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SEO Security, Threat Intelligence, and Competition

I was reading about a security course over at Black Hat when it dawned on me… this is just like SEO.

The US Special Operations Forces pioneered a methodology called F3EAD, which enabled amongst other things the ability to take out insurgent and terrorist networks.

Acronyms aside… F3EAD sure sounds cool. And “taking out” insurgents and terrorists is honorable work. But the details of the HOW are just like competing in Internet and Search Marketing. Look how it continues:

This methodology focuses on ‘Finding’ the adversary, ‘Fixing’ their location, ‘Finishing’ their operational utility, and collecting the materials associated with the target.

Just like buying sites in your market vertical. Find the ones worth buying, and investigate the real reasons they rank (to manage risk of purchase and utility). The military will then “finish” them (while we will simply buy them out). The military will then take all their stuff… just like we assume control of the web sites and ancillary support we bought (social media, mailing lists, and the like).

The military doesn’t burn the competitors’ stuff… they do better, just like we do:

This material is then ‘Exploited’ or used to extract operational details of the network they are associated with, ‘Analyzed’ for intelligence which is useful to find other targets, and ‘Disseminated’ for other friendly forces to conduct operations.

Yup. We get access to insider analytics and learnĀ  better how to take over the marketplace. We use our awareness to “find other targets” whether keywords orĀ  sub-niches, or additional competitors we should buy out.

The “disseminating to other friendly forces” is just perfectly similar to the way we start linking to our other owned media, friends, and supporters. To the victor go the spoils… put it all to work!

Here’s the claim, and the pitch for the training course:

Intelligence enables cyber defense teams to look at the cyber battlefield from the 50,000-foot view and piece together all aspects of the cyber adversary’s operations. From what altitude are you viewing the cyber battlefield?

Just like Strategic SEO… the value of the Big Picture when optimizing for Google traffic: not only for volume but for quality, in support of conversion rates and ROI goals.

The rest is also spot on… I think any great strategic SEO should be able to attend this course, keep an SEO perspective throughout the class, and walk away much better equipped to compete in today’s SEO landscape:

In this class, you will learn the importance of Threat Intelligence, how to consume intelligence, and how to integrate it into your enterprise. This integration will focus on real time integration to allow threat intelligence to be processed at ‘line speed’. Students will learn how to leverage intelligence for defense as well as investigative purposes. A key focus will be on identifying intelligence sources and exploiting them to extract intelligence. We will then explore how to enrich this intelligence and feed it into enterprise security solutions to enhance defensive postures. There will be some technical hands-on activities exploring data visualization, forensic analysis, malware analysis, and dynamic memory analysis.

Not only strategically empowering, but it’s a tech course, so automation is key:

Students will leave with a competence in identifying intelligence sources and incorporating them into automated solutions. This will include extensive hands-on work using numerous tools across several different disciplines. While not exhaustive or specifically deep in any one area, students will leave with an arsenal of tools and techniques to apply intelligence to enterprise defense.

I think this highlights one of the major weaknesses of the modern SEO industry marketplace. Our leaders aren’t strong enough in our own field. Our speakers, teachers, and journalists are light in actual effective SEO skills and knowledge, so the SEO publishing doesn’t deliver nearly what this security course promises. But it could, no?

Perhaps a criteria for publishing on SEO or speaking from an SEO podium should be actual combat experience. We just have to figure out how to verify the battle winners from the battle losers, since it’s clear that failed SEOs don’t get killed off.