The GEO Group, Inc. (GEO), a publicly held company located in Boca Raton Florida, announced on November 3, 2020, that it is beginning to notify individuals following a ransomware attack that “impacted a limited amount of personally identifiable information and protected health information for some inmates and residents contained on certain servers for a small number of facilities including the South Bay Correctional and Rehabilitation Facility in Florida, a youth facility in Marienville Pennsylvania, and a now close facility in California. The incident also impacted two corporate servers with employee data.”

According to the statement on its website, the GEO Group is “not aware of any fraud or misuse of information as result of this incident.”

The ransomware attack was discovered by GEO on August 19, 2020. It thereafter launched an investigation with cybersecurity firms and law enforcement. According to the website notice, “the company recovered its critical operating data and, based on its assessment and on the information currently known and obtained through the investigation, the Company does not believe the incident will have a material impact on its business, operations or financial results.”

GEO is a publicly traded organization that “is a fully integrated equity real estate investment trust specializing in the design, financing, development and operation of secure facilities, processing centers, and community reentry centers in the United States, Australia, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. GEO is a leading provider of enhanced in-custody rehabilitation, post-release support, electronic monitoring, and community-based programs.” It owns or manages 123 facilities totaling approximately 93,000 beds and employing approximately 23,000 professionals. Its website states that its “diversified services platform provides unique capabilities for the delivery of educational and vocational programs, cognitive behavioral and substance abuse treatment, and faith based services across the entire corrections spectrum.”

Based upon the statement, it appears that GEO is notifying affected inmates, residents and employees of the incident.

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Singapore analytics and acoustic solutions company H3 Zoom.AI’s founder, Shaun Koo, began using drones for building inspection and facilities management after realizing that the city’s highly urban landscape was “overdue for digital technology disruption.” For example, traditional building facade inspection involves workers tethered to ropes or on gondola lifts, scaling high and/or remote areas to inspect or take photographs. This manual process is risky and allows room for human error.

Instead, Koo suggested equipping drones with cameras and flying them around buildings to scan and capture images of building facades from multiple angles. The images could be fed into an AI and machine-learning platform designed to flag problem areas, thus making the inspection process safer, faster and more accurate. Koo demonstrated that his drone inspection system and AI technology could reduce the inspection time by 70 percent. For example, in one demo, the use of the drones lessened the inspection time from 4 weeks to 4 days. H3 Zoom.AI aims to partner with government agencies like the Housing & Development Board and Singapore Land Authority to spread the use of drones for building inspections throughout the city. As of last month, H3 Zoom.AI had used drones to inspect over 200 buildings in Singapore, and the company aims to expand into Indonesia, Australia, Hong Kong and Japan. The key to this drone system is the AI; this technology uses predictive thinking to inform its clients about structural faults that COULD happen to their buildings in the future, in addition to the current structural issues. This is a key to safety and cost reduction for big cities like Singapore.

As we continue to integrate drones into the U.S. national airspace, perhaps companies and cities will use drones equipped with AI technology like H3 Zoom.AI’s to bring this same efficiency and safety to building inspections and management here as well.