Homeland Security has woven itself into everyday life. Even if we aren’t aware of it, measures to target external and internal threats have been put in place. Homeland Security uses data to take advantage of the many benefits big data can offer through advanced data and analytical tools. Here are a few ways data backs Homeland Security.
In the fight to protect U.S. interests, big data analytics has become an important tool. Homeland Security uses data mining to identify potential anti-American activities, such as money transfers and communication.
The large amount of data collected by Homeland Security makes big data analytics necessary to analyze and weed out any potential threats. Homeland Security uses this data to track and neutralize threats before they happen. For example, Homeland Security identified 16 sectors of society that could be targeted by cyber-attacks. The loss of even one of these sectors could cause disruptions for months, leaving the US vulnerable to conventional attacks. Data analytics plays an important role in the defensive strategies of the US. to target would-be attackers.
The U.S. controls the northern and southern land borders, including large amounts of land, air, and sea. This makes data a great solution to securing the nation’s borders and managing traffic in and out. For example, suspected terrorist movements are tracked using immigration records and travel.
The U.S. uses data to monitor the borders in several ways. One way is with software such as facial recognition. Data is collected, stored, and compared with a database of passport and visa pictures belonging to people. Those records that don’t match are flagged. For example, facial recognition software led to the arrest of two persons at Washington Dulles International Airport. This software alerted federal agents that the two people entered the country illegally by using false passports.
In addition to keeping the borders safe and preventing terrorism, data is also used to strengthen national preparedness. Data analytics recognizes trends and if the data shows that there is an imminent threat present, can place federal agents where they need to be. This kind of technology puts the right people, in the right place, at the right time, and strengthens our ability to secure the nation.
It is easier to maximize security by using data in the right way, anticipating where a threat may come from, and eliminating the element of surprise. When trying to neutralize a threat, the goal is preparedness. The risk of injury or death is eliminated ff you can keep it from happening in the first place.
These are just a few of the ways that data is backing Homeland Security. The key goals of Homeland Security are to identify security threats, locate persons of interest, and have a robust system of preparedness in place. Data can not only help recognize the threats that we know, but it may also alert us to threats we didn’t even know existed.
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