Corporate security teams need to quickly uncover important information about potential threats for more complete investigations and actionable insights. Whether about people, businesses, assets, locations, vehicles or relationships, having the right connected data sources to surface relevant information is critical to making informed decisions.
But to make these informed decisions, security teams must go through an integrated research process – the methods and tools for finding information about a specific subject or incident which may not be easy to discover and connect for a complete picture.
Research on an entity (person(s), business or group) can have many different starting points, depending on what information is already known. The depth and breadth of the related research can also vary depending on who is conducting the research and the urgency of the situation.
Research can start with known information such as a phone number, an email address, a vehicle license plate, a social profile, or a name and, ideally, some other contextual information such as residence and possible age.
Every research exercise will look different, but most analysts will follow a ladder of progression to do their due diligence and gather as much relevant data as possible.
A Sample Scenario: Researching A Threatening Phone Call
A corporate security team is alerted that an employee received a threatening phone call at the office without a blocked ID. The caller seems to be a male and provided a name, however, could be giving a fake name.
With a known starting point, an analyst on the security team conducts an identity search to discover if their organization has previously been made aware of this number. If so, it could be related to a previous incident, tied to a known entity or unknowingly listed in a document. If there has been no previous knowledge, the team will consider this threatening phone call as the origination point using only the known information.
Next, the analyst will leverage research tools like TLOxp or LexisNexis Risk Solutions as these records databases have the most reliable information available. It’s here that the analyst confirms a male individual as the most recent person associated with the known number. Once they review the details uncovered on the individual, then they can confirm some of the information provided on the call.
With that identifying information, the analyst can start building further due diligence research. They gather incarceration and criminal case information along with other publicly accessible background information such as public records (civil, criminal, and traffic), vehicles, businesses, professional licenses, gaming licenses, real estate history and more.
In only a few minutes, the analyst has started to collect a good deal of information on the individual. However, more can be done to build a fuller picture.
UniCourt provides direct access to state and federal court digital records, including the full Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) criminal, bankruptcy and civil datasets.
An adverse media search helps to identify sanctions, negative reviews, news stories or other items that are not litigated.
The final step the team takes is to look for concerning information within the individual’s social media posts from any attached social media profiles uncovered during the research.
In a short time, the security team has a solid baseline of information on the potential threat actor.
The key here is not just access to a variety of integrated research tools and data sources, but the fact that the analyst was able to access them all in one place that provides:
- A more comprehensive view of the threat
- A proactive approach
- Access to historical data in real-time when the potential threat was underway
- Collaboration at scale
- Reduction in time spent on reports
This type of integreated research approach is precisely what the Ontic Platform offers. Within the Ontic Platform, security professionals and research analysts can access a more complete dataset across multiple connected research tools to proactively assess incoming threats and uncover important details surrounding persons of interest (POI). This gives them increased efficiency and collaboration by streamlining research and conducting more thorough ongoing investigations.
“Ontic is by far the most dynamic platform as it relates to researching POIs, conducting investigations and general research. It brings all of these things that are traditionally housed in separate spaces into one. In addition, the dynamic linking has helped on several occasions with expanding investigations by linking two parties we had no idea had any relationship,” said a Senior Manager of Fraud and Investigations at one of America’s Largest Privately Held Retail Companies.
If you’re a corporate security professional reading this realizing you may be missing out on critical information because of siloed tools and a lack of real-time critical intelligence, then come talk to us. We can help you access the industry’s most complete set of real-time and historical public records research and data — all integrated into one platform for proactive threat management, security investigations and risk assessment.
Looking for research and investigation tools that will give your security team a more comprehensive view of threats? Check out Ontic’s Integrated Research Solution.