As geopolitical tensions increase, open-source intelligence is a much overlooked but essential component of the defense intelligence toolkit. In this blog, we provide some resources related to the application of OSINT to defense use cases, including military capability assessment, force protection and situational awareness.
Applying OSINT in Military Zones
Recently, one of our Tradecraft advisors presented an OSINT Briefing for defense intelligence analysts using the example of Iranian aligned militia groups in Iraq, their activities, and operations. This practical analyst briefing steps through the priority intelligence requirements for defense analysts across the key areas of the intelligence cycle:
- Creating an investigation
- Conducting discovery
- Configuring risk detectors
- Conducting analysis
This is an insightful analysis of the current political and military situation in Iraq and how open-source intelligence can streamline regional expertise in military deployments.
Applying OSINT to Defense Use Cases:
For effective force protection, intelligence analysts must anticipate and address the growing threats to personnel, assets, critical information and facilities as a result of hostile groups trying to disrupt defense operations. OSINT can greatly reduce the burden on analysts by leveraging publicly available data to identify tactics, techniques and procedures of militia groups. We recently released a case study which explored a real-life example of a hostile group disrupting US and coalition defense operations in Iraq to demonstrate the power of advanced OSINT technologies for force protection.
Building Situational Awareness
In the context of understanding the environment and risks inherent in foreign military deployments and defense strategies, OSINT can uncover geopolitical developments and domestic instability that may threaten regional security. By autonomously identifying events that could limit or affect operations and highlighting that information to analysts, OSINT helps to build a rich picture of situational awareness. Our blog on situational awareness explores how OSINT can be deployed to uncover and address threats to operations, troops, employees, facilities and supply chains overseas.
Assessing Military Capability
Monitoring and tracking the movement of foreign military personnel and equipment to assess capability requires extensive resources. OSINT can serve as an important complement to existing intelligence capabilities to address this challenge. Our Director of Tradecraft shared his insights on the role of publicly available information to measure capability in an article titled ‘Intelligence Innovations to Measure Military Capability’ published by Defence Connect.
Defense Intelligence Strategies
It is possible to collect a large amount of open-source information manually. But at what cost? Information still needs to be processed and analysed before it can be called intelligence, and the volumes of open-source data in defense situations can be enormous. Soon a small team of analysts collecting open-source data turns into an entire room full, just trying to piece together the captured piles of disparate data from potentially thousands of sources.
Fivecast ONYX is an advanced OSINT collection and analysis platform that enables intelligence teams to perform ongoing, consistent, and secure collection of data from a broad range of sources. This enables effective monitoring of threats to operations and forces hidden across the Surface, Deep and Dark Web which aren’t easily detectable with traditional intelligence capabilities or simple online searches. Defense intelligence analysts are then able to filter, and risk assess the data with a customizable AI-enabled risk detection framework that uncovers the information most relevant to an investigation from masses of online data.
Request a customized demo from our defense intelligence-trained Tradecraft team.