Most people really have no clue. However, it is a huge necessity of business life. OSINT refers to any sort of unclassified information and includes any scrap of information that is free and available on the web. It is not classified, and does not require any special clearance to access.
Open Source Intelligence often can be found on social media networks, forums, websites, news sources, blogs, and videos. Government agencies do employ this type of intelligence but more commonly, businesses use it in their every day workings. OSINT is a crucial source for available information to research important facts about consumers that will inevitably benefit the business. There are many different benefits to using this kind of intelligence in business; the following are a few of these benefits:
It Is Cost Effective
Open Source Intelligence is something that can be used by businesses to save money in comparison to using traditional intelligence methods. This is most definitely one of the most appealing features of using open source intelligence. This is especially true if the intelligence budget of that company is particularly low.
This can even improve the overall satisfaction of customers, as keeping costs low for you means keeping costs low for them. It is a win-win situation! An example of a company that has this down pat is Netflix. They offer their customers very low membership fees and it is because they are running only on Open Source Intelligence software.
It Improves Customer Service
Most businesses and companies are operating on the idea that the customer is always right, even if they are not. This is why the idea of businesses using everything in their power to make the customer happy is important. This includes taking the data of customers down in order to use it to make them happy.
This is where OSINT comes in. Businesses use Open Source Intelligence to leverage customer information. This is an invaluable tool to accessing the customer’s opinion of the company, ultimately helping the company to stay in touch with its audience.
This is also helpful to companies because it helps them to predict trends in the market based on this company feedback. With online social media sources making personal opinions extremely weighted, this type of intelligence is often the most important thing in creating a successful company reputation.
It Is Accessible
Obviously the cost and customer service benefits are enough to get any company on board with using Open Source Intelligence techniques.
These are the essence of how businesses work. However, another great benefit is that OSINT provides ready information from anywhere and at any time. This is a real feat in this current century where new technologies like cloud computing are making it extremely easy to be productive in the comfort of your own home.
The portability of this tool is extremely useful in this era in comparison to traditional intelligence techniques from the past. If you are able to have access to Twitter and Facebook, you have the access to the steady stream of intelligence information. This is helpful to companies that are required to act fast on given facts and information.
As you can see, open source intelligence is a very important aspect of the lives of companies. The future of OSINT is far-reaching and instrumental in creating a healthy life for businesses. It has been used effectively for the past ten years, and there are absolutely no signs of that stopping any time soon!