We discuss the security clearance investigation and the importance of protecting classified information.
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My name is Jeff Bennett and I've been working with a security clearance for decades. I understand the system well and want to share with you my knowledge. I've taught courses in college, given security training to corporations, led security teams, and written many books on the subject. I think you will be pleased with this book. If you like it, please provide a review and recommend it to your friends.Support the show
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did introduce each other actually. Well, that's probably true. We just started rambling when we when we first got here. That's right. So for those of us, for those who are listening or viewing, um, who haven't had a clue as to who we actually are. My name is Richard. Leave us back. My company is self protection essentials. And as you heard, I do podcasting as you and I also teach people how to stay safe and how to get to safety if need be, with or without a weapon. Good morning, everybody. And I'm your host. Jeff Bennett, owner and senior editor of Red Bike Publishing. And welcome to our podcast. Yeah, we talk to security experts. And as you heard earlier, we have Richard on our show today and he's conducting an interview me today, and then our next episode will interview him. His specialty is in personal protection, and so most of what is going to talk about is, um, active shooters in church situations or in other public situations, and how you can protect yourself during that active shooting. But today he wants to interview me about security clearances and how to protect classified information So that's what we're going to talk about today. Tune in for the next podcast where we talk about personal protection in public places. So how did you get into what you do describe a little bit better for me? It sounds like you're into software predominantly that, plus the books. Yes. So, actually, what? What we do is just imagine a, um, just a normal commercial corporation that wants to protect its proprietary information. It could be reside in the form of a person's knowledge or in documentation that is stored in a library or on a computer. This same thing is, um when the government of Program office has a system or something, or a service that they want from a defense contractor. Sh um, They have an agreement in place where we will give you the tools and resources to use to do your job. And the contractor's agreement is OK. We'll take these tools and resources and protect them according to your guidance. And so, for the defense contractors, it's called the National Industrial Security Program operating manual. And yeah, so they got it. So they've got their guidance from the government from like, that's the department defense level guidance, and it goes straight to the it's applies across the board and department defense information that's marked secret, confidential or top secret will be protected in this manner, and it specifies. And so there is a discipline of security professionals who work in that role. And so I've always, you know, um, had in the Army and in that security role. I've had the opportunity to work in that role. And so what I've been doing lately the past few years is writing books that reflect the Miss Bum Nash Industrial Security program operate manual writing books and training to help these professionals do their job better. And, um, some of the books I've written are D. O D. Security Clearance and Contracts guidebook and explains how to protect classified information from the time you receive it to the time you get rid of it. And then I have a new book called The Insider's Guide to Security Clearances, and it's geared towards people who might be in college or young in their career. Who might want to say, Hey, I'm an engineer or I am a administrative person or finance person or even perform janitorial services, and I would like to get a security clearance so I can work in the defence sector. So what's involved in getting a security clearance? The security clearance? That's a good question, because it is hard to for the general public to get that information. But what is involved in getting security clearance is the the easiest thing way to give security clearance is apply for and get a job that requires a security clearance. So a security clearance is directly linked to a security contract. So a A business can get a security clearance. They they need to be sponsored by a defense contractor that has a security clearance as a subcontractor, or contract it directly to the government who needs their services so that sponsorship gives that business an opportunity to get that security clearance. And then the employees that work for that business who will perform in that contract are eligible for security clearances. And so, once, Um, each one of these security clearances requires a background investigation, and the government performs that investigation. Okay, A bit more intensive investigation than getting a concealed weapons permit, I assume. Probably just a little bit you? Yeah, they do background checks. They check where you've lived it, verify your citizenship, and the way might call it a judge or a decision maker. But in this particular instance, they're called adjudicator's. And there's 13 criteria that they look at it at in a background investigation. So you look at the whole person and, like, who is Geoff Bennett and is he trustworthy? And so they go through my background and look for that. And then they're looking for what? How does my allegiance to United States look, Am I Am I under, um, influence for foreign people? For example, do I have, you know, investments overseas? I own a foreign company, Have a run for government. Do I have a spouse? Stent? That is it for in a Zanon US citizen, for example. Then you look at undrawn record alcohol records, sexual behavior. Um, uh, and there's 13 of them, and so So