In this final article of our trilogy, we investigate how a cyber threat intelligence (CTI) analyst and associated programmes provide insight about physical and cyber threats to your organisation. The value of these insights is reflected in the wins, which come as a result of context building, holistic understanding, and enhanced awareness in order to outmanoeuvre malicious actor(s).

“The price of greatness is responsibility” – Winston Churchill

Let’s remember, that a core value of the CTI programme is to do no harm. Ethics play a massive role in the intelligence field. Any actions taken from gathered intelligence must be done with strict review and assurance that benefits outweigh the risk of action. Only in the most serious situation, with likely grave consequences, should active measures be considered for authorisation. In fact, active measures are the least desirable approach, as they will no doubt reveal the extent and capabilities of your programme.

For example, perhaps your intelligence programme receives a tip that a group of criminals are planning to break into one of your facilities. It’s appropriate to issue a reminder to onsite personal, in order to ensure the alarms are on, the building is secured, and possibly alert the local police force if the tip seems credible. However, it would not be appropriate to deploy untrained employees to ‘defend’ the building from this potential break-in.

There are a variety of proactive approaches that mitigate threats, i.e. appropriate lighting, fencing, visible warning signs and trained security patrols, but requesting untrained employees to take action could put their lives at risk. A recommendation of a reasonable and, most importantly, proportionate response is what the intelligence programme should always offer.

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