Recently, we delivered a webinar with Fivecast which delved into the challenge of disparate data sources and how these can be aggregated in an OSINT fusion platform to develop a holistic intelligence picture that helps uncover insights and drive intelligence investigations forward.
The Intelligence Data Tsunami
We all know the challenges that investigative and intelligence teams experience when it comes to trying to gain insights into huge volumes of data coming from many different sources. Recently, there has been somewhat of a perfect storm in terms of this big data challenge, with the growth of the internet and online technologies, colliding with the pandemic and growing community unrest from several political and social issues globally.
This ‘tsunami of intelligence data’ means that investigators and analysts need to manage and understand data from both traditional sources, such as lawful intercept and surveillance, as well as new sources such as open-source intelligence, geolocation, and digital forensics. Filtering, prioritizing, and finding the relevant data that will drive investigation decision points is a large and complex task – and one that JSI helps customers with every day.
The Rise of Open-Source Intelligence
Part of this perfect storm of big data I referred to earlier is the evolution in the way people communicate with each other, facilitated by a growing range of Deep Web and social media platforms. Combined with the rapidly changing popularity of these platforms this growth represents both an opportunity and a challenge to investigation teams. As more and more communication content is delivered using Over-The-Top services, which is inherently more complex and often encrypted, no investigation team can afford to ignore the value of Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT) data, filling that content gap and expanding the network of relationships.
JSI and Fivecast – Better Together
This is where our partnership with Fivecast comes in. Fivecast lowers the technical bar of entry to the Surface, Deep & Dark Web, catering for the shifting medium in which content is acquired. Fivecast collects data from all sources into a single place, processing it through sophisticated, AI-enabled, risk analytics before submitting to 4Sight. The value to our customers is that the OSINT data coming into our platform has been pre-classified and categorized through detection of keywords, phrases, quotes, logos, images, and more, allowing users to quickly find data most likely to be relevant fast. This data triage is a key benefit – the ability to refine and reduce the OSINT data set to enable streamlined correlation with other data sources in the Fusion platform.
In the webinar we go through an example of the recent US capitol riots, showing how Fivecast is able to collect data from open-source platforms and then triage and prioritize that data by detecting risk-based terms, reducing the data set down to the targets of key interest to the Fusion platform.
Taming the Data Tsunami
The data tsunami is a reality for all investigation and intelligence organizations. It’s become increasingly essential to bring those data sources together in one platform to generate insights and develop a broad and rich intelligence picture.
The collection and correlation of data in JSI’s 4Sight platform enables customers to visualize diverse data in one place, identify gaps in intelligence, filling those gaps through correlation across the data sources.
In the webinar, I delve further into how 4Sight helps expand visibility into location and relationships across data sources normalizing and contextualizing information, whilst applying enrichments to maximize threat intelligence and streamline the decision-making process. The growing importance of OSINT data and our partnership with Fivecast enables us to correlate these sources of content with existing location and relationship data in 4Sight, uncovering patterns, trends, and insights that otherwise wouldn’t be available from a single data source. For example, placing location from lawful interception alongside content from social media so that the user can determine the “what” and “where” in one application.
Overall, JSI and Fivecast together make the data tsunami very accessible to users – they don’t need to understand the complexities of the technologies but can focus on the insights and applying those to their investigation missions.