it looks at the whole person not just knowing if you if you have a red mark, they're gonna look at you and say, Hey, um, how long ago did this happen? Was it a one time occurrence? And so there are some things that you can do as an individual to what they call adjudicate any any information that might prevent you from getting a clear It You made mention one of the considerations was whether you have a ran for office and win a foreign country and asked what that was. A disqualifier is definitely this quote. I want the mayor. Sorry, you can't get there, but, uh, so interesting point. A lot of people have this question as well. Um, how did so and so ever get to become a president? Because their path so terrible, you just pick a name and then, um, they, uh, the president doesn't go through that process there there provided access to classified information based on their position. Okay. So unless they have been like prior military or prior had a security clearance, they will most likely not go through that adjudication process. Their position as an elected official. They're the highest level of of oversight as far as classified information. So because of their job, they need to have access to make their decisions they need to make. So, typically do political officials have to go through and get background checks. If, unless there must assume they're not on a committee or anything like that. Ah, do you? All of our elected officials go through that except necessary for the president. Or can you actually find a path from almost nobody up the tree? Where? OK, now we're gonna run this guy for office and see if you can make it. Is it possible to get that far up without somebody doing a background check? Yes. So are we talking about the presidential level or, um, what was I thinking out? I'm thinking outside the box like these. What if kind of things. So let's say there was a Manchurian kind of candidate out there on some Somebody is basically a sleeper. They decided. Long term, we're gonna 30 years from now. Try and put our man in the office, but we have to keep him below the radar the entire time till he gets there. Um, can you pull that off, or is there some kind of check in place where you'll be caught along the way? So, yeah, that's a good What if question I can tell you what happens. What I can speak intelligently about is is not with a lunch officials, because I really don't know how it all works, like with senators and congressmen, and I know sometimes they have to have clearances to serve on some committees they are in. And I just know that the president, a za ah matter of trivia does not have to go that process. But, um, going back to how a civilian gets a contract of security clearance to work on a classified contract, that scrutiny that they go through to get the contract I'm the security clearance applies throughout their security clearance career, so depend on clearance level. They get reinvestigated while they have their clearance. They're going through something called continuous evaluation and and there's responsibilities to report yourself. If you have adverse information against, you know, like, for example, that you go suddenly into debt or you're not able to make payments on your house or you suddenly become under incredible amounts of affluence, you get money. So these air indicators, but so we're under self evaluation and we're under responsibility, evaluate our peers. And so if anybody displays, you know, like this characteristics you're looking for in an active shooter or some type of threat, we're looking for an insider threat to. So we've been discussing the adjudicated guidelines and red flags that come up. Sometimes those red flags can come up before you ever get your security clearance. And sometimes something can happen while you're in possession of the security clearance. Sometimes it happens in spite of living a life of Bubba approach. You've had an event that could put your security clearance in jeopardy. You know, you need to talk to somebody about it. But before you discuss it with anyone at work or even with your facility security officer, contact our sponsor, Ron Sixtus. Call him immediately for help, and you can self report in the best possible way you can reach Ron at 25671302 to 1. You can email him at our Sixtus. That's R S y k s t u s at B o in de in b o t s dot com or visit his website at www dot security clearance defense lawyer dot com. We're looking forward that people have authorization and access and pretty much a trusted employee. We're looking for the immune or they're gonna be the next term Snow Eric Snowden and start downloading or Chelsea Manning or a reality winner and start downloading classified information observed and put them on wiki leaks. Chelsea. Oh, what Chelsea change your name? She was pardoned. I he was a soldier. United States Army, a belief. And he he revealed classified videos. And so he went to prison and then he had a, um I guess they call a gender reassignment. He was in prison. It's so now that now he's Chelsea Manning and he got, I believe, a pardon from President Obama. A pardon or he's out of jail now. And so he was convicted on espionage charges. I don't know exactly what they were, but yet he did, I believe, upload classified videos onto YouTube or somewhere Wiki leaks or somewhere so so people can see them. And And so So he was. Um, most of these folks are motivated by idealism. Um, not necessarily financial gain. You know, if you don't like you suddenly you don't like what your country stands for. And so or this stuff shouldn't be classified or we're doing bad things at war. I'm gonna show the world. And so they've got some kind of idealism in the heart So that's one of the hardest things to actually counter is because you don't know what's in people's hearts. So when you have to look for is their behavior like you're trying to dio a zit, protect as, ah, that's physical security? Or are person who protects people or teaches them to protect themselves? So I'm trying to do that. I'm