Performing well in an undercover situation takes three things: an understanding of basic spy craft and counterintelligence best practices, a feel for the environment where the surveillance is being conducted, and a great backup team at the shop.
There are definitely examples of national security violations and historical moments internationally which have been brought about by people who didn’t heed the teachings of the masters.
Basic spy craft
If you need to learn how to conduct yourself professionally and make use of the major techniques of spy craft, you may not be ready to take on an undercover investigation. However, you can read more about what you should know at TheSpyStore.com.
Counterintelligence best practices
Driving home the need for good habits, FBI is a good source for the news and updates in technology when it comes to the best way for counter- intelligence pros to protect themselves and get the best results from their work.
Getting a feel for the environment
This is possibly the hardest and most important thing that has to be done in order for an undercover operation to go smoothly. It’s akin to the work a casting director does.
The plant has to be aware of the political, social and professional mores of the infiltrated system, and they have to be close enough to a believable character that the marks do not become immediately suspicious. Creating a good match between the mark and the spy is the hallmark of a good agent handler.
A great backup team
If you’re running your own program, you should assemble a team of individuals who can’t be connected and aren’t easily identified as associated with you. If you are running your own program, you should also think twice – this is not easy work.