The gut feeling can be a very effective tool in security, particularly when you lack critical data but need to make a rapid decision, or when you cannot explain a particular feeling you have.
Security operatives that have faced realistic situations know that rapid decision making is very difficult when circumstances are unclear and information is limited, but when circumstances dictate that you must act, your gut feeling may help you or disable you.
So what does it depend on? How can this tool be your best friend or worse enemy that inhibits you from reacting?? I will argue that if you follow an operational methodology in your security work that is based on field based tactics and experience, the gut feeling will be an important tool to have in such conditions. Conversely, if your security activities are passive and not proactive based, your decision making process will be slow, thereby making your gut feeling vague and hesitant to follow.
Our operational objectives lies in our security concept and proactive approach to security. Such a foundation creates an opportunity for trusting your gut feeling and in certain conditions following what it says. Sometimes, when we do not have a solid verification that we have identified a threat, we investigate further and may require that gut feeling to make us take the decision to act and select the most suitable modus operandi.
Trusting your gut feeling is the result of effective security tactics and operational experience. Security operatives must be trained efficiently and taught to trust their gut feeling and not to be afraid to verify the reason. Often, the verification process will confirm what the gut feeling suggested or confirm the opposite.
In order to make your gut feeling more concrete and evidence based, follow effective proactive security tactics. Here are a few examples of how the gut feeling could assist you:
These examples show you that used correctly the gut feeling is an operational tool for identifying suspicious behavior in different security contexts.