Big data, AI and elite analysts; How we're responding to increasing demand for 'always-on' security coverage

Robert Dodge, Executive Vice President for Corporate Risk Services for G4S in the Americas, explains how the company in the region is responding to the growth in demand for specialist security advisors with established operations centres and intelligence led travel risk management capabilities. 

Employees in a risk operations centre

We work in a world where we need to increasingly defend ourselves against physical and virtual threats. Timely and accurate information is king and companies need to stay abreast of the constantly changing risk landscape in order to make sure their employees are aware of potential threats.

Whether that be to notify a client of a change in the course of a ship in the Taiwanese straits or monitoring traffic cameras in Frankfurt, Germany close to a client site, our customers need access to near real time data to protect their assets globally.

Over the past few years, we have been steadily developing our risk analysis teams, sourcing the best technology and bettering our risk mitigation solutions to meet our customers’ needs. To offer the best service and value to our customers, we have this year consolidated our operations in order to provide an efficient one-stop-shop which can provide a range of services, from the straight forward to the most bespoke. In September 2019 we saw the opening of the Risk Operations Centre (ROC) in the United States.

The mission of the ROC is to deliver efficient risk mitigation solutions to our clients. The ROC combines our suite of Corporate Risk Services into a single location. These include intelligence as a service, situational awareness monitoring and alerting, security data analytics reporting, travel risk management, global crisis management, remote video monitoring and Global Security Operations Center (GSOC).

Combining these services under one roof presents a significant opportunity for our employees to learn new skills. Cross training has been a really important part of this process to allow, for example, our intelligence gathering team to share their knowledge with the video surveillance operators and vice versa.

This skills sharing will ultimately benefit our customers. New eyes and minds will draw different insights and bringing people together from different backgrounds and specialisms to assess new problems will open up the possibilities to better outcomes.

Investment has also come in the form of sourcing and embedding the latest situational awareness software. Historically, analysts may have had ten different screens open, all monitoring different sets of data; now G4S makes all of that information available through one dashboard to optimise our analysts’ ability to detect and respond to targeted clients’ emerging risks.

One example of our new technology is a system which is currently being deployed, along with a travel risk management app, which provides push notifications to users based on threats in their immediate vicinity. This software can geo-fence and monitor a particular facility or individual; when a threat emerges within the radius pre-set and agreed with the customer, they will receive a notification. This software amalgamates a wide variety of feeds, from commercial and governmental sources, to social media feeds. These are automatically filtered based on pre-set criteria and are monitored by our intelligence analysts and fed through to our clients. As with all of our services, this is constantly being monitored, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We have been able to make use of G4S’s significant global footprint to compliment this software, with the ROC able to reach out to our internal security network in a crisis.

While streamlining our operation, the ROC also puts us into a leading position in the industry as we now pair elite analysts with the latest AI-driven algorithms and technologies. The result is the early detection and timely response to a wide spectrum of threats, the two hallmarks of best in class risk management.

Providing these types of solutions is the future for those companies who do not want the expense of setting up and supporting their own security teams. With our specialist knowledge and global footprint, more companies are turning to us to provide clarity and certainty for their most valuable assets.  

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