A significant increase in orders for mobile security units signals prioritization of security amid global unrest.
Value of pipeline? Immeasurable. The lifeblood of society as we know it.
Real estate prices? A steal. Often the most remote, barren, unpopulated places on the planet.
Across deserts, mountains, lakes, and planes, oil, water, and gas flow silently. Giant pipelines up to 10 feet in diameter and dams that are almost 2.5 football fields high power lives and deliver water.
These are the types of locations that, in times of uncertainty, companies are increasingly protecting with mobile security units. People aren’t exactly lining up to live near a 500-acre solar farm. They are, however, lining up to cross bridges, drink clean water, fill up their gas tanks, heal at hospitals, grab a flight, and turn on the lights.
Oil manufacturers, refiners, transportation authorities, government organizations, and corporations have ordered significantly more mobile security units in the first quarter of 2023. These businesses protect critical infrastructure that people depend on daily for life.
The stakes are high. Many people work together to defend and protect the production and delivery of basic technology, water, power, and roadway systems. Private and public companies and multinational corporations work with the Department of Homeland Security to protect critical infrastructure. The Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) is the specific task force for preserving these locations and assets within DHS. Individually and collectively, they evaluate threats, attacks, and disaster remediation for any interruptions that can devastate daily life.
Critical infrastructure includes bridges, dams, tunnels, energy, water, GPS, disaster response, and transformer (RecX). It helps deliver the things that keep citizens worldwide alive, happy, and healthy. The RecX transformer is responsible for supporting 90% of the consumed power in the US. Additionally, GPS is particularly vulnerable because the technology is unencrypted and low-power.
Critical infrastructure also includes sanitation, transportation, and communication sectors. It serves large populations and covers vast geographic areas. Critical infrastructure networks are large, interconnected, and extensive. If an outage occurs, one system is likely to affect another. For example, if the power goes out, phones and water may also go out. The damage and losses are often substantial and disproportionately large compared to other accidents or criminal activity.
Critical infrastructure companies and organizations need to know that mobile security solutions are a proven way to keep the nuts and bolts safe, people moving and safe, and offer an effective tool in their arsenal against attack. In remote locations without power or internet, running miles of fence is no longer necessary. Additionally, in areas where law enforcement is often hours away, it offers an intimidating deterrent to would-be criminals or terrorists.
Protecting critical pieces of infrastructure is more significant than a single spy balloon or payoff could handle. More than 17.2 million miles of pipeline crisscross the US.
The vulnerabilities were recently put in the spotlight when a newly-released movie glorified eco-terrorism against energy manufacturers. It was accurately named, How to Blow Up a Pipeline. The plot was simple: a few eco-terrorists plot to destroy a pipeline for an alleged greater good.
In reality, there were millions of dollars in damage in February 2022 when a masked mob of ax-wielding vandals attacked a pipeline project in British Columbia. The mob attempted to block an access road by cutting down trees, lighting them on fire, and placing tire spikes. Vandals then used grinders to cut through locks at the construction site. Nine workers fled, and there were no injuries. The same area was the site of a blockade in 2021 that lasted 59 days.
More recently, according to BNN Bloomberg, Nigeria LNG Ltd. canceled several liquefied natural gas shipments after vandalism on pipelines from gas fields disrupted production.
The publicity of destroying critical infrastructure components like solar farms, dams, roads and bridges, and water pipelines emphasizes the need to protect and defend some of the most remote places on the planet from these ner-do-well-ers in whatever ways possible. People are hurt and can be killed in these crimes.
People need energy. They need water. They need adequate shelter. And they need food.
So what’s the answer? In locations that do not have power, internet, or guards (police or otherwise), using the highest tech available to monitor any unusual activity and quickly outpace the effectiveness of drones, airplanes, cell towers, and fencing.
Often miles from police or civilization, these critical infrastructure components are in unique locations and designed to be “hidden.” They’re painted brown or a dull gray to blend in. But because these pipelines, dams, and bridges feed life, it’s hard to ignore their importance.
People depend on them for energy, water, safety, and transportation.
Pieces of critical infrastructure are vulnerable. They do have weaknesses. They are not immune to disaster, attack, failure, theft, or vandalism. The bigger they are, the harder they can fall if attacked.
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