Tracking COVID with the Jigsaw Analytics Platform

With all of the challenges in the past year to include COVID-19, economic issues and different policies in different states and countries things have been a mess to say the least. The Jigsaw Security team has been utilizing our analytics platform to track movement, infections, media reporting, Government guidance and CDC recommendations to keep our customers informed on ways to help navigate all of the issues around COVID and the economic impacts of the pandemic.


Using the Jigsaw Analytics Platform to monitor COVID issues in near real time


In many cases, companies were at the mercy of their local counties, towns and regional authorities as to whether or not a company was considered critical infrastructure and if they could remain open. As a critical infrastructure partner, Jigsaw Security needed to be able to navigate these complex issues and assist our customers and partners in having up to date information on the best route forward. Many businesses were shuttered and had to start migrating to delivery or online sales (when possible) and yet other businesses simply shut down operations entirely.


Pandemic Impact Analysis (OSINT)

While working through the patchwork of guidance, other challenges presented in the platform. Trucking and shipping companies operated but the load on shipping increased transport times and in the case of international shipping, double the normal shipping rates which had a tremendous impact on cost of goods that were able to be imported during the pandemic. In some cases it was apparent that some ports in other countries were operating at only a fraction of operations as to what was occurring before the pandemic and the is somewhat the case today. The impact of blocked shipping also presented challenges, delays and in some cases additional cost as shipping lines adjusted, anchored in place or changed their route to continue transport.


By utilizing a concept known as entity extraction, the Jigsaw Security team was able to see the effect on companies shipping cost, rates, routes as well as availability. Some items such as computer chips and industrial parts used in consumer products such as dishwasher and washing machines simply could not get to manufacturers because of port closures. We observed back-ordered items in some cases exceeding 6 months and some manufacturers cancelling orders because they could not get the needed materials to manufacture their products in the US.


Looking at the various impacts outlined a bigger issue in that even American manufactured products were unavailable if they depended on a single component from foreign manufacturing. Even if the products were available it was difficult or very delayed in obtaining required components.


Because of our entity extraction capabilities, we were able to see and list what companies, industries, shipping firms, transportation firms and other were affected by the pandemic negatively. Using company mentions in news and media reports as well as public filings in SEC files, we were able to quickly identify the areas of concern.


The impact of the pandemic will not be known fully for many months even though vaccines are now starting to roll out. Even with the US taking the lead in getting shots in arms, the impact to overseas suppliers is still a major concern and our platform is showing that the effects may last 24-36 months based on vaccine status in other supplier countries.


Using Data to make sense of OSINT