Insight into geopolitical unrest can reveal changing vulnerabilities of physical assets and mitigate risk of supply chains as well. By analyzing relevant social media streams and other data, for instance, an oil company can get early warning of a port strike and avoid having fully loaded ships stuck at those docks.
In the private sector, predictive analytics tends to operate best when provided a broader context of information from a combination of public, open-source services and private, pay-for-service feeds, according to David Monahan, security and risk management research director at Enterprise Management Associates.
"Multiple data providers are often part of the strategy as they have specialties that make them valuable," he says. The providers often focus on specific types of threats -- human, geographical, physical or information assets. He adds that government organizations have their own data-gathering methods beyond those available commercially.
"Every organization has a risk profile of things that are going to affect them and a risk tolerance of things that they are willing to let happen," Monahan says. "While nobody is truly 'money is no object,' certain companies with higher attack surfaces will obviously have higher budgets for predictive analytics." That said, as predictive analytics tools become more affordable and easier to use, they will no doubt have broader appeal.
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