HENSOLDT: Countering Evolving Threats with Evolved Technology

27.08.2021 North America
HENSOLDT: Countering Evolving Threats with Evolved Technology

HENSOLDT: Countering Evolving Threats with Evolved Technology

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HENSOLDT, defence and security electronics market leader,outlined the latest technology being used in terrorism and security.

Like ordinary citizens, businesses and government, criminals are also increasingly makinguse of modern technology. This is leading to a complex contrast between the use of advancingtechnology for terror, and applying technology to detect and protect against the use of suchtechnology for malicious intent.

This was one of the key topics addressed at the 2021 Sovereign Security Conference whichtook place on Thursday in Pretoria, South Africa, and was live streamed to hundreds of delegates both locallyand globally.

Event sponsor HENSOLDT South Africa unpacked some key technologies used by terror-parties and countering the threat with the same and other technologies.

With the advent of COVID-19 and a drastic move to working from home both locally andglobally, cyber security has become all the more relevant and was a focus area in thesediscussions. “Cyber attackers see the pandemic as opportunity to step up their criminalactivities by capitalising on the attention that is paid to coronavirus-related news,” said HennieVenter, Chief Executive of HENSOLDT South Africa’s GEW business unit. Venter was one ofthe keynote speakers at the conference, specifically addressing the technologies being appliedfor both evolving terror and the evolved security mechanisms to counter them.

Addressing cyber targets and cases closer to home and the reality of infrastructure attacks,Venter cited 22 July 2021 as an example, when Transnet and specifically port terminals wereforced to close.

“This was the first of this type of attacks on infrastructure in South Africa that was documentedin the media. The full after-effect of the situation is still in motion and the total cost of theshutdown not yet available. This has had a major effect on the economy and took place at thesame time as the unrests in KZN and Gauteng, worsening the overall impact,” he said.

Speaking about modern technology and the ability to communicate rapidly and effectively,Venter discussed the power of social media and applications such as Twitter, Facebook andInstagram, in particular related to the community unrest that took place in July.

“For us as providers of intelligence, processing these different sources of data can harness a lotof information allowing deep analysis and also predicting specific actions/reactions before theyactually happen. Using media mining tools and automated processes that include artificialintelligence, we can foster great value from these online platforms. Connect this also to theradio and media and you have a wealth of data and analytical information,” Venter said, acapability and trend also outlined at the conference by Mark Pfeiffer, Chief Visionary Officer atHENSOLDT.

Summarising South Africa’s unique local challenges, and the need for regional perspectivewhen it comes to issues of security, Pfeiffer presented open-source intelligence (OSINT) as asituational awareness tool in the complex security and defence domain on the African continent.

With advanced OSINT data, he illustrated how this technology can be used to monitordeveloping situations, with the Mozambique terrorism situation being a case in point.

Professor Philip Haupt, Senior Marketing Executive at HENSOLDT South Africa and AdjunctProfessor at the National Aerospace Centre at the University of the Witwatersrand, also sharedhow unique local products and technologies need to be used as tools to mitigate civil unrest andto enhance effective national security processes.

“The South African industry has significant world-class know-how, resources and technologiesthat can be used as a force multiplier during unanticipated events such those we saw in the lastmonth,” he said.

In addition to the all-important topic of cyber technology, Venter also spoke aboutcommunication, specifically wireless communication; 5G and the current big technology that willchange and drive global growth; commercial or weaponised drones; 3D printing within the 4thIndustrial revolution and artificial intelligence.

“We need to invest in the technologies that counter these threats and collaborate to address adiverse and evolving threat environment. Authorities can use the technologies at their disposalto their advantage to protect our sovereignty,” says Venter.

Sihle Mayisela, Executive of Strategic Affairs at HENSOLDT South Africa closed off the day’sproceedings by reflecting on South Africa’s defence industry and some recent developments aswas highlighted by the speakers during the event.

HENSOLDT South Africa’s integrated security and surveillance solutions harness thecombination between security technologies and advanced sensors to protect assets,infrastructure, perimeters and borders. Radar, optical sensors and physical barriers are used incombination with signal-intelligence technologies for maritime surveillance, wildlife protection,border security and physical infrastructure security.

“The very nature of this event illustrated our modern-day capability to transcend borders andbarriers using technology and reminds us how our threats can do the same. Our advantage assecurity experts and solution providers lies in our ability to collaborate, share ideas and build onour shared intelligence,” Venter concluded.


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