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What is OSINT? OSINT Explained

February 9, 2020

What is OSINT? With websites giving rise to an unprecedented volume of intelligence for security agencies, open-source intelligence, or OSINT, is a treasure trove of information for those working to solve criminal cases online.

Criminals and terrorists with easy access to the vast data sources available on the various levels of the web can plan and execute attacks against innocent civilians. Security agencies who are working to prevent the next crime or attack must use all available means to gather targeted intelligence.

Over the last decade, there has been an increase in the drive to adopt intelligence-led approaches and solutions in order to deal with threats based on the understanding that individuals and illicit networks can be identified by those who utilize all capabilities to see the wider intelligence picture.

OSINT refers to any intelligence gathered from publicly accessible resources, such as news reports, search engines, online databases, social media networks, blog posts as well as public government data, academic publications, and more. OSINT can also be gathered from television reports, videos, public speeches, and other visual forms.

Publicly available intelligence, such as those available through database searches that aggregate information and have a quick turnaround rate, can be cost-effective for some organizations.

But gathering information from a vast range of sources is a time-consuming job and the danger of information overload is a concern for security agencies who must go through the unprecedented volume of intelligence they’ve gathered and analyze it in order to have the detailed intelligence in the shortest amount of time possible.

In order to gain unmatched intelligence and in order for security agencies to save time and resources, an OSINT tool such as specialized OSINT software which can anonymously and automatically monitor and manage content from across all layers of the internet must be used.

The best OSINT tools available in Cobwebs’ web intelligence platform for security agencies to identify criminals who are intent on causing harm to others.

While many threat actors prefer to plan their nefarious crimes in the relative obscurity of the dark web, many use OSINT to research, monitor, and track their threat actors prior to an attack.

In order to prevent threat actors from succeeding, security agencies can passively or actively collect OSINT from a variety of feeds into a single accessible location. The harvesting of intelligence can be assisted by using artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and natural language processing (NPL) which automatically monitor and prioritize alerts.

The capabilities of automation, AI, and machine learning technologies allow security agencies to harness and leverage the vast volumes of data and security intelligence they find in real-time.

A social network analysis of the OSINT gathered allows analysts to map and measure the relationships between the identified networks which may be used to plan criminal or terrorist activity.

As a leading OSINT website, Cobwebs Technologies’ and their OSINT tools provide security agencies the targeted data needed for security intelligence to prevent the next big terror attack or the smaller but yet just as heinous crimes against innocent civilians.



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