econintersect.com
       
  

FREE NEWSLETTER: Econintersect sends a nightly newsletter highlighting news events of the day, and providing a summary of new articles posted on the website. Econintersect will not sell or pass your email address to others per our privacy policy. You can cancel this subscription at any time by selecting the unsubscribing link in the footer of each email.



posted on 16 September 2016

Minding The Gaps: The Risks And Rewards Of Information

from STRATFOR

-- this post authored by Scott Stewart

In last week's Security Weekly, I talked about the threat posed by skilled and imaginative terrorists who are capable of conceiving, planning and conducting sophisticated attacks. Countering these novel means and tactics takes an equally creative approach to crafting security measures.

This idea dovetails nicely with a presentation I gave Sept. 14 at an InfraGard conference in Orlando on the dangers and limitations of using information found on the internet. The key point of my talk was that although a lot of data is available online and can be used by those planning an attack, there are also critical pieces of information that cannot be found on any website and can be gleaned only through physical surveillance.

Where these two topics intersect is the terrorist attack cycle. No matter how innovative a terrorist planner is or how sophisticated his tradecraft, he is still bound by the constraints inherent to the attack cycle. Furthermore, though information found on the internet can greatly assist terrorists and reduce the amount of physical surveillance required, gaps between what is available online and what is needed to plan an attack remain. By identifying and monitoring these gaps, security personnel can detect attack preparations in time to stop a plot in its tracks.

The Importance of Information

But before we can discuss how to target and track information gaps, we must first understand how that information relates to the attack cycle as a whole.

Information is essential to the terrorist attack cycle because, in many ways, it enables planners to move from one stage to the next. The phases of the cycle build upon one another as actionable intelligence, which is based on information, accumulates. Intelligence also becomes more focused and specific as the cycle progresses. When identifying potential targets, for example, the information needed may be as general as a list of people. But as the planner narrows down the list, more detailed information is required to determine which target is most vulnerable and the best type of attack to use. Information like where the target lives and works, and what security measures are in place, must be obtained so that planners can determine whether they are capable of launching a successful assault.

Once the target has been chosen, even more specific intelligence is needed to plan the attack. Gathering such information often takes more effort, including surveillance to learn daily routines and pinpoint predictable times and places that the target can be confronted. These opportunities are frequently found in commutes to and from work, recurring appointments or planned events announced on social media. Knowing that the target will be in certain locations at set times, planners will then evaluate these possible attack sites for their merits: Do they offer an attack team the access, cover and concealment required to execute the plot and hide or escape if necessary?

Finding the Missing Pieces

Information is clearly vital to every stage of the attack cycle. Security practitioners (or even targets themselves) who are aware of that can then concentrate on figuring out what information about the buildings or people they are protecting exists on the internet. Data can be culled from websites, social media outlets and paid searches by information aggregators - the results of which can be quite shocking to those who have never used them.

Once this information has been collected, it must be reviewed with an eye toward how it might be used by attack planners to spot and exploit vulnerabilities. How useful a piece of information is might depend on the type of target being protected: The intelligence needed to attack a person is very different from that needed to assault a factory.

After the information has been assembled into a mosaic based on the attack cycle, the next step is to find which pieces of the emerging picture are missing. The bits of information needed to conduct an attack that couldn't be found online represent the things that a would-be assailant must learn by other means - in all likelihood, by surveillance.

Going on the Offensive

Knowledge of these gaps should not simply be filed away for later. Rather, it is an excellent opportunity to take deliberate action by looking for signs of pre-operational surveillance. Security professionals can determine where someone would have to look to find the missing information and then monitor those locations using countersurveillance operatives or electronic surveillance equipment, such as cameras, that can be coupled with a system for flagging and recording activity in sensitive areas. Of course, cameras are not a tool unique to security personnel; hostile parties can use them as well. Earlier this year, Islamic State members in Belgium used hidden cameras to watch a victim and his residence. Security professionals therefore must look for hidden cameras in addition to operatives performing surveillance in key areas around the principal or facility being guarded.

