How Big Data Is Helping Fight Terrorism?

Several countries across the globe are engaged in a constant battle against terrorism. Thanks to technology, it has become harder for terrorists to wage their dirty war. Many technologies are currently being used to track and identify terrorists before they can execute their plans.

One of these technology platforms is Big Data that has capabilities to process voluminous amounts of data in the shortest possible time. Earlier, it was not possible to use large data sets to arrive at definitive conclusions. Big Data can not only handle large volumes of data, but can also process data coming in at great velocity and variety. Here’s a look at how Big Data is helping fight terrorism.

Processing text, audio / video inputs – Considering the huge number of phones and CCTVs in use globally, tracking potential terrorists can be a great challenge for authorities. Here, the need is to identify a suspect quickly before they can execute their plans. If done through traditional software systems, it could take several days or weeks. On the other hand, Big Data can do the same within seconds or minutes.

Identifying money laundering activities – Terror activities are often funded through laundered money. The funds may have gone through several firms and individuals before they reach the terrorists. Considering thousands of transactions that may need to be investigated and several others in real-time, it’s only with Big Data that authorities can make it work. Drying up the source of finance is an effective method for curbing terror activities. Such sources can be identified with Big Data.

Pattern identification – Terror groups are just like any other organization with established processes and protocols. Big Data can analyze past terror attacks to come up with patterns associated with it. These patterns can later be used to identify a potential terror attack being planned. Pattern identification can involve various parameters such as financial transactions, online activities, cross-border communications, movement of specific goods and consignments, etc.

AI and Machine Learning – As terrorists may try to change their patterns, Big Data can be integrated with advanced AI and machine learning systems to fit the missing pieces of the puzzle. Structure and functioning of terror groups takes time to build and not everything can be changed to avoid detection. Working with machine learning, Big Data can predict new ways in which terror groups may be trying to execute their plans.

Risk projection – Based on past terror attacks and other related data sets, Big Data can evaluate terrorism risk level on a particular day for a specific area, location or city. With accurate risk projection, authorities will have adequate time for counter-terrorism measures. Based on the inputs, security arrangements can be increased at that specific location to prevent possible terror attacks.

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