Over the last few years, new technology solutions have put an end to the disconnected and siloed communications used to support active investigations. These innovations are breaking the old reactive, manual approach to investigations, and ushering in a new era that is proactive and technology driven. This shift has been shaped by real-world events, internal demands, and practitioner frustrations — and is known as protective intelligence.

No branch of investigations is immune to this innovation – whether that is physical security, supply chain integrity, or due diligence. These industries are flooded with platforms and tools that throw around buzzwords and phrases like ‘AI’ and ‘automation’. However, it’s tough to find a platform that does both, and more importantly, has a proactive DNA that breaks down system and enterprise barriers. As the protective intelligence movement continues to spread, three pillars will shape the future of the investigative platforms driving this transformation.

Pillar 1: Finding The Nexus Between Case Management and Investigative Tools

Traditionally, investigative case management systems have been siloed from the resources necessary to conduct an investigation. The disconnect between case management and investigative resources has hindered security and investigative practitioners from the outset with a lack of situational awareness and an inability to see the complete picture.

However, the investigative platforms that transform the industry will find the nexus between case management and investigative tools, including cybersecurity, by integrating them into ‘one pane of glass’ and ensuring that they complement and inform the decisions of the other. The solutions that succeed in combining case management with best-in-class investigative tools will provide the ability to identify risks before they impact an organization. This is at the heart of generating actionable intelligence.

Pillar 2: Establishing an Intelligence Bridge

The merging of case management and investigative tools will pave the way for a platform that fosters improved communication, collaboration, and team accountability. Think of this as an ‘intelligence bridge’ with off-ramps stretching to every corner of an organization and beyond. This centralized system facilitates communication and intelligence sharing between various teams and departments while having the necessary rules and permissions in place to protect sensitive information.

A solution that fosters communication and collaboration, while maintaining a detailed audit trail, will eliminate ambiguity around roles and responsibilities and ensure that intelligence gets to the people who need it most with the click of a button. While creating the intelligence bridge within an organization is the number one priority, often the people who need the intelligence the most are not part of the investigation process. Whether that be human resources, legal, or even the CEO, it is necessary that the intelligence is easily accessible, summarized, and up-to-date so that it can be actioned by those stakeholders.

Pillar 3: Empowering Enterprises to Take Action

Legitimate concerns over the legal implications of crossing into the consulting realm have historically prevented investigative platforms and enterprises from providing analyses or suggested actions to mitigate risk. The industry standard has been for an investigator to surface adverse information that can have extreme implications for an organization, and then to wash your hands of the problem, leaving CSOs, CCOs, and general counsel with the risk but no guidance on next steps. The status quo disenfranchises the people tasked with keeping an organization and its people safe, whether that be from a threat actor, high-risk vendor, or investment.

Investigation platforms committed to serving intelligence to those who protect over the long-term should provide integrated risk and threat assessment workflows. These workflows allow end-users to assess their subjects’ risk, and then automatically prompt suggested next steps based on industry-leading methodologies. These assessments must be interactive and integrated into a platform — not digitized paperwork that only creates more challenges. Empowering end-users to take thoughtful action on intelligence will not only prevent incidents, but will also lead to greater adoption of protective intelligence across the organization.

Closing Thoughts

No matter your industry, the threat and risk landscape is evolving and accelerating at a pace that can only be addressed by proactive intelligence solutions. However, this technology-driven approach must be constantly informed by practitioner best-practices and client demands in order to be effective. While the tools to address the future risk landscape will continue to evolve, the fundamental principles of conducting an effective investigation will remain. The success of investigative and intelligence enterprises working to ‘make nothing happen, together’ hinges on the adoption of forward-thinking leaders believing in this proactive, technology-driven approach — and viewing siloed resources and communication as a thing of the distant past.

Learn more about the Ontic Investigations and Case Management solution here.

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