An alternative option is to "heat up" those areas with more security resources, discouraging potential perpetrators from monitoring them in the process. Depending on the resources available, protective details could even use some combination of the two tactics, heating up some areas to force surveillants to observe other locations where they can be more easily detected by security assets stationed there.

Because information gaps must be filled before an attack can be planned, minding them in this manner gives security teams a chance to identify hostile surveillance and disrupt the attack cycle in its early stages. And as every security professional knows, acting proactively to stop an attack is far better than reacting to one that has already happened.

"Minding the Gaps: The Risks and Rewards of Information" is republished with permission of Stratfor.

>>>>> Scroll down to view and make comments <<<<<<

Click here for Historical News Post Listing










Make a Comment

Econintersect wants your comments, data and opinion on the articles posted.  As the internet is a "war zone" of trolls, hackers and spammers - Econintersect must balance its defences against ease of commenting.  We have joined with Livefyre to manage our comment streams.

To comment, using Livefyre just click the "Sign In" button at the top-left corner of the comment box below. You can create a commenting account using your favorite social network such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn or Open ID - or open a Livefyre account using your email address.



You can also comment using Facebook directly using he comment block below.





Econintersect Contributors


search_box

Print this page or create a PDF file of this page
Print Friendly and PDF


The growing use of ad blocking software is creating a shortfall in covering our fixed expenses. Please consider a donation to Econintersect to allow continuing output of quality and balanced financial and economic news and analysis.


Take a look at what is going on inside of Econintersect.com
Main Home
Analysis Blog
Joan Robinson’s Critique of Marginal Utility Theory
The Truth About Trade Agreements - and Why We Need Them
News Blog
Five Mysterious Space Diseases That Could Kill Astronauts Before They Get To Mars
03 December 2016 Initial Unemployment Claims Rolling Average Insignificantly Worsens
November 2016 CBO Monthly Budget Review: Down by 3 Percent in the First Two Months of Fiscal Year 2017
Putting Grassroots Terrorism In The Proper Perspective
Crude Oil Prices: "Random"? Hardly. The More Emotional The Market, The More Predictable It Is.
Infographic Of The Day: Job-Hopping
Early Headlines: Asia Stocks Up, Oil Firms, Russia's Big Oil Deal, Trump Will Stay In Business, Trump Menaces Drug Cos, Banks Rig Silver, Italy's 360B NPL, Iraq Has Oil Cut Problem, China Trade Improves And More
Goals Come With A Hefty Price Tag At The Emirates
Facebook Strongest On Home Ground
Defence Budgets Are Surging In The Baltic States
It's Been A Turbulent Start, But Juno Is Now Delivering Spectacular Insights Into Jupiter
The World's Most Reputable Cities
What We Read Today 07 December 2016
Investing Blog
Trumpsternomics And Economic Growth
The Real 401k Plan Manager 07 May 2016
Opinion Blog
Italy Confronts The European Elite
The US Government Needs To Spend More
Precious Metals Blog
Silver Prices Rebounded Today: Where They Are Headed
Live Markets
08Dec2016 Market Update: Wall Street Marches On, New Intraday Highs Mark Bull Run Advancement, US Dollar Back Up, Crude Prices Steady
Amazon Books & More






.... and keep up with economic news using our dynamic economic newspapers with the largest international coverage on the internet
Asia / Pacific
Europe
Middle East / Africa
Americas
USA Government



Crowdfunding ....






























 navigate econintersect.com

Blogs

Analysis Blog
News Blog
Investing Blog
Opinion Blog
Precious Metals Blog
Markets Blog
Video of the Day
Weather

Newspapers

Asia / Pacific
Europe
Middle East / Africa
Americas
USA Government
     

RSS Feeds / Social Media

Combined Econintersect Feed
Google+
Facebook
Twitter
Digg

Free Newsletter

Marketplace - Books & More

Economic Forecast

Content Contribution

Contact

About

  Top Economics Site

Investing.com Contributor TalkMarkets Contributor Finance Blogs Free PageRank Checker Active Search Results Google+

This Web Page by Steven Hansen ---- Copyright 2010 - 2016 Econintersect LLC - all rights reserved