The most important requirements of a threat intelligence analyst are researching, communicating, writing, and collaborating as part of a team. But what skills or traits make someone good at these tasks?
Research requires curiosity as well as open-mindedness and is critical to the role of an analyst. They’ll need to be highly competent at finding information which demands that they’re also creative (thinking outside the box), often sceptical (always asking questions) and have keen attention to detail, ensuring that they’re thorough, accurate and focused in their work.
Analysts must be impartial. Regardless of their personal opinion, to be an intelligence analyst, they must also have the ability to remove biases and look purely at the evidence found in their research. Empathy can also be a good trait too. Being able to also put themselves into the shoes of a threat actor can help them to understand and better assess the actions that they may take.
The ability to communicate well and write concisely is also crucial. Threat intelligence analysts need to be able to convey the importance of a threat quickly. They consume so much data and are required to keep track of global developments at all times, so their ability to process large amounts of information and condense it into the need-to-know facts will be very valuable to decision-makers. Intelligence analysts are also often responsible for relaying threat assessments to an audience who has little to no understanding of a topic, so clear and effective communication is a key skill.
And finally, being able to work in a team is paramount to the success of an intelligence analyst. Collaboration allows analysts to draw on each other’s perspectives, experiences and expertise to develop and test their analysis. Especially as the threats become more complex, a variety of expertise can be required to fully understand the risk and its potential impact. Analysts must be open and accepting of each other’s points of view and competency in order to get the most value out of each other’s strengths.
Whilst all of these skills are necessary to be a well-rounded intelligence analyst, it’s important to remember that these are all learned traits and many entry- to mid-level candidates will still be acquiring these skills. Regular training and coaching are also a pivotal part of hiring an intelligence analyst.
Intelligence Fusion’s operational leadership team have extensive backgrounds in intelligence and security, with experience in both the private and public sectors. Having been analysts themselves, they have a solid understanding of what it takes to be an effective threat intelligence analyst as well as the kind of support and upskilling needed from management.