Internal Intelligence Team Not Fit for Target

Internal intelligence teams are no longer fit to maintain their commercial reputation and activities.

Most internal intelligence teams lack domestic experience and access to the high-quality intelligence necessary to avoid costly and embarrassing mistakes. 

Law firms, accountants, and other businesses that rely solely on internal intelligence services are playing a dangerous game in today's agile corporate environment.

You are operating in a minefield and you need high quality intelligence and accurately assessed, assured information to help you navigate safely.

Think of the prudent intelligence professional who distinguishes fact from fiction, protects clients from misleading and manipulative noise, and provides accurate, relevant information on current risks and threats.

Most internal intelligence services do not have the expertise and resources, making their enterprises prone to error and exploitation.

A client was going to maintain a partnership with a business in Eastern Europe until a team of experts uncovered confidential, incriminating intelligence about a key stakeholder.

Intelligence provided at the last minute revealed that a potential partner was seeking to exploit a British company and its reputation to launder money. Clients are freed from activities that prove costly, illegal and embarrassing.

Businesses need access to state-of-the-art analytics software and strategic human resources on the ground.

They require long in-country experience and knowledge of key players. They need information that is not in the public domain. Only external agencies can provide the breadth and depth of intelligence required by today's corporate entities.

Key Risks and Threats

Businesses and governments can certainly identify many risks that threaten their activities. But the complexities of today's cyber threats, security risks, economic recession and political instability are beyond the capabilities of most in-house teams.

Cyber ​​Threats: The infamous worms of the 1990s have evolved into independent AI bots that continually rewrite themselves until they overwhelm IT defenses. The ensuing financial and reputational costs can be catastrophic and embarrassing.

Security Risks: Methods of unauthorized access, theft, espionage or physical harm are constantly changing and evolving. Experience across different sectors, familiarity with historical and current trends, and the ability to identify potential negative outcomes is required.

Recession: Businesses need to effectively monitor market movements and trends to adapt to adverse trading conditions. Quickly identifying economic downturns as well as valuable opportunities can help them thrive even in the face of challenging circumstances.

Political instability: Global monitoring of geopolitical factors, social unrest, local government policies, and environmental hazards is critical to alerting businesses to new threats related to their investments and strategies.

Domestically and internationally, the CIA, MI6, and Mossad track bad actors and unstable situations to mitigate risk, limit damage, and protect government commercial and personnel interests. "

The private sector can no longer afford to be careless. Businesses must remain vigilant with national governments and conduct business with credible and relevant intelligence. Most businesses cannot do this without the help of external and domestic support. "

moral considerations

Many well-known organizations have extensive resources at their disposal, enabling them to conduct their own covert investigations.

Sometimes, however, they violate legal or ethical considerations. Credit Suisse, for example, came under heavy criticism in 2020 for hiring private investigators to spy on its former wealth management executive after CEO Tijan Thiam left for a rival firm. 

There are several other allegations of espionage at Credit Suisse between 2016 and 2019.

What makes a good intelligence professional?

Strong analytical skills, a passion for critical thinking and problem solving are key.

Demonstrated ability to collate and evaluate data from open source and confidential sources, and to communicate this data effectively orally and in writing.

Knowledgeable in counterintelligence, geopolitical analysis, cybersecurity and counterterrorism. 

Skills in search methods and tools for presenting complex data, data mining, monitoring social media, geospatial analysis and secure VPN communications.

External agencies can bring these skills to business or government, or complement the skills of internal teams.

​Today's businesses operate in an increasingly VUCA world; that is, in a world characterized by volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. 

The only viable strategy is to base decisions on ethical and legal information collection and analysis that must be evaluated through the four Vs: volume, variety, velocity, and veracity. 

This is best achieved through dedicated organizational functions and the ideal antidote to the world of VUCA.

A dedicated intelligence team, whether in-house or outsourced, is not an act of corporate vanity. It's a fundamental aspect of a government or corporate risk radar that's proven to protect the bottom line.

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