Using Open Source Intelligence to Protect Against Cyber Attacks

It’s important for organizations to implement sound cybersecurity policies, for example by procuring the right hardware and software and following best practices. However, it is just as important for organizations to collect intelligence on possible threats and maintain situational awareness.

 OSINT cybersecurity data procurement enables organizations to efficiently collect open-source intelligence and analyze it to generate useful insights.

When seeking to exploit open-source intelligence, organizations can go one of two ways. They can do it manually and have their security analysts accessing and combing through multiple digital platforms to find relevant data. Given the sheer volume of data on the internet, as well as a large number of digital platforms, manually going through them can be a daunting task. Analyzing and extracting insights from manual data can be even more challenging, and may fail to yield the expected results.

However, there’s another much better option.

Automated Web Intelligence  

With an automated web investigation platform, such as the one offered by Cobwebs Technologies, the OSINT cybersecurity data procurement process can be automated. Data from all levels of the web is processed by artificial intelligence software using machine learning algorithms.

Automation comes with a long list of advantages.

To start with, the human resource burden is eased. Fewer analysts are needed. Moreover, analysts can work more efficiently. Rather than waste their effort on activities that can be automated, they are left free to deal with the big picture. They can make connections more easily and ask the right questions.

Another advantage of automation is that investigative processes that might have taken weeks or days take much less time. This time saved is crucial and can be the difference between succumbing to a cyber attack or successfully stopping it before it happens.

Also, with AI-powered software, features like Natural Language Processing (NLP) and situational awareness can be taken advantage of.

NLP helps define events and objects from the huge unstructured data that is acquired from the internet. It also nullifies the language barrier during investigation, making it possible to make sense of information that is in multiple foreign languages.

Situational awareness helps correlate information with an events, which can provide useful insights and help reveal new patterns.

Leveraging Open Source Intelligence From the Dark Web 

Information from the surface web is in great supply. However, it isn’t always valuable in cybersecurity efforts. This is partly because threat actors go to great lengths to cover their tracks and generally operate in the dark web.

Open-source data from the dark web is difficult to find. On the other hand, it is usually high value.

Fortunately, organizations can make use of threat intelligence providers for dark web OSINT cybersecurity data procurement.

The main advantage of using such threat intelligence providers is that they will have access to a substantial portion of the dark web. In addition, with an automated web investigation or threat intelligence platform, such data will be automatically accessed and analyzed. It becomes easy to receive a real-time alert for example when an organization’s data is being sold on a dark web forum.

To leverage the dark web in your investigations, here’s what organizations need.

Special Search Engines 

Websites on the dark web are encrypted such that they cannot be accessed through normal browsers. They can only be accessed through special browsers. This is meant to improve the anonymity and security of the whole dark web network.

Applying Operational Security Techniques 

Analysts should take care not to expose themselves while performing investigations on the dark web. They should also avoid tipping off threat actors.

As such, analysts on the dark web should employ operational security tactics such as the use of Virtual Private Networks.

With automated web investigation platforms like Cobwebs, there is an added encryption layer for extra security when analysts are performing investigations on the dark web.

Situational Awareness Software 

The ability to get real-time insights can be the difference between success and failure in a cybercrime investigation. Real-time data helps reveal actionable insights that might otherwise have been missed.