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The cyber-security training workshop is focused on helping OSINT analysts develop cyber security awareness to minimize their risks while engaged in online research. The course is delivered by specialist experts in cyber-security and OSINT, all with prior experience of working in the UK government, intelligence agencies and/or military.
An introduction to the course tutors and explanation of the course programme. The trainers will introduce the course content and explain the format for the two days. In the opening session the tutors will also describe how the key points on cyber-security apply to open source research.
Understanding cyber threats: This module will introduce general threats to internet users. This will include the techniques used by different threat actors, how personal computers are compromised, and provide an overview of the different ways a user can be tracked online. This will give trainees an understanding of how they and their organisation might be targeted, as well as the potential repercussions in terms of information loss and reputational damage.
Countermeasures: Following straight on from discussing threats, this module will cover ways to stay safe. It will include tactics that are relevant whenever browsing the internet, alongside specific means of ensuring privacy and safety while conducting sensitive research. OSINT professionals might encounter a variety of risks and vulnerabilities while conducting their online research. In this session, trainees will learn how to employ countermeasures to mitigate the risks they face while conducting OSINT research.
Managing personal information: A significant aspect of the potential cyber threat faced by OSINT professionals comes from the information they give away about themselves and their online activities. This can be either deliberate or inadvertent, yet the majority of people are not fully aware of their personal and organisational information assets. In this session, the course tutors will describe how to map and understand personal information to ensure that it is properly managed and cannot be used by malicious actors. This session will include techniques for keeping personal and work-related internet browsing and research separate, and for managing information on social media and other sites.
Preventing information leakage: An important element of conducting OSINT research is ensuring you are not revealing too much about yourself and your organisation. This module will provide guidance on ensuring that identifying information is not leaked, and means of ensuring that information on users does not leak between research sessions. Building on the previous module, the tutors will demonstrate practical methods to avoid unnecessary information leakage. Trainees will learn about the information trails they leave behind them as they conduct online research and how to use simple tools and techniques to minimise their potential vulnerabilities.
Online anonymity: Taking the concept of preventing information leakage a stage further means exploring the potential for increasing our anonymity online. For OSINT professionals this can reduce the security risks from their research activities and help prevent targeting by malicious actors. In this session, the tutors will explain how online anonymity works, including providing trainees with an understanding of the benefits and limitations of attempting to conduct their online research while remaining anonymous.
Using TOR and other tools: In this practical session the tutors will show trainees how to use TOR and other tools to increase their online security and obfuscate the information they might give away about themselves and their organisation. This session will have a practical focus, with the course tutors walking the trainees through the necessary steps to employ TOR and other tools. This can help OSINT professionals to make their day-to-day online research more secure and less prone to the risks and vulnerabilities outlined during the course. Using these tools can also help them to avoid targeting from malicious threat actors that might seek to target them and the organisation.