Open source intelligence (OSINT), as described in a previous Weekly Round Up column, is an incredibly powerful research methodology that is already being used by forward looking companies and agencies. In the last column I examined the opportunities presented by utilizing OSINT gathering techniques, as well as the potential roadblocks, such as irrelevant information being captured, one may experience when gathering open source intelligence. This week, I would like to expand on the benefits and opportunities provided by utilizing OSINT.
As a recap, OSINT is a term used to refer to data or information that is overtly gathered from publicly available sources and used in an intelligence context. Publicly available information can be anything ranging from academic journals and newspapers to blogs and social media posts. When these publicly available pieces of information are used in an intelligence gathering context, it is considered OSINT.
OSINT is not a new concept, but recent advances in information technology have enabled more organizations, agencies and individuals to project their voices, creating a spike in the amount of open source information available. The increased amount of information and perspectives shared is strengthening OSINT’s capability to address new and more complex intelligence-related questions.
OSINT provides an opportunity to discover unvarnished truths within a sea of big data. However, finding those truths is no simple undertaking, especially given the explosive rate of growth in data produced each day. Yet, the ever-growing amount of data can be turned into an advantage for the OSINT practitioner. With the exponential increase in data comes a myriad of different perspectives on just about any topic, which can be used to obtain a bird’s eye view.
For the GovCon industry, this means that OSINT can greatly assist organizations, companies and government agencies in creating holistic projections of the current and future initiatives and policies. Instead of being constrained by a single narrative, OSINT practitioners are able to distill the information into actionable intelligence and make timely decisions based on the vast mosaic of differing perceptions that open source intelligence provides. Furthermore, the all-encompassing net cast by OSINT can be used as a means of monitoring trends and forecasting where those trends may lead.
The profound capabilities of OSINT are built upon the foundations of its highly versatile nature: OSINT is not limited to a single industry, field or subject; it can be integrated into any type of organization and can be adapted to capture any type of information.
If your organization is interested in learning more about OSINT and leveraging its capabilities, consider the ArchIntel Daily Intelligence Briefing. The ArchIntel Daily Intelligence Briefing is a completely customized, human-intelligence powered daily briefing service built upon a sophisticated open source information gathering platform. Delivering only the most relevant and actionable intelligence to you and your team, the ArchIntel Daily Intelligence Briefing can be customized to deliver everything from industry trend monitoring to competitive intelligence and situational awareness.
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