We talk to Fred Burton, NYT best-selling author, former special agent, counterterrorism expert, and executive director of the Ontic Center for Protective Intelligence, about how protective intelligence can help keep athletes and their fans safe.
Failure of imagination leads to most crises. As the pandemic persists, vaccinations and vaccine resistance increases, mass shootings rise, and racial and political unrest show few signs of ebbing, seemingly impossible "what if" scenarios are our everyday reality. But can we prevent and protect ourselves from the bad impossibilities? In my experience, if we believe it can happen, then we can look for that trouble, see around corners and potentially head off bad situations. This is why opportunities for protective intelligence analysts are growing and, as digital transformation continues, will be one of the most in-demand roles at corporations alongside cybersecurity experts.
After a lifetime in the protection business, the one constant in Washington that I’ve learned is that it takes tragedy to force change. The January 6 Capitol riot is not an enigma. This was a clear protective intelligence failure. The key finding of Retired Army LTG. Russel Honore’s report reviewing how the pillar of U.S. democracy could have been so easily infiltrated is that the U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) must better integrate intelligence into its operations through improved awareness, assessment, sharing, and response capabilities. We can look at effective protective intelligence as a three-part story: Act I is identifying threats; Act II is building those threats into a cohesive profile; Act III is sharing and acting on that information in order to make nothing happen. Applying this framework to January 6 helps us understand how we can and must do better and provides important takeaways for corporations.