How Open Source Intelligence Can Help Cybersecurity Endeavours

We are surrounded by data in our every waking moment. From all our interactions with other people or visiting different websites on the internet or even when we are doing online shopping or some other activity, not only are we generating data while doing so, but we are also collecting it. Soon, if not already, data will become the most important commodity business requires. 

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Just think about it, having the right data at the right moment can help you make business decisions that can ensure your business is successful and competitive in today’s new world. If you know what your customers want, you can offer the right product or service at the right time and get ahead of your competitors or you can use the information about your company to reduce the vulnerabilities in the security area or even use customers insight into your products to make informed business decisions about products that might be underperforming and not meeting their expectations. Possibilities are endless if you have the right data. But that is the biggest issue. How are you to know what data you need and can use in a never-ending stream of data. By using OSINT tools for businesses you can get the data you need without dealing with overwhelming amounts of data.

What is actually OSINT or open-source intelligence?

Open Source Intelligence, or OSINT for short, is a process of collecting and using publicly available data. 

Publicly available data can be:

  • Anything you can legally find online ( Using search engines or social media platforms) 
  • Anything produced for a public audience ( published or broadcasted, such as podcasts or news media content)
  • Anything that is made available to the public by request (census data or government budget plan)
  • Anything that can be accessed through purchase or subscription (industry specialised journals)
  • Anything that can be seen or heard in public space by casual observer

While businesses can collect all these data by themselves, there is so much data out there that things would quickly get overwhelming. Even if you limit your search to just one search engine or social media platform you would still have an enormous amount of data generated on a daily basis which is constantly growing at an unprecedented rate. 

This process is made easier by the use of OSINT. Open Source Intelligence collects data, analyses it and uses relevant data in order to improve business operations. From using this data to improve the customer satisfaction or marketing strategy to using it to identify suspicious behavioural patterns and prevent fraud, Open Source Intelligence is imperative for business success.

How can OSINT help with cybersecurity? 

Using OSINT for business can seem as an overwhelming task, but the truth is that Open Source Intelligence is not that complicated. Not only that many companies are already using it on a daily basis, but even you are using a form of Open Source Intelligence  every time you search for something on Google. It can make a difference in any aspect of the business operations, but the biggest impact it has when it comes to the ever changing area of cybersecurity. 

By utilising data from third parties you can get more information about your customers without creating lengthy login or check out procedures that can cause user friction. Having the right knowledge about its users means that the businesses can identify legitimate user patterns and use them to recognize any deviation from that pattern.

OSINT provides integral information needed to make informed decisions that can prevent fraud from affecting the business and causing financial and reputational damage. 

By having right data you can :

  • Identify potential weaknesses in your business such as accidental leaks of sensitive data
  • Understand what kind of data can be gathered about you from public sources
  • Identify potential threats
  • Confirm users identity
  • Preventing fraud attempts ( CNP fraud, Gift card fraud, Loan fraud and many others)

Open Source Intelligence gives you a perfect base for your cybersecurity endeavour as it can help you recognise the fraud attempts before it can do any damage. But by using it with additional security protocols you would be able to create a diverse and highly effective cybersecurity strategy that can prevent cybercrime from affecting your business. 

PKI-Security Engineer & security blogger at gbhackers.com. She is passionate about covering cybersecurity and Technology.

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