OSINT for SMEs
For organizations both large and small, cyber security threats, from malware attacks to hacking and IT asset theft, present very real and even fatal threats to an organization’s finances as well as its reputation. OSINT tools and techniques offer effective solutions for small- to medium-sized organizations and businesses of any size to protect their operations and their reputation in a way that is affordable.
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) play an increasingly important role in today’s economy. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, 28 million small businesses account for 54% of all U.S. sales. In Europe, SMEs represent around 99% of all enterprises, according to Eurosat. Over the last year, data collected by SMEs is becoming increasingly valuable to cyber criminals. A 2016 survey of 250 small businesses by Barclaycard reported that half of small businesses were hit by cybercrime in the last year. Only one out of six felt confident that they had adequate measures in place to prevent these attacks.
SMEs often lack the IT security expertise and resources to create advanced security policies to protect their systems against cyber risks. However, customers’ security expectations for financial transactions and protection of personal data are the same, no matter the size of the business. As a result, effective security measures are a requirement for doing business. OSINT tools and techniques can help.
With OSINT tools and techniques, SMEs can take advantage of open source information that is freely available to support their IT processes for protecting against cyber threats. Publicly available information such as large, open source data sets and news and stock feeds, blogs, forums and chat rooms and social media offer a wealth of information that can be useful for threat prevention.
Full access to and analysis of all open sources such as the ones listed above can help an organization identify news and events, follow up on developing situations and listen for emerging trends and signals. Combined, this may sound like an overwhelming amount of information to manage. And it would be if you had to rely on manual evaluation of each piece of information to determine which ones are valuable. Instead, OSINT tools and techniques help you filter out the irrelevant information so that companies can focus on the information that matters. Additionally, OSINT software can help correlate details and patterns that individuals might miss across thousands of different documents or other sources.
The additional value of an open source software or intelligence solution is the ability to use all of the information available and provide analysts with everything necessary to gain context and insight from data.
OSINT tools and techniques can support companies in combatting cyber risks for the following activities:
- Reveal ongoing threats. Filter relevant open sources to identify questionable activity.
- Create a threat assessment from the cyber attacker’s point of view to expose vulnerabilities in security or in other business or supply chain interests that a hacker could use to their advantage.
- Monitor open sources for common hacking pattern requests.
- Monitor key stakeholders, supply chain partners and third party suppliers, executives and more to protect brand reputation and minimize supply chain disruptions.
OSINT tools and techniques allow companies to leverage the knowledge and technology necessary for combatting and preventing threats from becoming reality.