Adapting the security response to changes in the threat level

Article author: Miky Weinberg – Owner of the Tarantula Technologies Ltd and Octagon Security Ltd Companies.

A change in the attributed threats, advanced technologies, and especially the severe personnel crisis obliges the guiding agencies to make adjustments to the operating methods of the security entities.

The security profession was built based on an age-old fact that says that in the world, including in Israel, there are good and innocent people and in contrast, there are bad people whose purpose is to hurt others. The bad people are divided into two categories, those who carry out hostile terroristic activities and those who carry out criminal acts. The good side realized very quickly that to survive it must carry out defensive and offensive operations against the bad side. Governmental agencies such as the SHABAK and the police took the responsibility for public security within the country and the IDF and the Mossad have been given responsibility for maintaining the security of the country and the public from threats on the borders and outside the country.
At the individual level, many citizens understood and decided to protect themselves and according to their ability protected their private homes, cars, workplaces, and more.
As there was an increase in the number of terroristic and criminal operations, which made it difficult for the state entities to meet the many tasks, they realized that there was a need to find additional solutions to deal with the day-to-day issues. The use of governmental and civilian security guards was one of the immediate solutions that improved the ability to respond physically by making it possible to place a security guard in more and more facilities. Reality has determined that there will be no situation where the bad people will disappear from the world and certainly not in Israel, and hence it is a constant conflict that obliges the Israel Police primarily to legally and professionally regulate the civilian security industry and the terroristic and criminal adversaries to improve their operational capacity. It is clear to everyone that it will always be the security personnel against the adversary when most of the time they operate on parallel tracks and occasionally meet. The adversary will determine the type of threat, the time of action (when they meet), and the means of how they meet. The security guard is required to be operationally ready 24/7. The best person will win.
The rapid changes that the adversary does require the security forces to adapt to reality, to be up-to-date, to adopt technological capabilities, and to find solutions to the difficulty in recruiting professional personnel. All these and others require us to carry out an examination and change in the operational concept.

Dealing with the enemy requires the security forces to be up-to-date
The more the security forces become familiar with the reality and make sure to be up-to-date, the greater their chance of success in dealing with terroristic and criminal adversaries. This is not an easy task that requires all the security forces, especially those who are also defined as guiding entities, to be constantly connected to what is happening on the ground to be able to recognize and catch up to the adversary’s rate of progress and the progress of the technological means. Up-to-dateness is a cross-process issue because it affects each and every step, from determining the working assumptions, formulating the attributed threats, writing the operational concept, formulating the list of threats relevant to the security object, choosing the security response and also the professional training and the training for the security guards at the endpoint, those who carry out the operational work in the field. In addition to this, the security entities must ensure that all those involved in the work in the different circles, such as external consultants, companies, and suppliers are up-to-date and speak the same up-to-date professional language. Anyone who will participate in the process as a full-fledged employee or as a service provider and will not be up-to-date with regards to professional knowledge can find themselves unsuitable and worse, in their recommendations they can cause security gaps and operational damage which, in meeting with the adversary, can be devastating to the point of endangering lives.

The technology is integrated into the security response
Security technology is advancing and improving a lot and it seems that the main reason for this is the large investment of most technology companies in research and development. In today’s news, many companies are introducing new and improved products with technological capability, some of which already know how to do what the person forgot to do in the various security tasks. Analytics software with algorithms that make the camera capable of locating, detecting, identifying, and sending alerts in real time. Access control systems that incorporate conditions for a single, unambiguous entry approval, that if it is not met, the gate and/or door will not be opened.
Hovering devices that are connected to the means of location and detection, take to the air automatically, reach the threat sector in a short time, provide a real-time backward image and even allow for announcements to be made.
In addition to this, the drones know how to perform routine scans in the security area in accordance with the predetermined plan. Technological progress makes a great many products strong and reliable and as time goes by, succeeds in convincing more and more security officials that in certain tasks it has notable advantages compared to using personnel, and these can be relied on over time. On the one hand, it is very easy to “fall in love” with the technological system because they do not tire, complain, and make demands like human personnel, and on the other hand, it is mandatory to select these technologies through an operational and professional examination process so that it is 100% suitable for the required response to the threat.
Whoever chooses a technological means without an operational and professional process and even decides to replace personnel, not only will not improve the level of security response against the threats relevant to the security object of one’s responsibility, but their decisions will cause substantial gaps in the security system that will give the adversary a clear advantage in dealing with the security array. As a matter of fact, technological measures integrated into civilian and state security systems cannot, at the end of an operational process, stop the adversary from advancing to the target, therefore, at present, there must be a correct and balanced combination between the use of human personnel and technologies, one that manages to correctly combine the advantages and disadvantages of manpower and the technological means and produce from both of these the best response.

