiftly to a changing environment.