And if you were told that there was a legal, inexpensive and more or less easy way to get key information on a subject? This is what OSINT allows, a set of research techniques based on free sources of access. A great advantage for the company that does not hesitate to use the many tools of this intelligent search system.

What is OpenSource Intelligence?

OSINT or OpenSource Intelligence, that can be translated by open source intelligence, is a collection methodology and analyzes obtained from sources of information accessible to the public and unclassified. This information can be obtained freely and other paying. They can relate to an individual or organization. They can come from the Internet, various media, books, newspaper articles, commercial data, videos, conferences, press releases, etc.

OSINT is one of the 4 large pillars of internet intelligence with OSD (Open Source Data), OSIF (Open Source Information) and OSINT-V (Validated OSINT).

Concretely, what is the purpose of OSINT for companies?

OSINT has many varied uses. A company can use this methodology for several goals, such as investigating competition, monitoring the development of a specific market, study potential customers, learn about applicants within it (especially if it is acting particularly sensitive key positions), etc. The company can also use OSINT to find out what information about itself is available to the public, so competition and possible attackers (fraud, phishing attempts, etc.). It’s a good way to measure forces and especially his weaknesses.

osint framework

More globally here, OpenSource Intelligence makes it possible to collect and analyze information, and then, depending on these free access data, make a precise and enlightened decision.

How to use OpenSource Intelligence?

To properly use OSINT, several steps are needed.

  1. Define your goal, the reason you use this methodology. For example, it can be to know the commercial opportunities in a given market and a specific target, or to learn about the professional history of a future candidate.
  2. Determine the exact type of information you need to collect to meet your goal. The type of information in question can increase over searches.
  3. Choose sources and supports that will allow you to get this information based on the purpose of your investigation. This step is particularly long and delicate.
  4. Collect the collected information and collect them.
  5. Analyze information so you can meet your intelligence goal.

What are the most popular OSINT information tools?

There are a multitude of OSINT tools used for different kinds of information. Some of the best known, we will cite:

  • Maltego; specialist in link analysis (between people, organizations, etc.) and data exploration.
  • Shodan; Search for devices connected to the Internet, so with visible IP address.
  • TheHarvester; Finding information about a person, system, company, or event.
  • SpiderFoot; Collection and analysis of many data such as IP, domains and subdomains, ASN, e-mail addresses, phone numbers, usernames, etc.
  • Open French public data platform

Not to mention OSINT Framework, a free online system and rather well-built, offering users A Pleiades of linked investigation tools, and to obtain accurate information on this or that subject.

Depending on your goal, your OSINT search can be extremely simple or extremely complicated and long. This methodology remains very useful and offers your company a real competitive advantage as well as accurate information on a problem that you must answer.