The Cyber5 Podcast

EP75: Open Source Intelligence’s Role in the National Security and the Broader Public Sector

Episode 75 | June 15, 2022

In episode 75 of The Cyber5, we are joined by Grist Mill Exchange CEO, Kristin Wood.

Episode 75 | June 15, 2022

In episode 75 of The Cyber5, we are joined by Grist Mill Exchange CEO, Kristin Wood.

We discuss open source intelligence (OSINT) use in the U.S. public sector, not only with national security but also with the emergency response sectors. We talk about how open source intelligence has evolved in the last ten years and talk about how adversaries use open source intelligence against us. We also discuss how the U.S. needs to catch up with not only how to operationalize OSINT in meaningful ways, but how the U.S. government can procure bleeding edge technologies in a more time sensitive manner to meet mission requirements.


Here are the 3 Topics We Cover in This Episode:


1) Open Source Intelligence Has Evolved From Just Foreign Media; It’s The New All-Source Intelligence:

The national security sector traditionally used open source intelligence as translating foreign media particularly during crisis situations. Now, open source intelligence is being leveraged in many ways like all source intelligence – the integration of human, signal, and imagery intelligence. Interconnectivity of devices has led to a commercial “goldrush” to aggregate data and sell it to public and private sector clients.


2) China is Remarkable at Open Source Intelligence Using Autocracy as an Advantage:

China and Russia are collecting open source intelligence at an unprecedented level against the U.S. including what’s commercially available and through computer network exploitation and data exfiltration.

They are aiming to reframe the U.S. using disinformation as a powerful tool. They have been very successful in leveraging online disinhibition effects against the U.S. populace.


3) The United States Public Sector Needs an Overhaul in Procurement Authority:

The U.S. private sector has a lot to teach the U.S. public sector in terms of learning consumer behaviors and how to pair that with commercially derived data, such as device fingerprinting, to extract valuable insights for national security purposes. To accomplish this, analysts need to be able to circumvent cumbersome government procurement buying cycles.


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