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How to Structure a Security Briefing

Security Briefings

The five paragraph order technique, also known as SMEAC, is a technique used by many military agencies to deliver a team briefing in a consistent format.


This is the context of the task and provides a snapshot or background to the subsequent instructions.

  • Name of the task

  • Scope, geography, context, criteria

  • Objectives

  • Any prior related work

  • Future use of the outcomes from this task

  • Other activities that might be affected by this assignment

  • Relevant information, files, reference documents, emails or discussions

  • Other teams that will or may need to be involved


The mission is the intent of the task. The mission statement is a short, clear and concise statement of what you want to achieve. The mission statement is a precise expression of the objective. In a military setting it is repeated twice for emphasis e.g.

“The mission is to research and establish the nature and frequency of cyberattacks on similar organizations in the past two years”.


Execution is the“how” part of the plan – how you are going to achieve your mission.

  • Detail the steps required, including Who, What, Where, When, Why and How.

  • What are you going to do? Why?When? Where? Who is involved? How?

  • The execution part of the process is usually the longest and should provide sufficient information to allow the team to go and do the job.

  • Often broken up into 2 to 5 phases( steps).

Administration and Logistics

The resources and people involved, logistics, supply chain, and how resources are to be coordinated, documentation to be required, responsibilities for equipment, etc.

Command and Communications

Who is in charge, who does each person report to.

Methods, timing, and frequency of communication both within the team and to/from external parties.

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