The OSINT Academy (“The Academy”) is a collaboration between Dakota State University, the United States National Security Agency, The CyberSecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency and Hetherington Group and provides comprehensive cyber intelligence instruction. This course is part of the National Cybersecurity Workforce Development Program funded by the National Security Agency under the NCAE-C-003-2020 - NCAE-C Cyber Curriculum and Research 2020 Program. The Academy aims to augment the U.S. cybersecurity workforce by offering learner-centric, competency-focused education to transitioning military members, first responders, and other interested persons. For additional information about this program, please visit CyberSkills2Work.org

The Academy offers Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) training, education, and tradecraft best practices. OSINT is a unique and specialized form of information curation and analysis of non-protected content. Experts, authors, and established trainers from military, government, and private industry collaborated to establish a benchmark of expertise and an ethical standard to promote growth in industry. The National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity Program has provided generous funding to cover all training costs. Students will accrue no out-of-pocket expenses.

A student of the OSINT Academy will gain a well-balanced education in fundamental research skills, the ability to write proficient OSINT reports, understand the comparative intelligence disciplines, and learn how to present report findings.


Digital security breaches and ransomware attacks have escalated in recent years, and the United States lacks the number of trained analysts and investigators needed to protect our national interests and assets. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that information security analyst positions are expected to grow 33% in the next 10 years–much more quickly than other occupations. The median pay for an Information Security Analyst was $103,590 in 2020. OSINT Academy Training prepares students for the following positions (among others within the Analyze, Collect and Operate, Investigate, and Protect and Defend categories):

• Law Enforcement/Counterintelligence Forensics Analyst

• Cyber Defense Forensics Analyst

• Cyber OperatorCyber Crime Investigator

• Cyber Defense Analyst

• Cyber Incident Responder


Hetherington Group (Hg)

Hg is committed to sharing expertise, so the world can be a safer place. As a leader in open source intelligence gathering, it provides accredited training to industry professionals across the country. Hg offerings include seminar and webinar training in beginner, intermediate, and advanced internet and social media investigations; online ethics and best practices; online monitoring tools; fraud examinations; and open source intelligence searching. Annually, Hg staff train over 8,000 investigators, security professionals, attorneys, accountants, auditors, military intelligence professionals, and federal, state, and local agencies on best practices. Material is timely and actionable. Participants gain useful knowledge which can be used in the course of their own investigations. Hg is an NSA Center of Excellence grant recipient charged with developing and offering training opportunities at the U.S. Department of Defense and academic settings. Hg classes are ACFE, NASBA, DHS, LPF, SHRM, and ASIS approved for continuing professional education credits.

Dakota State University (DSU)

Dakota State University’s Beacom College of Computer and Cyber Sciences offers elite training in the latest tech alongside a stellar foundation of critical thinking, problem-solving, and team-building skills that, unlike the latest device or app, will never be obsolete. That’s just one of the reasons why DSU has Center of Academic Excellence designations from the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This close relationship with the NSA and DHS exemplifies the excellence that DSU has achieved in cyber security education and research. DSU’s Digital Forensics Lab is a regional resource for law enforcement agencies and businesses, who have been victimized by cyber criminals. These agencies and businesses have a need for the extraction, preservation, and analysis of data from digital devices. This data can be comprised from computers, phones, and gaming consoles. DigForCE lab staff also provides training for various organizations.

National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity (NCAE-C)

The National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity (NCAE-C) program is managed by the National Cryptologic School at the National Security Agency. Federal Partners include the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)/National Initiative on Cybersecurity Education (NICE), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Defense Office of the Chief Information Officer (DoD-CIO), and US Cyber Command (CYBERCOM).The mission of the National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity (NCAE) program is to create and manage a collaborative cybersecurity educational program with community colleges, colleges, and universities that

- Establishes standards for cybersecurity curriculum and academic excellence

- Includes competency development among students and faculty

- Values community outreach and leadership in professional development

- Integrates cybersecurity practice within the institution across academic disciplines

- Actively engages in solutions to challenges facing cybersecurity education

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency

The CyberSecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) works with partners to defend against today’s threats and collaborate to build a more secure and resilient infrastructure for the future.

The CISA is the operational lead for federal cybersecurity and the national coordinator for critical infrastructure security and resilience. They are designed for collaboration and partnership. Using a layered mission to reduce risk to the nation’s cyber and physical infrastructure. With a mission to lead the national effort to understand, manage, and reduce risk to our cyber and physical infrastructure and a vision for a secure and resilient critical infrastructure for the American people.

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