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Flashpoint Intelligence Academy: A Personal Approach to Intelligence

It’s often said in the professional world that something is not “personal,” and that it is “just business.” But to me, business is personal. Furthermore, as an intelligence professional, good intelligence is personal, which is why I joined Flashpoint.

Having spent my career in the government and the intelligence community, as well as at a Fortune 10 company, I understand without hesitation that the fundamental purpose of intelligence is to support decision-making. However, I also understand the struggles of implementing the intelligence lifecycle into practical business use.

Flashpoint has always understood these complexities, which is apparent with the way that it has approached Business Risk Intelligence (BRI). By taking a risk-to-the-business point of view, Flashpoint began communicating beyond the security operations centers (SOC) and security information event management systems (SIEM)s, reaching everyone in the organization who could benefit from our intelligence. Teams benefiting from BRI include those chartered with addressing insider threat, data loss protection, global risk, fraud, anti-money laundering, executive protection, and physical security, to name a few.

BRI is a provable model that clearly demonstrates its value. However, it’s also hard for some organizations to glean the value of BRI immediately or know how to structure a program that embraces BRI.

In order to help those organizations, today, we introduced Flashpoint Intelligence Academy (FIA). Again, this is a personal milestone for me as much as it is a milestone for Flashpoint, because with my diverse intelligence experience, I know we can help other organizations obtain the intelligence they need for leadership decision support through the implementation of BRI.

FIA is a program that helps our customers understand that intelligence is a methodology that is repeatable and scalable and can be used across an organization, from the SOC floor to the C-suite. We created FIA as a means to transfer what we’ve learned from our own experiences in building intelligence programs to our customers in a meaningful way. I came to Flashpoint because I realized that the company was helping its customers, not from the standpoint of just blocking IOCs, but actually supporting customers to reduce their overall risk. And I know FIA is the program to continue to support that goal.

We offer training not only at the tactical level, where customers learn how Flashpoint intelligence is used during incident response and other security functions, but we also provide training to help disparate teams cooperate and learn how to speak in a “unified voice” to their leadership. Our workshops — which cover BRI fundamentals, Insider Threat Programs (ITP), or Physical Security Programs (PSP), are collaborative in nature and we will not preach that there is only one way a customer can “do intelligence.” After all, we know that threats are universal, but the risks our customers face are also unique, and we honor that in our training.

Flashpoint’s Advisory Services team wants our customers to understand that the foundation of an intelligence program can support the decision-making of any team, at any level. While the formation of an intelligence function requires a certain level of collections expertise, such knowledge should not be difficult to apply across an organization to reduce risk and mitigate threats.

  • We support teams who wish to grow beyond the tactical and start supporting their organization’s strategic initiatives.
  • We can support cyber threat teams to help them maintain a true fusion center and need to knows how to communicate to different lines of business.  
  • In other cases, we have customers who are just creating strategic roadmaps for developing their own ITP or PSP programs, and we help them do that by delivering Flashpoint Blueprints, which are handy roadmaps to building your own successful intelligence function.

 

But we don’t just provide the Blueprint and go; our workshops walk customers through their Blueprints and give them key performance milestones and measures of success, as well as help them achieve the tougher aspects of implementation.

So yes, this business is personal. FIA is personal. I came to make our customers’ risk intelligence programs as unique as the risks they face in order to support them in the best way possible. I believe in that mission, just as I believe FIA’s unique and collaborative workshop offerings will only improve the way our customers build intelligence programs to meet their own organization’s specific needs.

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About the author: Brian Mohr

Brian Mohr serves as a Principal Advisor, Business Risk Intelligence, on Flashpoint’s Advisory Services team. Prior to Flashpoint, he spent two years at American Express, as part of its Cyber Threat Intelligence team, helping to build intelligence processing infrastructure and procedures within the fusion center. Before American Express, he spent 15 years as a Counterintelligence/Human Intelligence Specialist for the U.S. Marine Corps, conducting both human intelligence activities in support of U.S. combat units in the Middle East, as well as technical counterintelligence investigations across the Asia-Pacific theater. Brian brings his experience within the intelligence community and private sector to hone utilization of intelligence information collected from the Deep & Dark Web as well as improving the lines of communication necessary for an effective intelligence program.