Charged with protecting the public’s fundamental rights to safety and security, Spain’s Ministry of the Interior needed a timely way to share data with multiple officials—including state police, national security, immigration, prison, and road traffic officials.
Not only did the Ministry want to give law enforcement personnel fast access to highly relevant and specific details to elevate their effectiveness and efficiency, Spanish security teams also wanted to corroborate intelligence with their European Union counterparts using of-the-moment details to strengthen overall security across the continent.
“The European Union is working with its members to reach a solution that allows us to analyze the entire volume of data that moves daily on the networks, inside the countries, and be able to share it,” Antonio Garcia de Alamo, head of IT projects in the General Security Information and Communications Office for the Ministry of the Interior, explains. “The only way to do that in a sensible time is with Micro Focus’s big data tools.
Mobilizing ‘Right-Now’ Data
Spain’s Micro Focus big data platform fuses all dispersed state law enforcement agency databases into a single search engine and aggregates multiple types of data for comprehensive analysis. The fully integrated platform will enable security analysts to interpret behavior and improve surveillance of travelers to and within Spain—regardless of the travelers’ mode of transportation.
“Micro Focus IDOL was the only possible solution that permits us to analyze data in real time and allows analysts to establish a solution to fight against Jihadism,” de Alamo explains.
Diverse technologies in the state police offices posed some concerns about the complexity of creating a big data platform and about whether it would scale powerfully to accommodate exploding data stockpiles, including text, images, audio, and video. The Micro Focus big data platform resolved these concerns.
“Micro Focus IDOL and Vertica have eliminated our past barriers to discovering specific intelligence critical to our operations within an enormous volume of structured and nonstructured data,” says de Alamo.
“Thanks to the Micro Focus big data platform architecture and the development that we have been doing, we can now, via Micro Focus connectors, interact with the other databases and other projects in the law enforcement agencies. Micro Focus IDOL is a powerful tool with rich functionality. It’s very easy to use. We can add storage quickly, without impacting the system, which scales with growth while data capture continues without disruptions,” de Alamo says.
Magnifying In-Time Analytics
Although in the early stages of its implementation and use, the platform has been well received.
As a result, the IT staff has taken on new projects that are progressing well, and other European countries have asked the staff to assist them with their big data efforts.
“We have a good project in which we invested many personnel hours and weekends. It’s worth it when you see the results,” de Alamo says.
Even with successful results and technological advantages, people may fear that big data enhancements could intrude on citizens’ privacy. To address this concern, de Alamo responds: “When we do a project of this magnitude, we always think it is for citizen protection. We’ve established an audit system so that any data control authority can see the data that’s utilized online, to ensure full legal compliance.”
With these issues covered, the Spanish Ministry of the Interior is pleased that the Micro Focus big data platform is helping them achieve the ultimate goal: saving human lives.
“We can never say that the terror threat will be eliminated completely, but we can minimize it by studying behaviors to uncover intelligence for making acts of terror more difficult to accomplish. We’re sure that once the tool is fully implemented, many attacks will be avoided,” de Alamo concludes.