What is OSINT and How Can Your Organization Use it?

The government and military love to use acronyms, and one of those acronyms is OSINT. Learn what it stands for, what it has to do with Big Data from the Deep Web, and why it isn’t just a government acronym.

Defining OSINT

OSINT stands for “Open-Source INTelligence”, which refers to any unclassified information and includes anything freely available on the web.  OSINT is the opposite of close-source intelligence or classified information.  Common OSINT sources include social networks, forums, business websites, blogs, videos, and news sources.

OSINT is one of many INTs disciplines employed by government intelligence agencies.  Other common INTs include HUMINT (Human Intelligence; gathering intelligence by interacting with people); SIGINT (Signal Intelligence; gathering data from sensors); and GEOINT (Geospatial Intelligence; gathering data from satellites).

OSINT is unclassified and available, but it is not always easily found. Much of it is available on the Deep Web or “hidden internet” as some like to call it. The information is publicly available, but link-crawling search engines like Google do not always access it.

What is Google missing? Find out in our here. OSINT is not related to open-source software like Linux.

OSINT vs. Big Data from the Deep Web

Big Data from the Deep Web is OSINT. Whatever you want to call it – online Big Data, OSINT, or open-source intelligence – your organization can benefit from exploiting that information. There is information publicly available online right now that you are missing by searching with Google, or not searching for at all because you aren’t even aware it exists.

Want to find counterfeiters of your product online? You can use OSINT to track them down.

Want to monitor real-time activities for your current financial investments or possible future investments? That information is publicly available on the Deep Web and can be harvested and delivered to you in real-time.

Want to know all the available grants for your area of research, who is offering them, and who has won them in the past? Again, that is OSINT and ready to be harvested.

Getting Started with OSINT

OSINT, Big Data, unstructured data, and the Deep Web can all be nearly impossible to navigate without the proper tools. Even if you find the data, harvesting the data at scale, analysis, and visualizations often require additional licenses, subscriptions, and a bigger budget.

BrightPlanet has tools to harvest OSINT at scale, curate, and create understanding from the information, all within one platform. We have been working with the U.S. intelligence community for over 10 years and are now serving the needs of companies and organizations that need help in harvesting and analyzing OSINT from the Deep Web.

Not sure what OSINT needs you have? Sign up for a consultation with one of our Deep Web Investigators to see what information is out there and ready to be harvested and harnessed to make your organization more efficient and effective.

Learn more about the Deep Web by downloading our free white paper, and check out the latest Deep Web news every day on our online Deep Web University.






Photo: jurvetson