Understanding OSINT

In today's society, researchers' issue is not the shortage of valuable information but rather the proliferation of redundant, low-quality, or misleading information. Databases are so large that it is challenging to find the right piece of information without the knowledge of correct search behaviour. Furthermore, a lack of experience and knowledge about the structure of the information landscape often results in one missing the correct database in the first place.

Open-source intelligence (OSINT) is a multi-methods research methodology developed to make sense of the information jungle. OSINT operations use advanced techniques to search through the vast haystack of data to retrieve a balanced, representative and validated set of information. After careful scrutinization and analysis, this data is then used to produce actionable intelligence. Intelligence that can be used to support decision-makers in managing change. OSINT is used in a vast range of circumstances, from the preparation of peace-keeping missions through to international conflict, security studies and even market intelligence to explore new market opportunities. Law enforcement also uses OSINT to find suspects; banks use it to vet new customers; and much more.

OSINT is widely misunderstood as a bunch of technical tricks supporting cyber operations. However, to conduct a sound OSINT-analysis, one does not need to master technical skills like programming. Instead, in-depth knowledge of open sources, search systems and search languages are the minimum requirements for OSINT operations.


"Machine learning is only part of the solution, you need to empower human intelligence."

Arno Reuser

Triangular Group Intelligence value added

We at Triangular Group Intelligence not only have intelligence analysts with the skills and experience to conduct sound OSINT-research, but we also partner with Arno Reuser, a leading authority in the field of open source intelligence and the man responsible for setting up the OSINT-branch of the Dutch military intelligence agency (MIVD) in the 1990s. Please find his insights on OSINT below.

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Relevant services OSINT

At Triangular Group Academy (TGA) we deliver different OSINT educational programs, from workshops to complete courses. Check out these courses: