By Rachel Kronenfeld, Hg’s Manager of Investigations
In this three-part blog series, we review three fee-based tools on the market today: Echosec, LifeRaft Navigator, and Dataminr. These reviews are based on actual Hg case studies that include monitoring a sensitive protest, a company’s event, and their executive team or brand reputation in the same month. We can say from experience where these products deliver, how easy they are to use, and how each is growing. For the review, we also interviewed account executives from some of these companies, to hear what they consider to be the strengths and opportunities lying ahead of them.
Last week, we reviewed LifeRaft Navigator and its ability to filter and exclude key term, date, or posts with specific geo-coordinates. This week, we focus our attention on Dataminr.
Dataminr is a U.S. company headquartered in New York, and an official partner with Twitter. The company delivers intelligence in corporate security, finance, public sector, news, and communications. Their access to real-time information and to Twitter’s full feed of users’ public posts are their strengths, allowing users to be notified instantly regarding high-impact events and breaking news— often before it hits the news.
How is this accomplished? With its powerful algorithm, Dataminr recognizes relevant posts and images before they are trending. News often breaks with a single person’s post, photo, or video. Word can take several minutes to travel to law enforcement or news services. For example, when we monitor a client’s London office location, we can see the chatter about a nearby shooting long before we discover the local news reporting on that shooting. Dataminr has several articles, case studies, and infographics available on its website providing further examples.
Dataminr is using its data to benefit the financial industry. Considered a fast growing fintech company, Dataminr has been used to detect trading signals to provide better financial decisions and opportunities. With its attention on the financial sector, the company has received impressive numbers in private equity funding, receiving investments and support from such companies as Fidelity Investments, Morgan Stanley, and Goldman Sachs. Dataminr tends to be in the public spotlight, as they continue to develop new technologies. It makes Dataminr one of the first to address changing global privacy laws, such as GDPR, and the effects it may have on the company and all its competitors.
While our reviewed tools make current awareness and monitoring more efficient and location-based searching possible, these tools aren’t to be solely relied upon. Be aware of which sources they cover and who their providers are. There are several free resources out there that can help you find the hard-to-reach content or the additional details your platform may not find. Use all of them to your advantage. Some free tools we love are BoardReader and Omgili for forum search platforms. We use Social Mention and Blog Search Engine for blog and microblog searching.
The security industry is a 24x7x365 industry. Terrorist attacks, natural disasters, or leaked company emails all are not confined to the workday hours of nine to five. Having a current awareness and monitoring tool notifying you around the clock can provide some peace of mind to you and to your client.
Our team highly recommends you subscribe to one of these products or a similar product. Ideally, for a range of coverage, you should subscribe to more than one product. While you have seen the capabilities these products have to offer, you have also seen that each has its unique strengths that can be valuable on a case-by- case basis. For example, when we were monitoring a far-right political demonstration, we turned to LifeRaft Navigator and Media Sonar for the online chatroom discussions. However, when we were looking for leaked photos from a company event or breaking global news, we turned to Dataminr for real-time content.
There is no one source that will tell you all the intelligence you need to know. It still takes several resources— and sometimes the research of a whole team of individuals—to holistically gather, analyze, and report intelligence in a timely effective matter.
Finally, be sure to keep up with changes to these products, including features added—and lost—due to changing privacy laws. Take advantage of a product’s free demonstrations, training, or webinars to keep your skills sharp. Keep up with emerging competitors, and all the free resources available to complement these powerhouse tools. Your account executives will deeply appreciate any feedback or suggestion you have to improve their product. They all are working to set the standard. Who better to inform them in their goal than we the users?
Are you an analyst or investigator looking for advanced training on Dataminr and other current awareness and monitoring tools? If so, check out Hg’s webinar series, where you can attend live sessions and receive CEUs or watch previously recorded sessions to beef up your OSINT skills.
Are you in need of current awareness and monitoring for your company’s executive officers, your brand, or your reputation? At Hg, we are experts in scanning social media platforms, surface, deep, and Dark Web mentions of personal identifiers, your brand, and intellectual property to keep you safe from online predators, protesters, and hackers. Learn how our team can help you mitigate risk at home and abroad.
Rachel Kronenfeld joined Hetherington Group in 2016 and is Hg’s Manager of Investigations and lead investigator. As a skilled and diverse analyst, she monitors current events and information on the Internet, identifies security threats, and conducts online risk assessment analyses for Hg’s clients. Ms. Kronenfeld conducts trainings for investigators and is a contributing writer to Hg’s newsletter, Data2Know. Her professional research specialty is Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) techniques.