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“Warren” was appointed director of global intelligence at a healthcare company, at a time when his company was becoming increasingly high-profile and therefore a potential target for hostile actors.
He needed a deeper understanding of the threats they were facing. But the global intelligence programme was operating with limited resources, including just a handful of team members.
“We spend a lot of time monitoring threats, but when you’re so far in the weeds it’s easy to lose track of what it all means and lose sight of the bigger picture,” he says. “We needed a partnership where we would get a comprehensive look at the threat landscape. And we wanted partners who could catch things we might not, put the threats we identify into context and help us measure whether our judgements and priorities were reasonable.”
“Warren” decided to seek support from an external intelligence provider that could work with them to monitor and analyse threats on a bespoke basis.
His most important criterion was “strong methodology. I wanted to understand our potential partner’s breadth of access, how they evaluate the information they’re getting and how they acknowledge their sources.”
“Warren” chose Dragonfly’s Protective Intelligence service because “as soon as I met the team, I could see they understood intelligence and how it applies to business and took a properly nuanced approach. That’s been borne out in the work we now do together. There is a very high level of professionalism.”
Additionally, he wanted a product that was easy to digest because, while he came from an exceptionally strong intelligence background, he knew he would have to share the assessments with senior stakeholders.
“They need to find value without digging through jargon.”
We started working together in August 2022. The first step was for the Protective Intelligence specialists to prepare an initial threat assessment, giving a full picture of all the threats facing the organisation.
The initial threat assessment allowed them to make more considered decisions about where to direct resources and which threats to monitor, understand and analyse in more depth in future.
“Having that baseline to start with was important,” says “Warren”. “When we talk about change to our threat and risk levels, we know what we’re starting with.”
The Protective Intelligence team also uses that document as the baseline from which we curate the company’s bespoke Protective Intelligence service, monitoring, identifying, analysing and assessing threats on their behalf.
The organisation receives a threat assessment report every month, covering physical protest action in all the locations in which they operate; threats to senior executives; violent extremism and terrorism; cyber threats; and a sector sweep, showing emerging threats against others in their industry.
Any immediate threats which we identify between reports are conveyed in a timely manner through our prioritised alerting system.
The number of significant threats this company faces is currently low. But this makes the regular reports on the contemporary and emerging threats no less valuable to “Warren.”
“We’re unusual in that we don’t have a lot of different threat vectors,” he says. “There may be significant findings in the future, but for now, it’s a good sense-check for what we’re seeing. I want to know that other people are looking at the same questions as us, and that if there are alternate explanations, they’ll bring it to the table. I’m confident that I will get that perspective with Dragonfly.”
“Warren” particularly appreciates the global coverage.
“The reports do a good job of highlighting where certain actors are more active than others across our global footprint. It’s helpful to see where threat levels are changing. Beyond the threat actors, we also get an analysis of nation-state and cyber-related risks. These can be so easily overlooked because we’re worried about the day-to-day, but it’s critical for the big picture.”
Once a month, we have a call to discuss our assessments, answer specific questions and provide any more necessary detail. The feedback helps us optimise intelligence collection priorities going forward.
“I always walk away from those conversations feeling we have a true partnership,” says “Warren”. “It’s important to have that relationship when you trust someone else with your threat monitoring.”
The support has helped “Warren” build out the global intelligence function while continuing to conserve resources. Doing the same work in-house would take two full-time employees dedicated to looking at patterns and trends across the corporate security structure, he estimates.
“But this is a huge task – these employees would have to be well-versed in executive protection, and need to understand threat actors across North America, APAC and Europe. These are specialist areas – it’s nearly impossible.”
Two extra team members would also not provide the same level of spare capacity in case of imminent threats that the organisation receives through access to Dragonfly’s full Protective Intelligence team. (“Dragonfly are a force-multiplier in that respect.”)
“Warren” estimates that the investment for in-house capabilities would be around $300,000-$400,000 with benefits – so by collaborating with Dragonfly, they save upwards of $240,000 each year.
Ultimately, says “Warren”, “You should always double-check your intelligence process and this is an ideal way to benchmark what we’re doing. Having someone else look at our threats from a neutral perspective gives me assurance.
“In fact, using Protective Intelligence has given me peace of mind to know that the programme I’m building is on the right track.”
To find out more about how our Protective Intelligence service can help your company, too, get in touch with our specialists today:
>>> Talk to us about Protective Intelligence <<<
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