"OSINT is becoming a necessity. Swift advances in big data, data analytics, text analytics and artificial intelligence are facilitating the conversion of millions of scattered data points into manageable databases for intelligence analysts. OSINT automation and Social Media Monitoring Automation allows analysts to cope with various sources and provide near real-time analyses.
An increasing amount of personal data, corporate content, and government databases are now open and accessible to intelligence organizations around the world, leading to a rise in OSINT investments and, by extension, OSINT, WEBINT or SOCMINT budgets.
Several types of security organizations are now reportedly investing in OSINT capabilities to increase their monitoring and research capabilities, in the open web, deep web and Darknet. Social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other local services hold detailed personal data on billions of people, and lay the grounds for Social Media Monitoring. That includes locations, connections, hobbies, and purchasing habits, which have turned these networks into “goldmines” for intelligence analysts.
An additional source of intelligence is news reports from around the world: information on a riot, a disease outbreak or the moving of troops can reach local and then international media within seconds. Once published, news reaches intelligence organizations around the world instantly. This flow of information and the relevant supportive intelligence systems are a strong tool for every intelligence organization. Organizations related to Military Intelligence, Police Intelligence, and Homeland Security are reportedly investing in the purchase of state-of-the-art OSINT systems.
One of the fastest-growing verticals is Open-Source Intelligence monitoring for cyber intelligence, in the realm of Threat Intelligence. As hackers interact over the dark net and manage operations and assaults in web forums and groups, constant monitoring of these activities can provide valuable information about planned attacks. In most cyber defense organizations, OSINT and WEBINT are becoming one of the building blocks for strong Threat Intelligence process.
The Global Open-Sources Intelligence Market in Homeland Security and Public Safety is Boosted by the Following Drivers:
- An increased use of social networks and a rise of user-generated content, including video sharing, groups, and forums, which expand the amount of content available for intelligence organizations to gather and analyze.
- Rapid advances in big data, data analytics, text analytics and artificial intelligence are facilitating the conversion of millions of scattered data into manageable databases for intelligence analysts. By automating OSINT, analysts can now cope with various sources and provide near real-time analyses
- The growing willingness to release open governmental data to the web, facilitating data access on a personal or country level.
- Leakage of private and secret data to the open sphere. Initiatives such as “Wiki-Leaks” or “Panama Papers” are exposing previously undisclosed information, enabling sophisticated intelligence organizations to make use of this data for the investigation and monitoring of people, companies, and countries through advanced OSINT tools.
- Investment in intelligence gathering on citizens by less liberal countries - China’s social media monitoring activity has been known for years and additional countries such as Russia and Turkey have already built capabilities to monitor citizens based on Open-Source Intelligence systems. This trend is now penetrating the once-perceived privacy stronghold in European countries. The 2015-2017 terror attacks in Europe have brought the civil and privacy rights vs. Homeland Security and Public Safety debate to new highs and should lead western European parliaments to increase OSINT budgets and Social Media Intelligence (SOCMINT)
- The growth of OSINT training courses around the world, which have boosted the number of potential users of advanced systems. Courses offer publicly available Information collection techniques, top OSINT tools, and even HUMINT over OSINT capabilities."