Open Source Intelligence is Everywhere – But what does it Mean?

Understandably, people might have heard talk of artificial intelligence in business and immediately think about robots and sci-fi movies. However, of course, it is much more than that. One particular aspect of artificial intelligence is changing the face of some businesses, and it is open source intelligence. So let’s explore what it is and how it is used.

Open source intelligence, or OSINT, is essentially all of the ‘big data’ that is gathered from the Deep Web. This means that OSINT is free, unclassified and publicly available information. It is as simple as the answer you are looking for via Internet search. Since many businesses are often in the business of creating intelligence from information, open source intelligence was not always a welcomed player in the business world. However, when businesses understood that there was no stopping OSINT and it actually opens many doors for them, the ways that businesses used OSINT only expanded.

Here are a few ways that open source intelligence is used.

Information anywhere, anytime.

Open source intelligence removes the limitations on businesses to access unclassified information, even on a budget. The more that businesses are able to access information for low costs, the more that the customer is able to see lower costs for themselves. Think Netflix: Netflix runs on OSINT software. Netflix’s costs are low because of this, which means that they are able to offer low costs to their customers. Win, win.


In today’s data-centric world, there needs to be support in order to make sense of all the content that is out there. The free information that is available via OSINT enables businesses to make well-informed business decisions, monitor competitive information and personal information. OSINT solutions can even be used in order to help extract insight and beneficial knowledge to drive better business decisions.


Security measures are constantly being strengthened to manage cyber threats and OSINT is helping businesses do just that. OSINT capabilities may be used so that companies can understand their own threats as well as reduce their detection and response time prior to cyber attacks.

There are many companies, such as Expert System, that are making use of this technology and helping companies use OSINT. When companies understand what they are looking for, they can best leverage OSINT to harvest, entity tag and curate data. As Expert System explains, OSINT can “support creation of long-term strategies for a variety of business goals”.

Artificial intelligence is only increasing in its abilities. In the amount it is being used in the world (not only in business), it can be positive and negative, but it is certain that A.I is on the rise. It is up to us to ensure we use it in ways that only contribute to business, society and the world in positive capacities. Artificial intelligence focuses on the possibilities with humans and machines, but it is up to humans to keep the machines in check.