29 May 2017

Risk Intelligence approach

Risk Intelligence believes that in order to understand the security threats facing our clients we need to apply a holistic approach. We believe that analysing different types of threats independently without reference to other threats and without understanding the existing or potential relations between these threats will lead to flawed analytical conclusions and assessments with little use to the end user and our clients. 

An example is the continued focus among a few maritime security analysts and within the defence and law enforcement communities on “maritime terrorism”, which has had peculiar implications for business and security operations in many companies worldwide. Furthermore, a small number of companies and analysts have pushed a certain agenda in attempting to increase the perceived level of risk. However, when compared to both past terrorist attacks and foiled plots on maritime targets in relation to the total maritime domain, it is an extremely low level of risk and for some companies virtually non-existent.

The threats facing our clients are nearly all derived from entities that are land-based in unstable nations and target supply chain assets or utilise the sea lines for operations. Returning to the above example of terrorism it can be concluded that specific maritime terrorist groups and/or terrorist groups with maritime agendas are not as prevalent with respect to supply chain/stakeholder risks as criminal syndicates and insurgency operations. Furthermore, a large number of illegal maritime activities today are conducted by entities that classify as criminal syndicates or an insurgency organisation and typically both engage in illegal maritime activities as part of their larger operations and criminal revenue streams for financial gain. 

The Four Circles Model

Subsequently, Risk Intelligence analyses the threats from a holistic perspective that originate, firstly, in the type and origin of the involved organisations and then, secondly, in the type of criminal activity. By identifying the type of organisation we can much more clearly forecast the future likelihood in eliminating or limiting the tactic or organisation at hand. For instance, a true piracy organisation working from a coastal area can be dealt with by relatively simple military and law enforcement means, while at the other end of the organisational spectrum an insurgency organisation will often take decades of political, financial, military and law enforcement operations to lead to a solution. The same applies to a terrorist organisation, which rarely – if ever - can be defeated solely by military and law enforcement measures. The most dynamic organisations are the organised crime syndicates, which flow like water in a stream and change direction immediately when obstacles are met. Organised crime syndicates adapt quickly to the environment and change their tactics, for instance from hijacking to people trafficking, or even geographically relocate if the pressure is too great.

Our model of analysis is called the Four Circles Model©.