When it comes to managing priorities in the Third Offset Strategy, the US military has to prioritize risk. Some risks are more likely and more prevalent than others. The Third Offset Strategy is designed to stay ahead of these risks; the primary way this is being accomplished is by leveraging technology.
While offset strategies are generally about managing threats created by other world powers like China and Russia, another immediate issue that needs to be examined now is combating segmented risk. This is a new type of risk that arose through the use of technology and the globalization of our activities. While our connected world allows us to get to know others globally, it also opens us up to more risk.
Assessing Segmented Risk in The Third Offset Strategy
Segmented risk is a type of risk that rarely makes its way into offset strategies. This is because, in the past, risks related to smaller fringe groups could be easily managed. However, technology and advanced travel make it far easier for these smaller groups to organize and create larger overall threats. Here’s how:
- Cyberattacks with political motives – One good example of this is the recent controversy over the US election. In this, Russia’s government denied responsibility; however, the threats were traced back to Russia. Even if the government wasn’t involved, this smaller group showed us that organized hacking can be used to create political discord.
- Hidden meeting places – Organized terrorist attacks were much more difficult prior to the creation of the internet. However, Deep Web sites, which are virtually untraceable, can now be used by these groups to plan and carry out attacks on US soil. This wasn’t something that was an issue in either of the prior offset strategies, as that type of communication wasn’t a possibility. Now it is.
- Social media recruitment – Terrorist cells now have a tool open to them that allows them to reach out to disenfranchised people who are easily led. Social media platforms, for most, are simply an innocuous tool for staying connected to friends and acquaintances, but in the hands of terrorists, these platforms can become powerful recruitment tools.
- Border bypass tools – During the creation of offset strategies, employment visas and other documents weren’t as easily available and couldn’t be manipulated for the use of committing acts of terror. Unfortunately, these programs are now open to manipulation and can be used by those who want to gain access to the US for illicit means.
Thanks to the internet, our world has gotten larger. At the same time, that bigger world leads to bigger risks. The Third Offset strategy is the first strategy to be created since this threat became an issue that seeks to combat it. However, tools that leverage technology can also be used to fight back.
Using Technology to Assess Segmented Risks
While many of these segmented risks came as a result of technology, technology can be used to assess and manage them as well. Artificial intelligence and machine learning will be key parts of the Third Offset Strategy, and that includes dealing with segmented risk. Some of the ways this works include:
- Real-time cyber risk management – Machine learning can be used to manage attacks to US systems by monitoring networks and responding when those networks show abnormal activity which could indicate a breach. For example, DDoS attacks are often missed, as the network believes these repeated entries are simply mistaken requests for access. However, these are actually attempts to overload the system and force it open. A network that’s capable of viewing these attempts as malicious attacks would be able to prevent them faster.
- Deeper data mining – The Deep Web is significantly larger than the regular internet. It’s also nearly impossible to track, which is why many people use this system for illicit activities. Data mining systems could potentially weed out high-risk activities, allowing authorities to locate and eliminate risks in this area.
- Private-public partnerships – All popular social media sites stem from private companies. As such, when used for illicit activities, there’s very little recourse. A part of the Third Offset Strategy could involve partnering with these companies to manage attempts to recruit individuals into terrorist activities, and essentially, prevent homegrown terrorism.
- Automated deep vetting – The ability to establish someone’s identity is an important part of managing risk at US borders. One way is via retinal scan, which works like a fingerprint, without the need to collect any materials. As an example, a person can be photographed at an airport and their photo could then be used for comparison to existing information that can be used to verify or dispute their claimed identity. In addition, tools like Remote Risk Assessment (RRA), which uses proprietary systems processes to assess for risk, can be used to assess individual risk quickly, without the need for an in-depth investigation.
The Third Offset Strategy is far different from the ones that came before it due to the need to manage segmented risks. Threats are no longer restricted to one area but instead, come from all angles. Technology makes us better able to examine all those angles.
AC Global Risk offers Remote Risk Assessment as a tool for managing risks like those that come from the third offset strategy. Our technology uses voice biometrics subjected to a complex analytical algorithm to measure risk and give organizations a risk heat map that they can use to take action. For more information, contact us.