When Threats are Voiced on Social Media, Firestorm and LifeRaft are your Predictive Intelligence Team

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More than two million episodes of workplace violence are reported annually in the United States. In many cases, incidents of workplace violence, threats of self-harm (or harm to others) and acts of terrorism were preceded by warning signals. How can these warning signals be identified?

Five years ago, Firestorm founded its predictive intelligence practice, and much has changed. There are new tools, new approaches and new threats. Social media monitoring tools help us predict, identify and thwart potential crises for both schools and businesses. Coupled with our BeRThA® program (Behavioral Risk Threat Assessment), the evolution of our predictive intelligence practice has enabled our team to identify numerous crises, before they are acted upon.

While there are many tools to scan social conversations, and the tools used by Firestorm are outstanding, none of these tools matter as much as the expertise of the person in the chair; the Analyst who understands the nuance of language, and who can then analyze and contextualize the massive amounts of data generated by social channels.

Collaborating with a rock-solid company that develops the right technology to meet the needs of a sophisticated analysis team is paramount to the success of a predictive intelligence network.

One such organization – and a Firestorm partner – is LifeRaft. LifeRaft’s technology platform, Navigator, identifies potential threats to public safety by gathering actionable open-source intelligence, specifically classifying it to determine the risk level.

Recently, we sat down with Mary Jane Leslie, Director of Marketing and Communications for LifeRaft, to discuss how Firestorm expertise and LifeRaft’s technology can identify behaviors of concern, in many cases before they escalate, for any organization.

  1.  As the name implies, how can LifeRaft saves lives or eliminate dangerous situations?liferaft logo


LifeRaft’s main objective is to improve public safety on THE whole. We do this by providing all organizations – law enforcement agencies, educational institutions, private and public businesses and emergency services personnel – with the tools to identify, target and mitigate potentially dangerous situations, ultimately allowing them to do their job more efficiently. Our goal is to support all organizations with new tactics to allow them to instantly address potential threats and respond appropriately.

  1. Is LifeRaft’s Navigator platform an intelligence or enforcement tool?


In the simplest sense, Navigator is an open-source intelligence platform that enables the public safety community to execute on enforcement and prevention more effectively. When we refer to LifeRaft’s technology as a social media intelligence solution, we are referencing the platform’s ability to perform monitoring, data mining, targeting, identification, notification, etc.

  1. How would a business use Navigator?LifeRaft


Navigator allows you to understand online conversations that are associated with your people or assets. Navigator’s tools provide an organization with the ability to better preserve confidential information such as trade secrets, client activities or other confidential material, in a scalable and manageable way.

By gathering intelligence from open source channels, an organization can better understand the tone of online discussions, to ensure they do not break corporate privacy policy expectations.

Additionally, Navigator can assist an organization with monitoring digital commentary for unacceptable content, fraud prevention, industry challenges and situational awareness for major corporate events.

More important, threats of harm to self or others or dangerous behavior that may affect customers, visitors, vendors, employees or the community may be identified through public social conversations. Intelligent response can occur before an event or crisis, rather than after the fact.

  1. How would a school or campus use Navigator?


Schools today often find themselves facing emerging events, many of which have clear warning signs or indicators that can be detected, along with a formal program such as the Firestorm Behavioral Risk Threat Assessment or BeRThA®. LifeRaft Navigator is applied in every stage of a program such as BeRThA®, and widely used to identify early indicators that lead to timely threat detection of major incidents.

By gathering intelligence from online open source channels, Navigator can proactively identify student issues such as cyber bullying, self-harm and threats of self-harm or harm to others, and allows for much earlier intervention than was possible in the past.

Using Navigator in combination with a strong threat assessment program, such as BeRThA®, enhances the ability to understand specific context and the nature of online content related to students, campus or an institution. This allows for effective and efficient response to keep students, staff, visitors, vendors and others safe.

  1. Does Navigator have the ability to search open-source sites in specific areas of a community, the whole community or a region?LifeRaft quote


Absolutely, Navigator has the ability to monitor on a global scale and also refine the monitoring area down to as small as 10 square meters. Navigator has a number of highly intelligent filters to identify and infer location, which customers can utilize to target their monitoring to a specific area, land mark or neighborhood block. Further, Navigator can then cross reference that area with key terms, dramatically increasing the success of identifying and managing potential crisis situations in real-time.

  1. What kind of information will Navigator search for?


Depending on what the user’s specific initiative is, LifeRaft’s technology can search for criminal activities, cyberbullying, threats, terrorism, self-harm, event-specific info, etc. Since all queries in Navigator are user defined, the search criteria is up to the organization which can be further refined by identifying keywords and geo-keywords, geolocation and emoji’s.

  1. Is Navigator affordable for a small organizations?


Yes, absolutely. Navigator is designed to scale to the size of any organization. We take a personalized approach to each of our new customers to determine what the best solution for their organization and with built in immediate alert notification, Navigator does not require any additional resources.

“Social media is rivaling 911 services in crisis response and reporting.”

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Firestorm selected Navigator as one of our key analysis tools because it is a Predictive social intelligence platform that was designed to address the specific challenges facing organizations by gathering, aggregating and filtering billions of social posts from channels like Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. The platform provides an organization with the situational awareness and emerging event information needed to protect people and property.

Ensuring the safety of employees, staff, students and other stakeholders starts with Predicting the vulnerabilities. Creating a reliable intelligence network on your own is complex. Let us assist you in fostering a safe environment. To learn more, contact Karen Masullo, Chief Intelligence Officer, and attend one of our upcoming sessions on Behavioral Risk Threat Assessment (presented at four separate times to fit with your schedule), Active Shooter Prevention, Virtual Stress Testing or Predictive Intelligence.

Related No-Fee Upcoming Virtual Events:

View a full list of upcoming Firestorm events.

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