Understanding the potency of Open Source Intelligence Tools (OSINT) is crucial for risk management in today’s tech-savvy world. Sigma Ratings recently outlined eight free OSINT tools that could be pivotal in streamlining your risk and compliance workflows.
Open Source Intelligence Tools (OSINT) are a potent weapon used by organisations to collect and interpret public information. This information is procured from a variety of sources such as social media platforms, websites, news articles and online databases. OSINT tools are crucial for due diligence requirements, threat assessment, investigations and research purposes.
Why are OSINT tools so critical? They allow organisations to compile public information from numerous sources, thus empowering organisations to manage risks proactively and ensure compliance. Access to an expanded pool of data sources is invaluable in risk assessments, early detection of money laundering, and unearthing hidden connections between individuals, entities, and transactions.
OSINT tools play a pivotal role in helping organisations identify potential risks. This proactive approach allows organisations to take suitable measures to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing.
OSINT tools come into play to provide a comprehensive understanding of risk, augmenting data from various sources. The specific needs of an organisation dictate the requirement for one or more of these tools to comply with regulatory requirements.
Effective risk reviews require the identification of gaps in data. However, a considerable amount of time and resources must be allocated to manually review the relevant datasets.
Here, we present eight free OSINT tools, listed alphabetically, that can provide invaluable data for AML processes. They should, however, be chosen to align with the goals of your organisation. These include Google Maps, Google News, ICIJ Offshore Leaks Database, OCCRP Investigative Dashboard, OpenCorporates, OpenSanctions, VesselFinder and WhoIs.
While the functionalities of OSINT tools can vary, common features include data aggregation, search and filter, data visualisation, link analysis, monitoring and alerts, social media analysis, geolocation, workflows, and customisation.
It’s essential to note that while data is pivotal, OSINT tools alone may not be sufficient to mitigate financial crimes. Appropriate technology should be in place to make sense of the data. OSINT tools aggregate public data, but they may lack the ability to optimise and transform it into multi-dimensional risk intelligence.
Technology platforms can provide efficiency gains, making workflows manageable and effective in an environment inundated with increasing data and complex threats.
Investment in technology platforms can be cost-effective for high-risk or heavily regulated companies as they help execute efficient workflows. They can automate tasks, consolidate open source and broker data, surface risk flags that might otherwise be missed and reduce manual tracking efforts.
For example, Sigma Platform allows access to a vetted and ready-to-use risk data library. Sigma can ingest and optimise your structured and unstructured risk-related data, so you have a multi-source, unified view of risk on any person, company or entity in a single dashboard.
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