The difference between open source intelligence and web intelligence

What is Open Source Intelligence?

Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) is one of the well known sources of intelligence, or intelligence gathering disciplines. Although the term "open source intelligence" has been in use for over thirty years, until today it has not had a standardized definition. Open source intelligence is defined as intelligence generated from publicly available information that is collected, analyzed, and shared to aid in a particular investigation.

In other words, open source intelligence is intelligence gathered through the collection and analysis of publicly available information and data used for investigative purposes. Open source intelligence data sources collected from the Internet can contain almost anything you can find on the Web, from IP addresses to public government records.

While open source intelligence collected from the Internet is currently used in several industries, driving its popularity, there are more traditional sources of open source intelligence such as printed books, newspapers and periodicals, television and radio, photographs, and more.

The difference between OSINT and WEBINT

WEBINT, or web intelligence, is a term that has become increasingly popular in the past few years. Contrary to what its name implies, web intelligence is not considered part of an intelligence collection protocol or intelligence source. So, what exactly is web intelligence?

The term "WEBINT" was originally proposed by Ning Zhong, Jiming Yao, and Y.Y. Ohsuga in a paper they wrote for the 2000 Computer Software and Applications Conference. According to the first definition, WEBINT as a whole refers to the field of research and development that seeks to explore the different roles and practical implications of artificial intelligence (AI) on different intelligent networks (networks of people, data, things, trust, agents, health, and smart living in the 5G era), as well as advanced information technology on network-enabled products, systems, services, and activities.

However, if open source intelligence is an intelligence gathering discipline, then cyber intelligence is a research and development discipline.

The increased use of "cyber intelligence" as a marketing term is driven by technology vendors following a differentiation strategy in the open source intelligence space. This distinction is necessary because web intelligence technologies can be used to improve the analysis of data obtained through Internet-based open source intelligence sources.

For further clarification, we need to look at this issue from a data perspective. Open source intelligence is most valuable when data collected for production purposes is properly developed, analyzed, and validated. However, the intelligence cycle (collection, filtering, analysis, production) is often very time consuming because the raw data is often unstructured, and this is where cyber intelligence comes in handy.