The difficulty in recruiting personnel for the security profession
Recruiting personnel who pass all the tests established as admission requirements for the security profession is directly affected by the changing reality that is first of all related to changes in the labor market and the personality characteristics of the current generations. Success or failure in recruitment will be determined according to the ability of the various security forces to get to know the current generation of recruits and the other offers that the labor market offers them.
The policymakers of the working conditions and especially the salary for the various positions in the security profession are obliged to make it attractive compared to other professions, otherwise, no one will want to work, and worse, those who do will do so as a last resort. Since the security guard is responsible for human life and can find himself making a fateful decision in certain situations, it is absolutely forbidden to recruit people into the security profession as a last resort. Everything in life has a reason, and so does the fact that the security forces, mainly civilians, have difficulty recruiting personnel for the various security positions.
The reasons for the situation are familiar and known, therefore the relevant parties have to decide whether they have a real desire to adapt the conditions to the current labor market and then succeed in recruiting suitable personnel according to the need, or leave the situation as it is and compromise on the level of recruitment. The reality in recent years is more suitable for the second part of the sentence. It can be determined with certainty that there is a direct connection between the dismal situation in recruiting white manpower and the advancement of technology that is beginning to partially replace it. Many technology companies have recognized the distress in recruitment and produce a technological solution that integrates or replaces human personnel. The policy that is established regarding recruitment will directly affect the operational concept which will have to include a professional combination of technology and personnel which can mean that it will be necessary to recruit fewer employees and thanks to this the terms of employment can improve and come very close to the current conditions in the labor market. Every sane person understands that a good decision must be made one hour before an event. Postponing making a decision and continuing with the current situation gives the adversary a greater chance of winning.

The attributed threats – a central and important element in the formulation of the security policy
Just before wanting to change the security concept, one must remember that it is affected by the attributed threat, the work assumptions, and the risk surveys, and hence the determination of attributed threats by the security entities has become a central and important element in the process of regulating the security profession.
The attributed threats are determined according to the adversary’s and determine for all those involved in the security profession the starting point in the analysis of the threats to the object of their responsibility. The operational and professional progress of the adversary has taught the various security entities that it is not enough to define an attribution threat once and that it is necessary to examine it and update it every time anew.
As time passes, the methods of action of the terroristic and criminal adversary improve and renew in terms of courage, determination, planning, creativity, professionalism, and technological means. it turns out that the adversary studies the other side well and above all knows how to identify its strengths and weaknesses and accordingly finds new ways of acting in order to win. In almost every investigation of a terror or criminal incident, the improvement in the adversary is immediately recognized in all stages of the operational process or only in the technological field. In certain incidents, it is revealed that the level of technological means possessed by the adversary does not fall behind that of any state security entity, which indicates that it has no problem finding advanced technology on the free market such as night vision devices and drones and even paying a lot of money for them. The terror incident that took place in Kfar Qasem in which the terrorist called the police telling a story of an imaginary incident of domestic violence in order to draw police officers into an ambush indicates the boldness, planning, and creativity of the terroristic adversary who understood and recognized that a police officer who comes to deal with incidents of this type usually does not come prepared for a combat incident. Incidents of theft from secure facilities in which it turns out that the adversary used drones that allow the monitoring of the area in real-time testify to the technological progress of the criminal adversary. Periodic examination of the attributed threats causes the security entities to be better connected to the changing reality and above all makes them up-to-date.

Summary – a change is required in the operational concept
In the constant confrontation between security personnel and the adversary, those who do not adapt themselves to the changing reality and those who delay in making decisions that change an existing situation will lose greatly. A great many past terror and criminal events prove this assertion.
The issues reviewed in the article lead to one clear conclusion – the entities that guide security in Israel must make an urgent change in the existing operating concept. The explanations for this are the ongoing difficulty in recruiting suitable personnel for the security profession and the advancement of technological products that seem to be able to bring a solution that bridges the professional gaps in the field.
In accordance with the regulatory process of writing security procedures, the operating concept is written only after the attribution threat has been formulated, the working assumptions have been determined and a risk survey has been written and this itself forms the basis for writing the security portfolio and the procedures. It is the responsibility of all the guiding entities to make decisions based on a process that includes all of the above steps and that is done by professionals with up-to-date knowledge that allows an analysis to be performed that is closest to reality and above all to the capabilities of the potential adversary, that is, seeing from the attacker’s viewpoint. The process must include all the technological issues that also require the use of professionals in the field at the highest level and this is to avoid as many as possible mistakes in choosing a technology that is not suitable for the characteristics of the task and the required response.

There is no doubt that the year 2023 begins with the news that the change in the existing operating concept can and should be carried out as part of the following professional formula:

Security = Methodology + the human factor + technology

Leave a Comment