Dr. Brian Fuller and students sitting at table in the CIRAT lab, posing for a photo

Center for Intelligence Research Analysis and Training (CIRAT)

The Center for Intelligence Research, Analysis, and Training (CIRAT) provides students with applied experience and resources to hone their skills in the various intelligence, data science, and cybersecurity fields.

Students gain applied real-world competitive intelligence, strategic and tactical intelligence, law enforcement intelligence, data analytics, and cyber security experience, while working with national security, law enforcement, the Department of Defense, competitive intelligence organizations, private sector businesses, and non-governmental organizations. The CIRAT provides these opportunities through contractual product development, direct support, business operations support, and grant projects.

Mission

The CIRAT is a nonprofit arm of պ University whose mission is to develop opportunities with business and government entities through contracts, grants, and academic partnerships that enhance and professionalize the capabilities of Intelligence Studies and Computer Information Science students, making them competitive in the job market upon graduation.

The CIRAT has worked with more than 300 government entities, private sector companies, and nongovernmental organizations on real-world projects, giving nearly 1,300 students marketable applied experience in their fields of study before they graduate. Student analysts gain real-world skills in competitive intelligence, strategic intelligence, tactical intelligence, data analytics, and cyber security by working with the following different types of companies across the nation and internationally:

  • National security organizations
  • U.S. government agencies
  • Private sector businesses
  • Law enforcement groups
  • Competitive intelligence organizations
  • Nongovernmental organizations


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CIRAT Logo

CIRAT analysts are mentored by experienced staff and faculty within the disciplines in which it operates. The CIRAT team is composed of undergraduate and graduate students from various majors across the university, including:

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Students in CIRAT lab
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Students looking at a screen
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Student looks at CIRAT

Guardian Programs and Production Labs

The Center for Intelligence Research, Analysis, and Training consists of three Guardian Programs and three production labs, allowing students to gain experience in different areas of intelligence, data science, or cybersecurity.

Guardian Programs

    Watch is a program that monitors and analyzes a dynamic list of client indicators on a global scale. Some capabilities include geopolitical risk analysis, air and marine monitoring, as well as comprehensive open-source research.

    SAINT works to actively engage the surrounding community and NGO clients to help combat human trafficking, kidnapping, and runaway situations for at-risk persons by directly applying պ University's student talent in cyber security, intelligence analysis, and data science with access to state-of-the-art technology.

    The Rewards for Justice (RFJ) is a DOJ Program that generates useful information that protects Americans and furthers United States national security. The program offers rewards for information on terrorism, foreign-linked interference in U.S. elections, and foreign-directed malicious cyber activities against the U.S.

Production Labs

    The Business Intelligence and Innovation Lab (BI2) team empowers corporate security practitioners and their executives with the ability to ingest information both quickly and efficiently by breaking down said information into manageable and actionable levels. Through the utilization of both open-source intelligence (includes mitigation of all technical and topical risks) and business information analysis, the members of BI2 can create and leverage intelligence-driven security, risk research, and tools to assist corporate security leaders in identifying and communicating information that is relevant to both security and risk management for private sector businesses and industry.

    The Innovation Entente Lab (IEL) is a northwest Pennsylvanian Innovation Beehive Network member focused on providing competitive business intelligence products, data science solutions, and cybersecurity support (free of charge) to small businesses and entrepreneurs in the greater Erie region and northwestern Pennsylvania.

    The Intelligence Fusion Lab (IFL) is a production lab outfitted with the capability to provide strategic and competitive business intelligence through open-source research methods to collect, process, analyze, and distribute professional products to real-world clients. Strategic intelligence services involve the analysis of geopolitical events, adversaries, and courses of action development while defining operational landscapes and offering potential outcomes in months or years to come. Competitive business intelligence focuses on the private sector and offers insight into the competitive landscapes of a business, the competitive advantages and disadvantages, supply risk and security, and the effects of geopolitical-driven issues. The IFL also provides experienced student analysts, data scientists, and cybersecurity majors who work to support daily company intelligence/information operations directly.

