Intelligence drives the fight. Ask General George Washington. In fact, ask anyone battling an adversary. Good, accurate, current intel and definition makes the total difference. We should know more about our opponents than they know about us. But who does know more? Us or them? If we want to win the fight, we must better control violence, theft, fraud, and loss.
Information dominance means we know certain things and more than our criminal opposition knows, including what are our most desirable assets and our vulnerabilities. We also need to know our tendencies and limitations.
Part of information dominance is knowing the opposition’s wants, objectives, intentions, capabilities, methods, “players,” and tendencies. And what are they likely to know (or think they know) about us? Our intel should help us get inside the opposition’s planning and decision cycles. Intelligence should also be actionable—it needs to drive executive decisions.
Be Better, Have A Process
We need certain capabilities to achieve information dominance, so it is important to deploy fused sensors. These sensors can include social media, Web and Deep Web apps, hotlines, store and field staff feedback, case reporting, and investigative and surveillance information, to name just a few.
The Loss Prevention Research Council’s (LPRC) Security Operations Center Lab (SOCLab) has been established to help us learn together even better ways to establish information dominance at the corporate level. The SOCLab’s motto is “detect, define, decide.” And just as the motto indicates, the first step is to detect a probable or recent event or pattern. We then strive to define the problem (who, what, when, where, why, and how) to allow for well-informed and precisely targeted solutions and decisions. And we should accurately and basically describe the problem and solution options to the decision-maker. Finally, we need to quickly communicate with our critical or otherwise involved associates and officials.
We have a growing SOCLab steering panel that is helping us acquire needed technology, apps, checklists, experience, and expertise. Our security operations center (SOC) is real, powerful, and now ready for testing. As with any of our projects, we start with retailer’s needs in the form of questions. Here are some initial issues:
- What to collect.
- How to collect.
- How to validate initial information.
- How to best display data—locally and distributed.
- What technologies are needed.
- How to better, more quickly analyze and define. Battle track situations?
- Who and how to staff. Training? Ongoing Preparation?
- How to best and most simply present options to decision-makers.
- How to decide.
- How to communicate with local and distant team members and others.
- How to lead and execute during crises.
- How to recover and use lessons-learned to improve prevention and the SOC process.
The initial SOCLab steering team includes retail, military, federal government, and solution backgrounds and responsibilities to ensure our lab and its mission are done correctly. Our initial team is below, with room to add even more expertise:
- Lucas McDonald and Josh Allen, Walmart
- Tom Meehan, Bloomingdale’s
- Hendrik van der Meulen, Voyager Analytics
- Justin Taylor, TJX-Marmax Group
- Garret King and Jason James, CCI/Protection 1
- Lincoln LeFebvre, The Home Depot
- Clayton Brown, Reconasense
- Tony Zwart, Brian Peters, and Jason Bailey, Target
- Katie Jurkas, Rite Aid
The SOCLab group is a subset of the LPRC LP Innovation Working Group and will hold separate bimonthly calls. Each call will include a virtual tour of an operating security, tactical, or emergency command center, whether a full-time or part-time operation, where the group will discuss research and development opportunities. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if your group has interest in learning more about SOCLab.
In The Reasoning Criminologist: Essays in Honour of Ronald V. Clarke, edited by Nick Tilley and Graham Farrell, leading criminologists from around the globe present situational crime-prevention-research essays that provide evidence-based, practical thinking on a variety of crime problems.