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Cyber Security National Security

The role of intelligence in maximising security capability

T By Jeff Corkill

38 | Australian Security Magazine

he function and use of intelligence is generally well understood in the military and national security domain space. In the private and corporate security space whilst often referred to, the actual understanding of the functions of intelligence is much more variable. Regardless of whether you operate in the national security or corporate security environments good intelligence is essential to your ability to fully exploit your capabilities and resources. Intelligence is defined in many ways, at its most simplistic intelligence is specifically collected information that has been processed and value added for the purpose of optimising decision making. Intelligence offers decision makers environmental and situational context contributing to their understanding of their circumstances. In addition intelligence helps to make sense of the chaotic, to make sense of incomplete and variable data, what has happened and what might happen as a result. Whilst decisions may be and often are made without supporting intelligence, good intelligence enhances the decision process. In order that security can effectively exploit an intelligence function a number of factors need to be addressed. Firstly what is it that security is required to protect? A singular geographically constrained object is very different to a complex international system of assets. What are the capabilities available to you to execute protection of the company assets

and finally where is the real value held in terms of the assets you need to protect. Think reputation, intellectual property or physical asset. Knowledge of these factors is the responsibility of the security management function. It is this that establishes the scope of intelligence operations. The responsibility of the intelligence function is threat, the intelligence function understanding what needs to be protected and why focuses on identifying the threat. Once identified intelligence monitors threat, works to understand threat capability and intent and most importantly anticipate threat actions directed at the assets requiring protection. This relationship, depicted simplistically, between intelligence and security is the key to the successful protection of assets. Security management defines the scope of the problem, intelligence defines the nature of the threat and advises security management. Security management acting on the intelligence is able to make optimised operational decisions on the allocation and application of resources to mitigate and neutralise threat actions. The key to successful intelligence products is access to information. In an information rich world information in and of its self is not hard to acquire, what is required is specific relevant information. Specific information can be collected from a wide range of information sources, these include; internally owned information resources, external information

Australian Security Magazine, Oct/Nov 2017  

The Australian Security Magazine is the country’s leading government and corporate security magazine. It is published bi-monthly and is dist...