This philosophical question continues to occupy the minds of many security professionals and interested commentators. The answer, in most cases, is somewhere in the middle but this team believes that in a truly proactive security system Human Factor should-be the determining element.
While there are many security threats and risks outside, the reality is that we mostly fear those coming from other humans. In simple terms, this inherent mistrust in other humans, whether as risk factors or performers, is what causes us to look for technology as a solution. The problem of course is that humans in general (and evil-doers in particular) are quite inventive in circumventing various static barriers put in their way, be it a sensor-wired wall, a sophisticated X-ray machine or biometric devices (not to mention another apparent problem -- these 'solutions' have humans attached to operate them, oops). In reality, most security systems we witness today are passive and inefficient. They perform 'law enforcement' duties (e.g. CCTVs -- a post-event information collection), are not flexible to deal with evolving threats and in many cases contribute to the 'security theatre' perception.
In many countries, including this one, in the absence of a present and immediate threat (9/11 did not change this attitude here), the over-reliance on technology can be partially explained by lack of security-driven mentality among security managers and executives. Law enforcement training, by simple virtue of its post-event emphasis (i.e. it's not a crime until it happens), does not select and adequately prepare people to perform security functions where a different set of cognitive and personality skills are required.
As a result, technical solutions are often selected to cover for limited understanding of adversarial modes of operation, threats and/or inability to raise a professional security force.
Do not misunderstand us, the use of technology in security operations such as CCTVs, biometric devices, screening equipment and many others, is required since they provide many useful abilities:
There are of course many other examples of tangible benefits in using technology solutions. They could and should be utilized to perform necessary functions after the TRA is conducted and all known gaps are identified.
At the same time, in a risk-oriented and proactive security operation that is engineered to be adaptive, scalable and run by professionals these solutions should perform specific functions they are built for. In doing so, they should complement or cover for human deficiencies, but not to replace the human eye and our inherent ability to make sense in complex situations.
N.B. For a good discussion on this issue, read the following piece by Dr. Hillel Avihai http://www.ict.org.il/Articles/tabid/66/Articlsid/245/currentpage/5/Default.aspx
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...