Partners

The CIRAT is proud to be partnered with:

Security Executive Council (SEC) The Exodus Road
Federal Resources Corporation Erie Insurance
SCIP Youth Leadership of Erie
Vizru NWPA Innovation Beehive Network
OSINT Foundation National Security Agency
ORAU National Geospatial Intelligence Agency
Abbott United States Space Command
Pfizer Erie County Pennsylvania
Dell Technologies Recorded Future
IBM Authentic8
Aurora WDC Maltego
TC LogiQ Comintelli
i2 Group Babel Street

Member Organizations

The CIRAT is a member of a number of different professional organizations, including:

Intelligence Studies

պ University School of Intelligence Studies, Computing, and Global Politics can provide strategic and competitive business intelligence through open-source research methods to collect, process, analyze, and distribute professional products to its respective clients. Strategic intelligence involves analyzing adversaries and the operational landscape and offers potential outcomes in months or years to come. Competitive business intelligence focuses on the private sector and provides insight into a business's operational environment and competitive advantages and disadvantages. We have developed comprehensive products for the public and private sectors on various issues.

Intelligence Studies Services

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  • Strategic Intelligence

    Analysts use Open-Source Intelligence to assist clients in providing data and products that help decision-makers make timely and informed decisions. Our students identify networks and victims, provide resources for law enforcement, and develop intelligence-based activities to detect and report intelligence information about foreign or domestic developments that could indicate a threat to U.S. security, political or economic interests, or the private sector. Services offered include geospatial events, indications and warnings, monitoring, anti-money laundering, as well as anti-human trafficking.

    Close-up of students sitting at a table at the CIRAT
  • Competitive Business Intelligence

    Students learn about the competitive landscape of a business environment, as well as hone market and social media analysis skills. Using various analytic techniques, they determine the internal capabilities of a business and impact of the external environment. Services include competitive landscape; market analysis; supply chain risk, threat identification, and management; social media analysis; as well as network threats.

    Students typing away at computers in the CIRAT lab
  • Country, Threat, and Vulnerability Assessments

    Country, Threat, and Vulnerability Assessments involve identifying and analyzing the capabilities of malicious factors in and out of the United States (U.S.). Students identify and analyze these factors, learn about country and regional assessments and geospatial intelligence, as well as use and apply various analytic techniques to determine indicators or worse-case scenarios and understand each party’s motives. This includes threats and vulnerabilities to and of companies and principals. Students analyze and forecast what a country or region will look like at a specific time based on factors that affect the operational environment. Services include country/regional assessments and geospatial intelligence.

    CIRAT students looking at a map on a computer
  • Direct Operational Support

    Direct Operational Support provides an agreed-upon, as set by the client, number of analysts to provide support to a company or government entity. The company or agency provides the daily or weekly scope of support required based on their current analytical needs and deliverables. Analysts provide required information, data, or feedback, per reporting guidelines set by the client. The CIRAT ensures that the analysts are provided the technology, tools, and subject matter expertise to fulfill all requirements agreed upon in the statement of work, contract, or work order. This type of support provides the most flexibility in analysts pivoting as a client’s needs or operations pivot.

    Student gathering data using a table and laptop
  • Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT)

    Students utilize their Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT) training and education, produced from publicly and commercially available information and big data (surface, deep, and dark web), including the vast social media digital landscape. It is collected, exploited, and disseminated promptly to an appropriate audience to address a specific requirement. They follow Tier 0, Tier 1, and Tier 2 research, collection methods, and tradecraft, including the capability to properly conduct managed attribution, which is used to mitigate both topical and technical risks. It is only conducted through approved technologies per vendor and university agreements. The CIRAT OSINT Program is structured to take all risks so the client does not have to. Students use their OSINT training and education to exploit social media safely.

    Student holding phone, assessing the vast social media landscape

Computer and Information Science

The rapidly changing environment of the internet leaves businesses, governments, and institutions exposed to various cyber risks. The CIRAT integrates risk management with cyber security to assess and mitigate cyber risks.

Computer and Information Science Services

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  • Data Science Support

    Students serve as key, critical informants for decision-makers in both the public and private sectors. They assess, evaluate, and respond to decision-makers' needs and requirements, collecting, storing, and querying data from various sources.

    Student shaking hand with a decision-maker with a city behind them
  • Cyber Security Support

    Students are introduced to data analysis, cyber threat assessments, and digital forensics, through which they obtain, organize, and transform data for storage, exploration, visualization, and analysis. Students learn to assess and recover stolen digital information from a security breach and trace a breach to its source to prevent further malicious activity. Their work also empowers them to identify potential and future cyber threats and understand how to defend against them. Services include data analysis, cyber threat assessments, and digital forensics.

    Student assessing digital information on a computer in the CIRAT lab
CIRAT Computer lab