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Jane’s Open Source Intelligence Training

Jane’s as an organisation provides open source intelligence to defence and security agencies and departments all around the world. A lot of those clients come to us and ask us, how can we help them to improve the way that they produce their own in-house open source intelligence, and that’s where our OSINT optimisation program and service comes in. We work with those clients to understand how they produce information or how they really take in information and then produce intelligence from it, and we help them improve the processes that they work with, the skills of the people in their teams, and also sometimes look at the tools that they’re using and think about whether they can use better tools for their open source intelligence. So, a big part of it is training and we help them with a lot of the training needs that they have in open source intelligence.

When we provide training for OSINT professionals what we do is we have two different types of training. First we’ve got a program of open registration courses that we host and those are really for attendees from any organisation to be able to come and do the course, in one of our offices usually, and it’s a great opportunity for them to network with other OSINT professionals from around the world, and they get to find out more about how other people are doing open source intelligence.

Within those courses we really try to provide them the essentials of what they need to know to make their open source intelligence better, and to make sure they’re covering all the bases. We also within that program provide training on social media intelligence as well, that’s been an area that’s been growing in popularity and demand for us over the last few years. So that’s one side of our training. The other side is our customised training program, and that’s where we work with individual organisations and we go in and deliver training, usually on-site, to really understand how they do open source intelligence, so that we can work with them to provide really tailored training that targets their specific needs, to help in their analysts produce better open source intelligence that drives improved decision-making within the organisation at a more strategic level. Within that customised training program we also have a lot of demand for specialist training courses, and we’ve started over the past few years incorporating a wider variety of courses that we offer to our customers, including things like cyber security for their OSINT analysts, which is really important for anyone who’s spending a lot of time online, and things like geospatial intelligence, or more investigative skills that can be used for open source intelligence.

In the past our training courses have traditionally appealed to defence and security organisations around the world, but in recent years what we found is actually the appeal has really broadened out and we’re now getting attendees from a much wider variety of public and private sector organisations, again still from all around the world, but it’s really the appeal of the courses is for anyone who is involved in online research and analysing information predominantly that they gather online, the courses all can be beneficial for them in that they provide them different types of skills that they might not have already, a different process that perhaps they haven’t applied in a more structured way to things that they’ve been doing perhaps more intuitively or naturally, but also it really provides them reassurance that they are doing things in the most rigorous way possible. So we’ve seen our courses appealing to a much broader audience than we had done in the past I think that’s going to continue over the next few years as well.

Our OSINT training provides a lot of benefits to the people that we train, to our attendees and the organisations that we go in and deliver training to. Primarily what it gives them is a process that goes from the initial stage of receiving an intelligence requirement or generating a requirement themselves, right through to the final part of the process which is to produce an OSINT briefing, or a report for their internal or external customers. So we work through each part the process, from planning how they’re going to deal with that requirement, to collecting their information, to analysing it, to putting it into an impactful output. And what we do is we go beyond looking at just the information collection part, and what we try to do is say to people you know actually where you’ll derive a lot of the benefit from our training and from open source intelligence it’s actually in thinking about what you do with that information. How do you analyse it, how do you use it to answer and address specific questions that your organisation or your internal customers may have, and so that’s really where the benefit lies. In addition for the organisation’s, what we find is that it gives them reassurance that they’ll know that their analysts aren’t going to be missing anything when they’re conducting their research, and when they’re producing analysis that they are doing it in a really rigorous way that uses structured methods and techniques that they can apply to help them understand that information.

In terms of our team as well one of the most important points in our training that we really emphasise is making sure it’s very practical, and it’s not just theoretical, and that’s really brought home by the fact that our training team is consist of people who are not solely trainers, we’re all practitioners, we’re all OSINT practitioners. So we’re producing open source intelligence for our consulting customers on a weekly basis. And those are experiences and knowledge and skills that we apply to solving challenges we find in our work, those are things we bring into our training as well and we provide to our attendees. So in open-source intelligence, what we’ve seen in the last couple of years, and what we’re still seeing now, and we’ll probably continue to see in the future, is a trend towards information becoming easier to find in many ways in that there’s the quantity is increasing, but at the same point at the same time what we’re finding is that the quality isn’t increasing at the same rate, and so actually the quality of the information that’s out there is not as good as perhaps people think it might be.

So it really places a premium on the skills of OSINT analysts to really sift out all of the noise and all of the poor quality information the duplicate information they don’t need, to find the information that’s actually most beneficial and useful for them. And in tuning out that noise to find the really useful information what they also need to think about is how they use it, and it places a real premium on their analysis skills and how they turn that raw information into open source intelligence. So it’s about that transformation part of the process, and I think that’s a trend we’re going to see increasingly being more and more important for our attendees on our training courses, and it’s something we’re trying to emphasise more and more in the training that we deliver.

At the same time, and one of the big challenges people are facing I think will continue to face, particularly when they’re dealing with online information, is this widespread dissemination of misleading or deliberately deceptive information which they’re having to try and sift out to find out what is true what isn’t, what’s reliable what isn’t reliable, so they’re just making sure they use the reliable information. And that’s that’s really a key part of our training and something we really focus on and I think we’ll continue to see people wanting more of that in the future.

I’m simplifying hugely there, there’s a lot more to it. I think if you want to find out, you’ll have to come on one of our courses. .

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