Open source intelligence, also known as OSINT, is all the ‘big data’ gathered from the Deep Web. It refers to the free and unclassified information publicly available, no special clearance required. Open Source Intelligence is an extremely important aspect of the business world these days and there has been a lot of discussion regarding whether OSINT is a positive or negative reflection of the capabilities of intelligence software. However, it cannot be ignored that the more information (turned) intelligence that can be obtained and utilized, the more successful businesses will be.
Here are a few ways that OSINT is vital to business.
Improved costs, customer service and accessibility
OSINT makes it possible for anyone to access information anywhere, anytime. Traditional intelligence methods were clunky and costly, while OSINT can be used to save money and be sure that even the companies with a very limited budget still have access to useful information. Netflix, for example, runs only on Open Source Intelligence software. Their own costs are low because of this, which enables them to offer low membership fees for their customers. Low costs for you mean low costs for your customers, granted to keep both sides happy!
Information available extends even as far as customer opinions, opening the door for businesses to learn opinions of customers, even if they are not shared directly. Businesses have the ability to absorb the feedback and make the decision to shift their customer service. After all, positive PR certainly benefits from having happy customers.
Over the years, there has been a significant increase in the amount of content available. Social media has been one of the main contributors to this increase. This has left a few challenges for companies. They now need to figure out how to maintain a specific reputation and image as the professional and personal lives mix online, not to mention the complete mindset shift needed to do so. Controversial products or belief by those in upper management can bring about a complete storm on social media, and even give a competitor just what is needed for advancement. Thus, the free information available by way of OSINT is prime material for all businesses, to use as a monitor of personal information as well as that of others on the market.
With the technology available today, cyber threats have also drawn more awareness. Businesses can use the OSINT capabilities to learn about their own threats and learn how they can address and improve how they approach cyber threats. By adopting simple techniques, detection time and responsiveness to cyber threats can be improved, saving businesses time, stress and money in the long run.
Companies, such as Expert System, in this field are now weighing the pros and cons of OSINT, but it is certainly not going away anytime fast.
OSINT is just one of the artificial intelligence technologies becoming evermore present and important in the business world. Organizations will continue to find new ways to sift through and work with data available and make it valuable for their businesses. The greater that they are able to do so, the more successful and profitable their businesses will be.