The growing field of digital forensics and one OSINT company making it completely private - Social Media Explorer
The growing field of digital forensics and one OSINT company making it completely private
The growing field of digital forensics and one OSINT company making it completely private

Did you know? 60% of small and medium businesses close their doors six months after experiencing a cyber attack. It’s both an overwhelming feeling and statistic based on seemingly anonymous crimes.

If your business happens online, then online security should be part of your game plan. There are several tools designed for SMBs, online merchants and other smaller-in-scale businesses, but what do government agencies, law enforcement and other governing bodies use?

It matters now more than ever, as recently 73.2 million user records were placed for sale on the dark web.

And it’s why companies, like Social Links, an open source intelligence (OSINT) software vendor exists. They specialize in digital forensics, a growing field that is able to “see” what is happening online and provide answers in illegal and criminal situations. Competitors are working diligently to set themselves apart — including a priority on privacy, access and, of course, competitive pricing (although you can expect a costly service for the type of access needed).

The Social Links team just announced Social Links BOX, a new tool for law enforcement and governing agencies around the world. A standalone analogue of the Social Links SaaS service, the new solution accumulates the experience of hundreds of law enforcement agencies around the world, including the majority of European countries. One of the most compelling parts? It allows data to be kept in a closed loop, versus the cloud, thus completely privatizing the digital forensics process internally.

Why does a closed loop matter? When running an investigation, it means keeping all documents, research and intelligence within the organization versus the cloud. The cloud implies a level of access that could potentially become public since servers have the ability to be accessed over the internet (this includes ALL software and any other information stored on said servers). So, in essence, it’s a must have for these situations.

The new platform was created due to a need within governmental organizations to have more streamlined and comprehensive methods for conducting OSINT investigations. Many organizations have internal experts and Social Links BOX offers ready-made search methods (that can be used separately or in combination with others) that can be used in addition to existing efforts.

“We have been listening to our customers’ ongoing needs and created the Social Links BOX based on those who require the storage of all data in a closed loop, explains Ivan Shkvarun, co-founder, Social Links. “Our partners need to automate their open-source investigations, but they cannot use cloud services. Our standalone product solves this problem: now all the power of our tools and all the methodological developments are at their disposal.”

What should agencies look for when determining what type of platform to use? Here are a few best practices:

  • Ability to access multiple sources of information and incorporate hundreds of methods, including social media and the dark web;
  • Data storage in a closed loop versus cloud storage;
  • Integration with existing internal resources; and
  • Operating in a safe and secure environment, ensuring all investigation and search records remain inside the organization

You can expect to see continued innovation and products offered in this space, especially as more people remain home and open sources that frequently change their formats, operating rules and interfaces.

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About the Author

Sarah Evans

VIP Explorer’s Club