Next up in our Spotlight series is David Graham, a truly fascinating person who is a wealth of information about intelligence and security. There’s something about David – you just trust him because he is so knowledgeable and he can talk for hours about things that most people couldn’t even imagine. We were lucky enough to work with David on his website, and in the process we learned a lot of cool stuff. We thought you might find him interesting as well.
Years in this industry: 30
What is Intelligence? How does it relate to my business?
Intelligence is a process of identifying, collecting, and analyzing information, allowing the client to make an informed decision based on accurate, unbiased information.
What inspired you to pursue a career in intelligence?
I’m naturally inquisitive and I’m always searching for answers and developing solutions to problems.
What do you like most about the intelligence industry and community?
The industry is consistently changing, whether it’s advances in technology or the motives of individuals. These changes keep the field of intelligence interesting and constantly evolving.
What challenges does your industry face?
I think the biggest challenge is keeping information secure. Whether it’s cyber-security, physical security or protecting intellectual property, each of these requires a different method of detection and prevention.
How do you measure your success?
I measure success by providing a client with the information they requested and/or providing a solution to an issue they may be dealing with.
What do you think is the biggest mistake companies make when working in intelligence?
The biggest mistake I see companies make is failing to recognize or admitting they have a problem. They should hire an outside source to come in and assist in gathering information – intelligence – and formulating a solution. Relying on internal sources to gather information can be problematic for many reasons, including lack of expertise, lack of experience, or company or personal loyalties.
What is the most interesting trend you see in intelligence?
The most interesting trend I see is the speed at which technology is advancing. These advances create challenges for the security expert and require him or her to stay up to date on current threats, methods, and techniques to combat these threats.
How has technology helped/hindered your work?
Technology has hindered this field because: Hidden audio and video recorders can be purchased on the internet for less than $20.00. The proliferation of these inexpensive, readily accessible devices has made it difficult to protect the information of individuals and companies.
Helped: From camera systems to cyber-security protocols to technical surveillance counter-measures, technology has helped the industry with the advanced equipment development designed to combat intrusions and information leakage.
How do you stay on top of your field?
The only way to stay on top of this field is through continuing education and networking with other subject matter experts.
If you could give one piece of advice to Tampa Bay companies, what would it be?
Prevention and protection. Do not wait to call on an expert to assist in preventing the loss of information and develop a solid plan to protect you, your employees, your facilities, and your information.
What are your hobbies?
Having grown up on Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, I love to fish and go boating with my family. I’m an avid hunter and outdoorsman. I also enjoy training dogs for obedience and bird hunting.
Last book you read?
“The Wizards of Langley” Inside the CIA’s Directorate of Science and Technology by Jeffrey T. Richelson.
I’ve been asked why I read non-fiction technical “espionage” books. Prior to retiring from a major law enforcement agency, I was assigned as a technical surveillance detective, responsible for all aspects of technical and physical surveillance and tasked with developing surveillance techniques and procedures to detect and record criminal activity. I am a firm believer of “not reinventing the wheel,” so I became a student of the methodologies and techniques of the CIA and KGB on how to gather intelligence and then apply them to modern law enforcement. Along with learning “how” to gather intelligence, I learned how to protect and prevent the loss of intelligence. Even though I’m no longer in law enforcement, I am still a student of legally obtaining and preventing the loss of intelligence and applying these principles in the private sector.