Think of security as a three-legged stool. If you remove any of the legs the stool will not stand. The legs of the security stool are a motivated opportunist, access to an asset, and the perception by the opportunist that they have a “good” chance of being successful in gaining the asset. As a security consulting firm, Risk Management Associates, Inc. is too often brought in after the gap in security (access to an asset) has been exploited and the resulting damage has been noticed. That is important because it means that not only has the company been victimized and assets lost, but the losses can go back months and even years undetected. This is true whether we are talking about physical or intellectual assets.
RMA has been providing security consulting services to the federal government for over ten years and to commercial customers for twenty-four years. In 1988 when the business began, most assets were hard assets or company intelligence that could be secured in a safe/vault or behind a series of physical barriers. Access to these assets could easily be restricted. That is not the case in 2012, and it hasn’t been for a decade. Today, critical national and commercial assets include intellectual assets that can be accessed from almost anywhere in the world through the Internet. The key to protecting those assets is awareness. Those of us who are industrial contractors to the federal government are held to a higher standard of awareness and training of both cleared and uncleared employees, but we think that SSA Tim Stranahan’s message is a good reminder to all of us.
Message from Tim Stranahan
Happy Holidays from all the members of the North Carolina Intelligence Community! This past year has been incredible for Counterintelligence efforts in North Carolina. Your vigilance has helped advance covert intelligence operations which continue to truly make a difference globally. Thank you for your calls and emails and please keep them coming!
Though everyone is certainly being targeted for exploit, I continue to be concerned about the amount of counterintelligence work we have in the Raleigh-Fayetteville area. Throughout 2011, we experienced significant financial losses attributed to Economic Espionage and the theft of our Intellectual Property. Predominantly, these losses have been the result of intrusions against company networks where foreign actors have exfiltrated sensitive and valuable information. I am certain you will continue to be targeted throughout this next year and encourage you to take advantage of the talented IC partners who are dedicated to help protect you, your employees, and your information and technologies.
I am convinced CI-Cyber investigations will accelerate in 2012 and reach well beyond our CDCs and impact our R&D and critical infrastructure. It is imperative we protect our technological edge and recognize threats to our business and employees. Please engage your IT staff and understand your vulnerabilities and have a crisis management response plan in place in the event you are a victim. As mentioned by the FBI Assistant Director for Cyber: “It’s easy for somebody, given enough time, energy, and funding, to penetrate any system that is accessible from the Internet. There really is no secure system out there.”
Not certain where to start? Talk to our RED DART team! (see below)
Select highlights for 2011:
- Espionage subject sentenced to 34 years in prison: Bryan Minkyu Martin, a U.S. Navy intelligence specialist assigned to Ft. Bragg was convicted of attempted espionage for trying to sell classified information to an FBI undercover. He was sentenced to 34 years in prison and received a dishonorable discharge. This highly sophisticated operation was completed in less than 40 days! Great joint operation by your NC Intelligence Community partners!
- The NC IC partners have started the RED DART initiative. This joint effort is led by NCIS and pulls talent from DSS, AFOSI, Army 902nd, HSI, and the FBI. RED DART is designed to help educate companies in and around the Raleigh-Fayetteville area regarding foreign intelligence threats. Please contact me if you would like your company to have representatives from the RED DART team stop by.
- Cleared Defense Contractor conference-March 2012 (Day to be set): The FBI and the NC Intelligence Community will host a Cleared Defense Contractor conference in Fayetteville which will focus on Counterintelligence and Cyber. Expect additional details mid-January along with agenda. Those attending will need an active security clearance. Please contact me if you have any questions or suggestions.
- New FBI agent to be assigned to Fayetteville: SA Courtney McMillan will arrive on January 3rd and her priority will be to establish a relationship with folks around the Fayetteville area to ensure you get the intelligence information you need to protect those technologies which make the U.S. great! Look for her to reach out to you soon!
SSA Timothy M. Stranahan
FBI, Counterintelligence Program
Plan. Protect. Prosper.
Protus3 specializes in security system design, security consulting, corporate investigations and other investigative services. Partner with Protus3 and we will examine each situation to identify threats and develop solutions for your best outcome.