trying to protect classified information and teach people how to do that. So other than the typical email that I mean, all of us, we've received emails from Rwanda or whatever in this banker over in the islands. Chris. Yes, and ah So other than stuff like that, what do we need to look out for? Goodness is the right thing that's more subtle than then we're obviously aware of. I mean, everybody's with almost everybody is aware that they're not a winner. They don't have a relative or a friend who's gonna give $1000 if they give him 15. Yeah, so there are a lot of scans going on on the Internet, and this is a little bit outside of my area of expertise, but yeah, if something is too good to be true, it probably is way. Always tell like the best thing I learned in security training once on that realm, if something is too good to be true. You know, if you are here in the United States and you go out and party or go to clubs or you try to attract some of the opposite sex and it doesn't work, but you go overseas and suddenly you're famous and everybody wants to be around you, you gotta look at why is it because of your security clearance? Because they want something from U. S. O. If you're not a superstar, But here, you've got a question. Why your superstar over there? It's the same thing. If you get these e mails where somebody is trying to trick you, um, they want something that you have and one of the things that is the scariest thing is the world is when you get that email and the subject line is your computer password. Have you seen that one? I haven't seen that one. Okay, they go up there in the subject line is your password that you used to get on to pay power, whatever. They've got it. And it says, Hey, I know what you've been doing. I turned on your camera and I watch What you doing when you're surfing the Internet, a bad boy, You know, they've got this whole thing. Yeah, in this high pressure, um, coercion. And chances are your password was was released, um, by a data breach at these companies who get breached all time. Totally legitimate password. Bad guy stole it, and they go data mining. And they sent out thousands and hundreds of thousands of e mails hoping to find some poor soul. And, um, I think that they would be more successful. Okay, they're not. They want Bitcoin who knows how to do that. And the other one is your best friend. Um, send you an email and says, Hey, I need your help. I'm stuck. And I need you to go get a gift card for me from Wal Mart and send it to me. Just give me the numbers and helped me out. So Well, I want to tell you about a brand new sponsor to d o d Secure. And they're an actual Department of Defense contractor. They are called mission driven research and a core values are to go the extra mile for their customers, grow their employees personally and professionally and give general sleep to their community. And I can tell you they are very generous. They sponsor a lot of races. They get people off the couch to run, and they send people on mission trips. They do a lot of their mission. Driven Research Inc is a growing company that provides technical services to U. S federal government. The goal of MDR is to continuously improve performance in three core values. And so I read to those core values off. If you want to get in touch with mission driven research, you could go their website at Mission Driven research dot com. Welcome aboard, guys. We're glad to have you. So those those are very real because they spoof actually e mails that of people that you know. Yeah, I actually ran into somebody that got stung with that one. Oh, it hurts. Yeah, and you know there's no recourse for it either. No, there's not. It's gone. It's gone. I mean, my bank account's been hacked. It's, uh, thank God that DB banks put your money back. But sometimes my experience is when when my bank account got hacked. They were fine with returning my money. But there's really doesn't seem to be an investigation going on to determine how it happened. Why it happened. Can we prevent it was probably more expensive than the money I lost. Expensive to them or teeth or to you, To them. E. I was thinking, I know why they're probably not investigating anything it released, not at the level where you would be aware off. And that's because they don't need the bad press. Yeah, that's true. And you know what we've learned is that you, um, collaboration is really good. If if these companies and they do something, do we just don't know it, we don't see it. But I know that there are industry partners who collaborate when they get hit with a cyber attack and they work together to help. These are these are companies that compete against each other. But they get together and see that good and analyzing the cyber attacks and helping the company that just got attacked. And so you're right. People are worried about the shame and a possible business impact of getting hacked, but that impact never last more than a week way still do business with Target and T. J. Maxx and Visa and yeah, yeah, Target got hacked number of years ago. Lost wasn't millions of credit card pieces of information. And yes, I still buy there. Yeah, on a cash only basis government thes air being hacked and personal information is being taken. You know, I mean the best of the best Getting acted happens. So let's admit it. Let's work together and see how we can minute mitigate this risk and just protect ourselves as a nation anyway way. Well, thanks so much for joining us for this episode of D. O D. Secure. We hope you enjoyed learning a little bit more about protecting classified information, how the clearance investigation works and a little bit about cybersecurity again. Join us next time that we have Rick on. We're going to be talking about self protection, and we invite you to send your questions to editor at red bike publishing dot com or even visit red bike publishing dot com r E D B i. K e publishing dot com for our security training Resource is and books until next time, be safe out there