OSINT technologies – open-source intelligence are rapidly gaining popularity, they are used by more and more people who are very far from programming, but there are still several widely spread but erroneous myths associated with them.
The 1st myth: OSINT is very difficult; you need programming knowledge or even hacker skills. In fact, all OSINT methods are based on actions that a person can perform manually. If you want to automate frequently repeated routine operations, you can write a relatively simple program - a script that performs the same actions automatically. This dramatically increases the speed and efficiency of the search, but not all can be automated.
If a person intends to automate his work himself, then he cannot do without programming skills. However, for those whose professionalism is not at all in programming, there is great news: the vast majority of all the actions that you could only think of are already automated. The necessary scripts have already been written, moreover, the optimal interfaces have already been made in order to work conveniently and quickly. OSINT software products do that for you: they automate the work and create a comfortable environment, so the hacker skills are not needed.
The 2nd myth is a mirror image of the first. It starts to seem that the software tools are so good that you don't need to particularly understand the search technology, you don't have to be able to work with data or imagine a strategy for searching and establishing connections. This is completely false. There is no software that will find what you need by "in itself". Even the most advanced tool is just a tool, and for good results skilled hands are required. Effective search is a skill; it can and should be studied. Some people do it themselves, others under the guidance of trainers, which allows you to save a lot of time.
The 3d myth is related to the notion of OSINT legitimacy. The most fundamental fact: by definition, we are talking about search in open sources. The information submitted by their owners for public access is analyzed. There is a whole industry of searching in closed sources, in departmental databases, for example. It uses just hacker methods, including illegal ones. This activity has nothing to do with OSINT.
The 4th myth is the high cost, the claim of the inaccessibility of OSINT technologies for small organizations because of the price. Indeed, there are very expensive solutions for state corporations in this segment, but the market is not limited to them. There are relatively few serious tools for OSINT, but there are relatively inexpensive ones among them, in addition, almost every package has many payment options depending on the user's needs. It is necessary to calculate carefully to how many employees, how often and what functions are needed, and only after such analysis you shell choose the appropriate payment scheme. Most OSINT-tools are cloud-based and pricing is very flexible.
Myths and prejudices only interfere with serious work. The key to success is the level of data analysts, the quality of search strategies: it is the qualifications of employees that should be the top priority. Well trained people will be able to choose the most suitable tool for their tasks.
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