Digital policing evolves in a new era of cyber crime


The threat picture for law enforcement is changing rapidly – and in a borderless, constantly evolving society, new trends require new solutions to ensure the protection of citizens.

At the first ever World Innovation Conference on The Future of Law Enforcement Information Management (WICLEIM 2014) , held last week in Amsterdam, global leaders gathered for multifaceted discussion on the future of law enforcement innovation and the paradigm shift happening across the industry.

The volume, variety and velocity of crime is rising at an unprecedented speed, enabled by new technologies that facilitate higher levels of anonymity/pseudo-identity, allow criminals to operate underground operations, and leverage the Darknet to conduct illegal business, said Rob Wainwright, director of Europol, in a talk at the conference.

In response, law enforcement agencies are embedding international digital policing capabilities into their core organizations – and beyond focused high-tech crime units – as a prerequisite for any modern investigation into a criminal’s digital footprint. Three key challenges set the stage for this transformation into next-generation policing:

Challenge 1: Multi-lateral collaboration is replacing current bilateral engagements towards organized crime as it simultaneously travels multiple borders and multiple centers of operation. A piecemeal approach, which sufficed for lateral engagements, has to transform towards international policing.

Solution: Police organizations challenged by scope definition and traditional system migration will require partners that deliver rapid innovation cycles to define, deploy, and operate these new systems.

Challenge 2: The power of data will drive a huge impact in law enforcement’s ability to correlate information in order to prevent crimes as well as identify and prosecute offenders. Yet many organizations are struggling to balance the vast amount of available information against the challenge of the “white noise” effect – when systems produce so much data that it’s nearly impossible for analysts to process it for actionable intelligence.

Solution: Fully utilized information systems can help offload manual effort by enabling automated data uploads, consistent scanning, and machine learning and alerting, driven by EU messaging formats and US NIEM requirements. As more databases are connected, the ability to deliver insights and analytics increases drastically.

Challenge 3: An exponential growth in cybercrime demands a more sophisticated policing model and requires analysts to evolve into “investigators.”

Solution: The exploration of cyber-attacks as well as exploitation will require a new collaboration model among law enforcement, industry, and academia. Together these groups will develop the malware analytics, decryption platforms, data analyses, and other capabilities that form the foundation of the intelligence-led policing model of the future.

Technical innovations in information management can help accelerate and support this process – but technology without improved business practices cannot be successful. At the national, European and global level, organizations must maintain a sharp focus on innovation in areas such as:

  • Cross-border information sharing along cities and mobility infrastructure
  • Social media; from a linear to a network organization requires a changing mindset
  • Biometrics; law enforcement as a service
  • Utilizing cybercrime as the front line of police operations
  • Intelligence and sensing
  • Privacy policies that build trust with the public
  • Operation room; applying features like geo-targeting to big data in order to gather actionable intelligence

The push for innovation creates tremendous opportunities, and we look forward to the global collaboration that will unite us to fight crime and protect citizens.

 
Martin Slijkhuis
Public Safety and National Security Industry Lead, Microsoft Western Europe

About the Author

Martin Slijkhuis | Public Safety and National Security Industry Lead, Microsoft Western Europe

Martin advises defense, justice, and police organizations on emerging technologies for defense transformation and citizen safety architecture. This includes bridging knowledge transfer for governments developing strategies to address cyber threats. Read More