How open source intelligence can help with application development?

Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) is commonly associated with law enforcement, cybersecurity and business intelligence, but it can also be used in broader areas such as application development. Some important elements of a development program, such as security, user experience, and feasibility, can benefit from open Source Intelligence.

1. Enhancing program security: identifying and addressing possible security vulnerabilities

In terms of application security, open source intelligence can help identify and address potential security vulnerabilities in applications. For example, ports opened by default after an operating system update may affect the security of an application. Open source intelligence can help DevSecOps teams close these security gaps.

A survey revealed that as many as 80 percent of software code bases contain at least one vulnerability. Many companies rely on code libraries and open source components for their applications, especially programs related to mass-produced devices such as wearables and the Internet of Things. Utilizing open source intelligence can help avoid the use of open source code that is vulnerable to attack or address security issues in code that has already been deployed.

In addition, open source intelligence can be very useful in checking for information leaks related to development projects. For example, it is not uncommon for passwords and keys to be accidentally embedded in code, and this sensitive data can be collected by malicious people and then sold on the dark web. In this case, development and security teams can utilize open source intelligence to check their development projects for leaks.

2. Enhancing User Experience: getting requirements information from typical users

Building applications involves not only functional design, but also a clean and intuitive user interface and a pleasant user experience. If the program lacks user-friendliness and ease of use, it will be difficult to interest users, even if it has many complex features. With open source intelligence, developers can gather information from multiple sources, such as social media posts, forums, and communities of interest, to better understand what potential users want in terms of interface and user experience.

3. Improve business viability: better understand target markets, intended users, and competitors

Application development is often commercial in nature. Feasibility is an essential consideration when developing a project that aims to make a profit.

Using open source intelligence, application developers can examine publicly available data to gain a broad understanding of their target market, potential users, and competitors. This information is critical to the success of the project. After all, there is no point in creating a product for which there is no market demand, or in delivering a product for which there is a demand but whose functionality fails to meet user expectations.

In summary, open source intelligence can be a powerful tool for application developers. Using publicly available data, developers can make the development and operation of their programs safer, as well as gain valuable information about their target users, the competitive environment, and profitability potential, which can help them make more informed development decisions and thus increase the probability of commercial success for their applications.