What is OSINT?

OSINT is Open Source Intelligence Investigation Training. It is a specific training course which helps risk and compliance professionals to learn and develop new skills to search the Internet safely and securely, whilst also obtaining and validating data on key customers, high-profile individuals, and businesses.

Below, we set out some of the key benefits of OSINT, as well as highlighting the new skills you will obtain and how they will relate to your job role.

Use OSINT to Know Your Customers (KYC)

KYC, aka Know Your Customer, is the regulatory requirement for financial service companies to identify and verify their customers, and to assess the risks in the relationship. This means understanding the nature and purpose of a customer’s relationship and financial transactions to assess the risk of financial crimes such as money laundering, tax evasion and sanctions evasion.

OSINT provides you with the necessary awareness and investigative skills, to enable you to locate and uncover the information required as part of your KYC process.

Use OSINT for Enhanced Due Diligence (EDD)

EDD, aka Enhanced Due Diligence, is a critical process which seeks to further scrutinise and verify the risks associated with higher risk clients and transactions and seeks to provide new information that has not been detected using standard customer due diligence processes (CDD).

By completing this OSINT course, you will be able to perform more effective EDD, using new skills and awareness, to deliver intelligence-based reports using credible sources of identification and verification information to demonstrate a deeper insight and understanding of your customers.

Use OSINT to manage Politically Exposed Person (PEP) risks

A PEP is a senior public figures who is required to be managed using EDD techniques. They can be high-profile individuals, politicians, or have been entrusted with the most senior public official positions. As such, they present a higher risk of certain financial crimes associated with bribery and corruption. They may even be sanctioned.

By completing this programme of OSINT training, you will learn how to locate new sources of publicly available information and critically, be able to perform safely search social media posts, and published media about your PEP, providing the necessary verification of sources of wealth, funding, close family, and business associations. It can even be used to prove location and movement of PEPs!

Use OSINT to manage high risk relationships

Not all relationships are high risk, but those that are, must be managed with greater care and more forensic scrutiny. OSINT will help you to manage these risks by giving you the tools to identify risk factors such as undisclosed beneficial ownership, controlling mind influences, control through informal nominees and associates and even the existence of undisclosed assets.

Using openly available Internet resources, OSINT will help you to profile a business or person safely and anonymously, whilst always remaining within the locally applicable laws and regulations.

Use OSINT to identify and verify associated assets

As part of your KYC, CDD and EDD processes you will need to be able to identify and verify both people, and the assets they are associated with. This will include, but isn’t limited to, high-value goods, properties and business interests.

The skills you learn through this OSINT programme will help you to locate the original source of information and assist you to verify the information using other credible sources, leading to more reliable reports and higher levels of assurance and confidence in risk assessments.

Use OSINT to navigate the Internet safely

OSINT is not only useful for identifying information locations, but it will help you to safely navigate the Internet. Whether browsing privately, or performing anonymous searches of open databases, you will learn the skills that are required to make fullest use of the Internet.