Maximizing Your Open-Source Capabilities: Creating an OSINT Function That Works

There is a wealth of information online.

Open-source intelligence (OSINT) is a real asset when it comes to investigations, but how can you ensure you are maximizing its potential? In this article we will briefly discuss some key areas for public safety managers to focus on when either developing or managing an OSINT function.

Without a doubt, training is an important consideration. How in depth your training is will depend on the size and structure of your organization; is everyone required to have OSINT training or just special units? Will everyone who is required be trained to the same level, or will some require additional training? Considering the function of the team is important too; fraud investigators will have different training requirements than those investigating environmental infractions.

Policies and standards of practices are another things to think about; do you need clear set practices or policies that are more flexible? Decisions made around information capture, storage, retention, and disposal will be influenced by not only your organization’s mandate but also its jurisdiction.

Collaboration with other related units is another important thing to consider. Data management and information technology departments can provide great support in data security, and OSINT technology acquisition.

This brings us to our last point; teams must have a variety of OSINT tools to handle all the different types of data. Some tools will be more useful than others, but the key is to make sure researchers (especially those in specialized functions) are well-equipped.

So, what are some areas you’d like to focus on within your own OSINT function? Connect with us and join the conversation on LinkedIn and Twitter where we will discuss one of the main challenges OSINT managers commonly face and offer some ideas on how to overcome them.

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