Intelligence programs are an important component of holistic security and risk management. We are often approached by people looking to get into the field but unsure of where to begin. Many who are looking for intelligence positions need guidance on what job title correlates to the type of position they are seeking. To assist, Concentric has created a guide of sorts to explain some common terms and what you can expect for different types of positions. If you are looking to begin or continue a career in this fast-paced industry, click here to learn more about our open positions.
Intelligence Positions Terms to Know
What is OSINT?
Many of our intelligence positions reference open source intelligence, or OSINT. Open source intelligence is the practice of collecting information from publicly available sources. OSINT is generally derived from social media platforms, news outlets, open access journals, or other data and information available to the general public. Our intelligence team members use core skills of research, analysis, critical thinking, and communication to search publicly-available information to produce intelligence products. These products help our clients to assess risk, respond to threats, and pursue mitigation measures.
What is a POI?
In a corporate security context, a POI, or Person of Interest, is an individual who may present a threat to a company’s personnel, assets, or reputation. From a law enforcement perspective, a POI may refer to an individual suspected of criminal activity but who has not been arrested or formally accused of a crime. Our intelligence teams identify individuals who have harmed, or are planning to harm, a client. Using OSINT methodologies and practices, analysts can collaborate with law enforcement to provide critical information on POIs to identify threatening behavior or inappropriate fixations in order to mitigate risk.
Surface, Deep, and Dark Web: What’s the Difference?
The Surface Web, or Indexed Web, is the web most people consider as the Internet. The Surface Web exists within the World Wide Web, is available to the general public, and is searchable with standard web search engines like Google or Yahoo.
The Deep Web is World Wide Web content that is not indexed or searchable by standard search engines. Users must log in or have the specific URL or IP address to access specific websites or services. To access the Deep Web, users may need a special browser, e.g., TOR or Freenet. Some Deep Web pages do not use common top-level domains like .com, .gov, or .edu.
The Dark Web is a subset of the Deep Web that is intentionally hidden from normal search engines and requires a specific browser to access. Dark Web users need special software, configurations, authorization, or equipment to gain access, such as I2P (a fully encrypted private network layer). The Dark Web is used to keep internet activity anonymous, private, or untraceable.
How do I get experience for intelligence positions?
While some schools provide OSINT-specific training, many common jobs provide the same core skills needed for intelligence work. Journalists, lawyers, social workers, writers, and project managers are just some examples that include similar experience in research, writing, and communication. Other than experience, Master’s degrees are another way to demonstrate familiarity with research and effective communication but are not always required. Intelligence positions require a diverse range of skill sets and training, including geopolitical experience, military service, public speaking, data management, language abilities, or regional expertise. In an ever-shifting threat environment, intelligence work can be a rewarding field to use your skills to identify and mitigate risk for companies and families.
Common Intelligence Positions:
The Global Security Operations Specialist uses intelligence sources, internal and external tools, and open-source media to identify threats and provide timely and accurate information to company leadership. The Specialist will identify and monitor viable hazards to employees, operations, and global assets, and report these threats to the company’s leadership team, 24/7. The GSOC will use a set of emergency response procedures to manage critical incidents, provide clear assessment and reporting of the situation, and determine appropriate actions to resolve the incident.
Geopolitical Intelligence Analyst
The Geopolitical Intelligence Analyst is focused on regional assessments of potentially imminent local, domestic, and international security situations, sensitive developments, and complex threat issues. Speaking multiple languages and/or international experience are assets while using open source information, maps, and international social media to track emerging events and develop risk profiles of specific areas.
Dark Web Analyst
A Dark Web Analyst has the technical skill to navigate the Deep and Dark Web (DDW) to assess how risks might impact our clients’ operations and safety. This role may specifically monitor for threats to principals, activities of threat actors, or the disclosure of sensitive information. Analysts must be familiar with DDW intelligence tools and techniques and look for new ways to enhance our capabilities to keep our team on the cutting edge of the industry.
The Investigative Analyst reviews open-source information to identify potential threats and to mitigate risk. This role typically involves producing threat assessments and collaborating with business partners to identify and respond to specific threats. Using critical thinking skills, the Investigative Analyst produces clear and concise intelligence reports, threat assessments, and other investigative products using information from a variety of sources.
Protective Intelligence Analyst
The Protective Intelligence Analyst supports intelligence-related tasks including investigations, the assessment of risks and threats, social media monitoring, and analyzing the risk profile of specific individuals. This role provides analytical expertise to support a variety of cross-functional corporate clients for threat assessment and intelligence purposes, with the goal of enabling the company’s strategic goals and objectives. The Protective Intelligence Analyst partners closely with executive protection, investigations, intelligence, and other security teams.
An Intelligence Analyst collects data by systemically monitoring online open sources and media channels for potential and known threats. This role requires excellent analytical and communication skills to gather information and analyze a wide range of risks and how those risks might impact clients’ operations. Intelligence Analysts assimilate intelligence content from numerous sources into products that effectively communicate risk and opportunity. They use open source intelligence techniques and develop new ways to find and summarize information. Their findings are used to inform operations, business decisions, and contingency planning.
Lead Intelligence Analyst
A Lead Intelligence Analyst helps to coordinate and guide Analyst work into cohesive themes and centralized products. This role provides rapid assessments of potentially imminent local, domestic, and international security situations, sensitive developments, and complex threat issues. In addition to being an excellent communicator, a team Lead will escalate urgent developments and review themes in open-source data collection to track trends. In some instances, Lead Analysts manage a team of other analysts to enable mission synchrony.
Senior Intelligence Analyst
A Senior Intelligence Analyst is responsible for delivering intelligence services to a wide range of clients. In day-to-day activities, a Senior Analyst could lead a holistic risk assessment for a high net worth family, design an open source monitoring collection plan to discover threats against a private company’s executives, or consult with a non-profit client on risks during upcoming travel. As a Senior team member, this position will conduct risk assessments for complex client situations, including defining intelligence requirements, conducting data analysis, developing risk methodology and recommendations, writing reports, and briefing findings to clients. Risk assessments will be related to domestic and international security risks and challenges, such as political movements, terrorism, crime, espionage, public health, information security, weather, government corruption, or poor infrastructure. Senior analysts are also usually in charge of a team of analysts and share an oversight and management role within their team.
An Investigative Manager manages and directs background investigations conducted by investigators. They conduct and compile personal and professional background investigations and reinvestigations for potential staff members and clients by interviewing employers, co-workers, neighbors, and personal references; conducting online court and criminal records searches; and preparing reports on findings.
Director of Risk Analysis
The Director of Risk Analysis is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of intelligence and analysis functions. This includes managing a team of intelligence analysts, building team processes and policies, and overseeing collection strategies, intelligence products, and daily workflows on the team. The Director of Risk Analysis effectively summarizes information in preparation for client engagement and guides relationship management, business development, proposal writing, and other strategic priorities within the company.
If you are looking to begin or continue a career in this fast-paced industry, click here to learn more about our open positions.