Let us begin by defining what this means in the world of security operations. In our practice, it is the process of observing someone's behaviour and analyzing it for indicators of adversarial modes of operations.
In addition, especially trained officers would look at appearance, accompanying people, documents (if possible), verbal and other non-verbal cues, and conduct a security-driven interview (if allowed by regulations). All of the information thus assembled in a course of 5 sec to 1:30 min is analyzed relative to the operational environment or context in which the process is occurring. In the end, a qualified security officer will reach a simple decision: threat or no threat. Wait, you can ask, where does the racial / ethnic / religious profiling come into play? It does not.
In modern security operations (as oppose to law enforcement, where Profiling is actually used) with the emergence of 'home grown terrorism' phenomena, building profiles based on a typical stereotype is a taboo. If stereotypes get used by security personnel in their line of work it usually means these officers were not selected and/or trained adequately to perform this very sensitive work.
In our work, we tend to steer away from using Behaviour Profiling or Behaviour Detection at all. Apart from confusing the security work performed with that of law enforcement agencies, these terms do not fully describe the breadth of what is actually done on the ground by focussing on behaviours alone (let alone bringing the ire of human rights activities many of whom do not understand the difference between 'security' and 'law enforcement'). As explained above, behaviour observation constitutes only a small part in the overall process of identifying suspicious individuals. That being said, using the word Profiling in the title of this post or in other places intentionally is another story -- it attracts media attention and results in better search returns!
Behaviour Risk Assessment (as it will be known from now on) can be used effectively as part of a risk-based security to identify and focus the attention of security apparatus on higher-risk individuals. Since bombs do not explode by themselves or guns fire on their own, the attention of security officers is should be given to screening individuals and not items.
Especially selected and trained officers perform routine observations in crowded areas or spot checks in mass transit systems to identify suspicious indicators associated with humans, items or situations. If something or someone suspicious is noted, they follow the procedures and act to resolve the situation as quickly as possible. Due to the high levels of responsibility and sensitivity involved BRA will only work if officers deployed to perform these duties:
Due to numerous Human Factors involved in this operation, the BRA process must be designed according to the principles of continuous improvement. The role of supervisors and managers as a result should be focused on coaching, mentoring, motivation and setting high standards for achievement.
The security values derived from an effective and efficient engagement of such a highly specialized unit are numerous:
CHI Security team includes professionals with diverse backgrounds and experiences. In this blog we share our musings on how to build a resilient security force. Hardware comes later...