The effective and legal use of internet resources for due diligence and know your customer procedures is increasingly paramount in commercial sectors.
Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT) is common practice in organisations working across sectors such as Law Enforcement, Government agencies and Financial Services, but in recent years, OSINT techniques have begun to be adopted in commercial sectors to enhance due diligence and know your customer (KYC) procedures.
Intqual-pro, who specialise in the delivery of vocational Intelligence training, highlight that using OSINT for due diligence and KYC presents an opportunity for commercial sectors to build resilience through enhanced security checks and management of risk, whilst increasing overall operational efficiency. They add that OSINT training should not be a ‘one off’ – the internet and www presents and ever-evolving landscape of information, and it is crucial to maintain currency of knowledge and skills in tools, applications, and information sources to ensure organisations requirements are consistently achieved in an efficient, effective and legal manner.
OSINT supports research and investigation in areas including:
Customers: Including OSINT techniques in KYC procedures can help organisations to identify individual decision-makers and better understand their unique motivations to buy a product or service.
Suppliers: When procuring a supplier, early research and investigation for due diligence is essential to gather a true understanding of potential organisations. Regular monitoring of a supplier can additionally enable an organisation to identify risks such as corruption or non-compliance, which ensures that the risk of Procurement Fraud is mitigated where possible.
Competitors: Competitor analysis is essential for any organisation, but many don’t take full advantage of available internet and www resources. OSINT can support competitor analysis through identifying a competitor’s activity – changes in structure, customer feedback, tender participation, etc – and in this ever-evolving environment, regular OSINT training is important for currency of knowledge and skills to maintain competitor awareness.
Employees: Not knowing who employees are past a CV and cover letter poses a significant risk for all organisations – especially key management appointments. OSINT allows organisations to strategically perform thorough checks to ensure that any potential hires do not pose a potential reputational risk.
What are the challenges to OSINT?
One of the biggest challenges to conducting due diligence and KYC through open-source research is the vast amount of data sources and data available. Without the knowledge and understanding of how to identify bespoke information using the correct tools and / or tailor search strings to filter and access the right sources, organisations risk making important decisions through conflicted or biased data. Additionally, organisations must ensure that internet research and investigation procedures are conducted ethically and legally.
To support organisations looking to make better use of internet resources, Intqual-pro hold an informative, ever-evolving two-day Internet Research and Investigation course. This engaging programme provides researchers and investigators with the tools they need to make best use of bespoke search techniques and freely available applications to filter vast amounts of open-source information to a particular requirement, whilst ensuring they remain ethical, legal and their digital footprint is as minimal as possible.
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