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June 21, 2022

Real-time Alerting 101: How It Works and Why It’s a Business Imperative

It has been more than two years since countries around the world went into COVID-19 lockdowns. During this period, many business resiliency strategies have been put to the test. Beyond the pandemic, physical, cyber, brand, climate, supply chain and economic risks are also occurring with unprecedented frequency and, in many cases, unpredictability. 

Due to this evolving risk landscape, organizations now face a myriad of multidimensional challenges, risks and opportunities. And many of those challenges come down to not having enough information—or not having it at the right time to make important decisions quickly. This is why enterprises need more than ever an early and clear line of sight into an emerging crisis, with additional context to inform their decisions as an incident unfolds.

Real-time alerting solutions, like Dataminr Pulse, do just that. Through our real-time alerts, organizations receive the earliest indications of high-impact events and emerging threats. This allows them to deploy well-informed response plans, so they can better protect their employees and assets. Having the earliest possible indications of potential risks also gives organizations more time to assess and direct the right resources quickly and efficiently.

Who is real-time alerting for? 

Real-time information benefits all organizations, regardless of industry, age and size. It ensures both security and business leaders receive the necessary information, in real time, to: 

  • swiftly assess whether a potential crisis will impact their organization
  • determine the safety of employees, customers and assets
  • gauge any enduring impacts on business continuity
  • quickly seek the right course of action

Not only does this enable security leaders and teams to stay ahead of crises and threats, it all but eliminates the chance that senior leadership will find out about potential crises or threats before they do. The worst scenario for any security team is to learn about a risk or event after it has occurred, causing delayed reactions or forcing the business to scramble to recover. And as critical events often trigger multiple layers of internal processes and triage, having real-time information ensures better outcomes.

This is true for security operations of all types and scales—small and nascent, large and established, centralized or decentralized.

Watch video: The value of risk in real time

How does real-time alerting work?

To understand how real-time alerting works, let’s take a look at our real-time alerting solution, Dataminr Pulse. Think of it as your first layer of crisis response. Here are a few quick facts about what Pulse is and how it works:

  • Uses an industry-leading artificial intelligence (AI) platform to process billions of units of public information daily 
  • Leverages hundreds of thousands of public data sources, including social media, news outlets, blogs, Internet of Things (IoT) sensors, the deep and dark web and audio transmissions 
  • Has a diversity of global, regional and hyperlocal data in more than 100 languages and multiple formats to ensure our real-time alerts are as relevant and actionable as possible 
  • Detects a vast range of early indicators of risk that are often difficult to manually search for and identify
  • Delivers alerts in close proximity to the time at which events occur or risks emerge, often within seconds or minutes of an occurrence 

The goal of our real-time alerts is simple: to help you discover and contextualize the earliest, most comprehensive signals about high-impact events, threats and emerging risks. They are a catalyst for your security workflow, enabling you to maximize the time needed to assess risks and accelerate responses in critical, time-sensitive situations. In addition, the alerts are tailored to your industry, business needs and priority assets, so you receive only the most relevant information. 

But that’s not all there is to real-time alerting. What makes Dataminr Pulse even more valuable is its geovisualization and collaboration workflow capabilities that help you operationalize and act on the alerts you receive.

Through geovisualization, security leaders and teams can use rich visual data to determine when risks are occurring near their personnel, facilities, assets and supply chain—and seamlessly visualize their global footprint to better assess the full scope of potential business disruptions. With this visual context, teams can take action faster and more proactively. For example, when managing extreme weather events and mitigating their impact over time.

With our collaboration workflow capabilities, security teams can coordinate cross-functionally and throughout their company to plan for, simulate and activate rapid responses to high-impact events. These collaboration tools also provide clear customizable playbooks and processes for a variety of incidents to make sure everyone is on task at the most critical time.

Here are some examples of how real-time alerts work

Our alerts have allowed customers to discover several critical situations before official warnings were issued. On December 30, 2019, Dataminr’s initial detection of the COVID-19 virus from local Chinese social media platforms provided our customers with the earliest outbreak warnings—seven days before the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announcement and 10 days before the World Health Organization’s (WHO) report. 

Over the course of the pandemic, many businesses—particularly retailers—struggled to remain in compliance with a sometimes conflicting patchwork of local, state and federal health mandates. Dataminr delivered real-time alerts on new mandates within seconds of official public announcements, helping organizations to stay informed of the latest policies so they could enforce rules accordingly.

Read more: How Real-time Data is Helping Retailers Manage Emerging Risks

Between March and July 2021, through various public data sources, Dataminr Pulse sent dozens of alerts to loss prevention managers so they could quickly track and react to the use of bank ATM skimming devices. As a result, customers were able to narrow the time gap between discovering skimmers and re-securing transactions.

Another example of real-time alerting in action is when Dataminr notified customers about the series of deadly tornadoes that struck the U.S. Midwest in December 2021. As the events unfolded, Pulse sent more than 200 real-time alerts, enabling businesses to effectively protect their personnel by tracking tornado paths, directing facility closures and avoiding blindspots in their disaster response. 

Why is real-time alerting a business imperative?

As businesses look to strengthen their security posture to prepare for future crises, security leaders and teams must always remember that an unexpected event can happen anywhere, at any moment, significantly affecting people and business operations.

Forward-thinking companies understand the importance of real-time information in  staying ahead of and mitigating such unexpected events and unforeseen risks. They also recognize that real-time information is the catalyst for their business continuity functions and workflows.

We know that the risk landscape is expansive and ever-evolving. About 95% of Dataminr’s public data sources didn’t even exist when the company was founded in 2009. In the next decade, one can only imagine the number and types of public information sources from which we’ll be able to extract data.  

To keep pace with the changing information landscape, it’s vital that you have the right technology—which ensures you have access to real-time data pulled from new public sources as risks and events occur and unfold. Learn more about Dataminr Pulse and how the real-time alerting it provides helps security leaders and teams detect the earliest indications of high-impact events, threats and other business critical information so they can respond with speed and confidence.

Topic(s): featured , Corporate Risk

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