When discussing the ongoing terror threat, it is important to emphasize that there is just as much danger from within our borders as there is from without. And as pointed out in a recent article by Matthew Bunn and Scott D. Sagan, there is more to this inside threat than just the possibility of leaks or lone-wolf attackers. There is also the possibility of harmful action by those who are supposed to be working for you. To quote the authors, “A single insider might be able to help adversaries steal nuclear material that terrorists could use to make a crude nuclear bomb, install malware that could compromise millions of accounts or sabotage a toxic chemical facility to cause thousands of deaths.”
You’ll notice that two out of three of the examples that Bunn and Sagan provide are physical security threats. It’s important to remember, also, that those threats extend to vital parts of our infrastructure, like our power grid. And yet, we are often slow to adopt sufficient physical security measures for these critical installations, as pointed out in a June 2016 report from the Lexington Institute.
We are living in a time when security personnel, as good as they are, are not enough. That’s why we are moving more and more toward technological solutions to supplement vital human intelligence. But it is crucial to make sure the right technology is implemented. In addition to monitoring and recording events, video surveillance needs to employ advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI) to analyze video and provide personnel with mission-critical actionable information in real time. Because most people drive, vehicle information is among the most reliable for identifying and tracking persons of interest, including potential inside saboteurs.
PlateSmart has created the security industry’s best solutions for vehicle identification, using AI-driven technology and machine learning not only to read license plate numbers, but also to recognize other identifiers such as state jurisdiction and vehicle make. PlateSmart’s technology also includes analytic features to recognize suspicious vehicle movements, which could alert security to insider plots even if the perpetrator has no previous record and is therefore not on a watch list.
It is time for us to get serious about physical security in this country. Mass deployment of PlateSmart’s AI-driven security solutions and other similar technologies at sensitive facilities all across the country is one of the best ways to accomplish that.
NOTE: In this blog, there will be a great deal of discussion about terrorism and how to defend against it. This is not because we consider ourselves top-tier experts on the subject; rather, we have simply learned from careful observation of the news that two commonalities link the majority of terrorist attacks we see. First and foremost, a motor vehicle is almost always involved. Second, the perpetrator or perpetrators are individuals previously known to authorities as having ties or at least allegiances to certain radical groups or ideologies. These two factors are what make the deployment of advanced vehicle identification technology so vital to this ongoing struggle.