Developing a holistic approach to security for complex situations means a greater chance that threats will be successfully avoided and/or responded to effectively if they should materialize. That means taking several different technologies and joining them together. Once they’ve been joined there’s a need to focus on managing that technology through a single system.
Introducing the C4i Suite Concept
A C4i Suite is a means of managing systems that are deployed across a port to ensure that they deliver the appropriate levels of risk reduction for passengers, staff and cargo. There are several key components that are managed through these systems.
Local Command and Control
The first major node of any C4i Suite’s management structure is a local command and control center. Here the inputs taken from port surveillance and monitoring can be joined together to give decision makers an understanding of what is happening on the ground.
So for example, the feed from video cameras placed on the perimeter can be joined to the feed from motion detection monitoring equipment that has been integrated into taut wire fences on that perimeter. This increases the chances of detecting whether there is a genuine threat to the security of that perimeter.
Those combined feeds can be overlaid onto GIS data that enables the exact position of a threat to be identified. The resources available in that area can also be tracked on the same GIS systems so that the command and control team can determine what the best way to respond to a threat will be. They can then deploy those resources and continue to monitor them through the range of surveillance systems available to them. This means they maintain a constant real-time understanding of their perimeter and the response teams they will employ.
High-Level Command and Control
The final node for a C4i suite is a high-level command and control center. The data from each local command and control center can be fed back to the high-level center and interpreted in conjunction with other local center’s data. Thus resources can be applied more effectively across a much wider area minimizing the threat across the whole area under protection. Again all data will be displayed in a way that is easy to interpret in real-time with geographical references.