A New Age in Incident Response on Display at GSX
How companies can change their approaches to social media platforms, to the benefit of customers.
- By Haley Samsel
- Sep 11, 2019
One of the undeniable facts underlying nearly every exhibition at GSX in Chicago is the growing security concerns and challenges faced by every organization, regardless of size. Active shooter threats and cybersecurity breaches seem to be on everyone’s minds. I can see one example from the Security Today booth. Evolv Technology’s sign hangs in the distance, reading: “Stop Active Shooters. Introducing Evolv Express.”
Edward Ajaeb, the founder and president of private investigation firm Nighthawk Strategies, told me on Wednesday that the changing nature of these threats requires a different response. Earlier this week, Ajaeb led a well-attended educational session that zoned in on online and social media investigations.
His presentation included case studies in which suspected shooters were investigated through social media sites, including the Las Vegas shooting in 2017 and the most recent highway shooting in Odessa, Texas. One of Ajaeb’s key takeaways from the presentation was that a large portion of security professionals are not yet well-versed in social media sites outside of Facebook and Twitter.
Ajaeb has found Venmo, Skype and Snapchat particularly useful in conducting investigations due to the apps’ features that offer information that is readily available to the public. For example, Venmo (which is owned by PayPal) keeps transactions between two users public by default and has an easily searchable database that allows private investigators to track when a user had contact with another person and an idea of what that contact was.
Using social platforms to conduct investigations is not new, but the platforms that house important information, from your location to your mindset at a certain time of day, are changing every day, if not every hour.
Ajaeb’s observations about the industry’s widespread lack of knowledge of the latest social media platforms -- outside of firms that offer social media intel and monitoring services -- reflects how much growth the industry could see in this area. I look forward to seeing how the industry can learn from people in the field and translate that knowledge into better services for their customers.