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Defending Our Country & Data

28th, November 2017

As the defence of our country and the wider world becomes an ever-increasing critical requirement the need for accurate data is equally important. In fact, big data is invaluable to the defence sector and security services in providing accurate insight into possible defence breaches.

Once relying on individuals to be the eyes and ears on the ground to communicate gathered intelligence at the risk of experiencing ‘human error’, the use of technology now enables data to be captured via sensors, wireless transmission and drones to communicate vast amounts of valuable information, accurately. This data is not only keeping the armed forces and civilians safe it is assisting defence organisations to effectively utilise and deploy valuable resources.

The challenge with big data is the sheer amount that is captured and how this can be processed to be effectively used. By analysing, dissecting and understanding the data only then can any trends and patterns be identified that will assist in protecting against loss of life and improving security.

In a time of economic cutbacks, the defence sector needs to be able to achieve more with less. The more capturing of data via surveillance the faster information can be communicated to prepare others to prevent or react to a situation. Lessons can be learnt to avoid similar future situations, uncover potential threats and assist in developing future defence strategies.

Data is playing a significant role in reducing the number of successful terror attacks in the UK. As a result, terror is killing fewer people in the UK now than it was in the 1980s. According to the Global Terrorism Database, between 2000 and 2017, 126 people were killed across the UK in terror related incidents. This compares to 1,094 deaths between 1985 and 1999 and a staggering 2,2111 between 1970 and 1984.

The use of new technology such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) is becoming increasingly important to the defence sector as they struggle to cope with the processing of large volumes of data and transform into useful insightful information. An insurmountable task for a human being to perform but by using AI it can reduce the time taken to provide a quick analysis that could save potential lives.

Data and technology are playing a pivotal part in protecting our country by providing new innovative ways in which to share information but how protected is it? With the threat of cyber-attacks, the safety of this data is paramount.

Subsequently, it is anticipated that there will be an increase in the sharing of cyber capabilities between government and commercial spaces according to SAP’s national security arm, NS2.Commerical threat intelligence functions will be adopted such as High-Performance Computing (HPC) and Machine Learning (ML) capabilities. These will be used to implement real-time behaviour and pattern analysis to identify potential individuals within a company that exhibit out of the ordinary tendencies regarding the use of corporate data.

The safeguarding of our country and civilians is of course paramount, but equally so is the data and intelligence that is captured. As the defence sector adopts further data capturing technology, the requirement for increased security grows. Moving forward, defence strategies need to consider taking in account both the protection of our nation and our data.

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