SpyCast 5.3.22
Ep 537 | 5.3.22

“CIA Case Officer, Cyber Entrepreneur, Burning Man Volunteer” – with Mike Susong (Part 2 of 2)

Show Notes


Mike Susong (Website; LinkedIn) joins Andrew (Twitter; LinkedIn) to discuss CIA, cyber and corporate intelligence. He won the Intelligence Star for Heroism in the Field.

What You’ll Learn


  • Applying aspects of Mike’s training to the private sector using “competitive intelligence” 
  • Mike’s role co-founding a pioneering company in the field of Cyber Threat Intelligence (CTI)
  • The role of technology in enabling and constraining espionage 
  • What drew Mike to an annual free-thinking social experiment in the desert 


  • Entrepreneurial thinking as unwavering belief in an idea
  • The difference between working for Uncle Sam and working for corporate America

And much, much more…

Episode Notes

Andrew sat down with W. Michael Susong for a two-parter to discuss CIA, cyber and Burning Man. Last week in PART I we looked at Mike’s time working for the CIA and in the domain of human intelligence, while in PART II we will focus on his time as an entrepreneur and intelligence leader in the cyber threat intelligence and competitive intelligence spaces.

Mike was a U.S. Army major who completed multiple combat tours and a CIA case officer. He went into the private sector and created competitive intelligence programs for Fujitsu and Ernst & Young, and he was a pioneer in the field of cyber threat intelligence or CTI, creating the first programs for Visa and Pacific Gas & Electric. He is both CISM and CPP certified and a Black Rock Ranger.


Black Rock Rangers are volunteers at Burning Man, an annual event that focuses on artistic expression, spiritual regeneration, and radical inclusion. It culminates in the symbolic burning of a large wooden effigy, known as “The Man.” If you want to explore the event or the ideas that propel it, including its roots in the Californian counter-culture and its Silicon Valley connections, you can do so here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Quote of the Week

"I worked with, with two corporations to build competitive intelligence programs, for them…I want to emphasize that's the ethical application of certain aspects of the intelligence cycle, to support a business decision. So, this was more on the analysis piece, some on collection, and certainly when you start to speak of collection within a private sector environment, you have to have clear, bright lines aloud about what is and is not acceptable." – Mike Susong


Headline Resource




PBR (Projects, Briefs, Reports) 




Primary Sources

*Wildcard Resource*