As we reflect on the past year, LifeRaft is proud to have been at the forefront of delivering cutting-edge insights and knowledge to corporate security professionals. Staying ahead of potential threats is not just a priority. It's a necessity. Our commitment to zero missed threats for a safer world is reflected in the wealth of information we've shared through our blog.

So as we wrap up 2023, we take a closer look at the top nine blog posts and podcasts that resonated most with our community. These interviews and articles delve into the intricacies of social media, alt-tech networks, and effective intelligence gathering techniques. And whether you're a seasoned security professional or just starting to navigate the complexities of threat intelligence, our curated list promises to offer valuable perspectives and actionable insights.


1. The 4 Alt-Tech Social Networks Security Pros Need to Watch


As mainstream social networks grapple with privacy concerns and content moderation, we’ve seen a growing exodus towards alt-tech platforms. Users are drawn to these communities for their promises of free speech, enhanced user privacy, and a departure from the perceived biases of mainstream networks. 

This surge in popularity, however, presents a big challenge for corporate security teams. The decentralized nature of many alt-tech platforms, coupled with their rapid emergence, makes it challenging for analysts to identify and monitor potential security threats effectively. And in many cases, security leaders may not even be aware that these platforms even exist… or the risks they could pose to their organizations. 

In response to these dynamics, we’ve highlighted the four alt-tech social networks security pros need to watch.

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2. What OSINT Analysts Should Know About Alt Tech Social Networks

Corporate security teams are grappling with the escalating challenge posed by alternative social networks. Platforms like Gab and Chan boards, considered non-traditional, bring forth substantial threats encompassing cyber risks, physical dangers, doxing, and misinformation campaigns, potentially overlooked without proper monitoring. 

Neil Spencer, VP, Product Strategy at LifeRaft, returns to the podcast to dissect the nature of these alternative social networks and illuminate effective monitoring strategies for security teams. The episode underscores the criticality of monitoring smaller, obscure communities for comprehensive threat intelligence, explores how these platforms foster echo chambers and fuel misinformation, emphasizes the detection of early warnings in the digital space, and delves into the emerging importance of brand protection within the corporate security scope. 


3. The New Rules of Social Media Threat Intelligence


Thanks to lower ad spending, rising interest rates, and competition from new platforms like TikTok, social media companies have slashed budgets for content moderation. Unsurprisingly, this austerity leaves tech giants with significantly fewer resources to combat fake news, thwart disinformation campaigns, and remove inappropriate content from their platforms. 

All of which can have consequences for security teams. Disinformation or fake news spreading online can damage an organization’s reputation. And with users moving to new platforms like Mastodon or Telegram, it has become increasingly difficult to identify and address threats online. 

So how should OSINT analysts respond? This article delves into the intricate web of challenges emerging from this landscape, exploring the impact on corporate security teams and elucidating how leaders should strategically respond to navigate these evolving rules of social media threat intelligence.

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4. What Security Teams Need to Know About ChatGPT

Picture a world where conversing with computers is as natural as chatting with a friend. Enter ChatGPT, a groundbreaking technology crafted by OpenAI that has transformed the way we engage with computers. Gone are the days of issuing commands; now, we engage in real, meaningful conversations with our virtual assistants, making tasks smoother and information retrieval faster. 

ChatGPT's profound impact extends beyond productivity; however, it raises valid concerns for corporate security teams. The worry stems from its potential misuse, enabling bad actors to propagate false information and granting cybercriminals a powerful tool for crafting sophisticated phishing emails and developing novel attack vectors. 

In this episode, Daniel Ben-Chitrit, Director of Product Management at Authentic8, delves into the implications of ChatGPT for corporate security teams and the OSINT community. The conversation explores the challenges of leveraging this technology effectively while preserving security and data privacy. 


5. 7 Tips for Effective Social Media Intelligence Gathering


Effective social media intelligence gathering has become a cornerstone for corporate security teams. With users generating terabytes of content every minute, the online landscape offers an immense pool of data that holds the key to identifying vulnerabilities, tracking public sentiment, and detecting potential risks. Such abundance of data, however, poses a significant challenge in itself. Knowing where to commence and implementing the right techniques is crucial, as overlooking threats hiding in plain sight is a risk organizations can't afford to take. 

This blog post addresses this complexity by presenting seven invaluable tips for enhancing social media intelligence gathering. From optimizing search strategies to leveraging advanced techniques, this article provides security analysts with practical insights to navigate the vast sea of data and bolster their threat detection capabilities, ultimately fortifying their organization's security operations.

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6. Protecting Executives Online: Using OSINT to Thwart Doxxing Attempts

Doxxing, the malicious act of publicly revealing private or personal information about individuals, poses a serious threat to executives and employees in the digital age. Adversaries may engage in doxxing for various reasons, including revenge, harassment, or as a means of intimidation. But regardless of why these attacks might happen, the risks associated with such incidents are profound – ranging from privacy invasion and identity theft to physical harm. So how do security leaders address this threat? 

To address this growing challenge, we invited Tristan Laugher, Product Specialist at Liferaft Inc., to provide insights into safeguarding individuals from doxxing incidents. Tristan will share strategies for security leaders to protect their clients and employees from online exposure, emphasizing proactive measures to prevent doxxing as well as guidance on what to do if an unfortunate incident occurs. 


7. 10 Ways to Deliver More Actionable Threat Intelligence


Much of the “intelligence” reaching decision-makers falls short of being truly actionable. Despite the abundance of data and information, decision-makers often receive insights that, while interesting, lack the necessary depth to guide strategic responses effectively. This disparity hampers the influence of private sector intelligence analysts, sidelining them within their organizations. 

This blog post addresses the gap by presenting 10 strategies designed to transform threat intelligence into actionable insights for decision-makers. From refining data collection processes to fostering collaboration between analysts and decision-makers, the article equips private sector intelligence professionals with practical approaches to enhance the impact of their insights, ultimately elevating their role within the corporate security framework.

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8. How to Protect Your Organization From Workplace Shootings

The alarming surge in workplace shootings in recent years necessitates a reevaluation of traditional survival training methods. But while widely disseminated, approaches such as the FBI's run, hide, fight strategy, though offering some guidance, may oversimplify the complexities of active shooter situations. The evolving nature of these incidents requires a more nuanced and comprehensive approach to ensure the safety of employees. 

In addressing this critical issue, we invited Michael Julian, the creator of the A.L.I.V.E. Active Shooter Survival Training Program and President of MPS Security & Protection, to share insights on enhancing the effectiveness of training sessions. His expertise delves into the intricacies of survival training, offering security leaders a more refined understanding of how to prepare their organizations and avoid common pitfalls when instructing employees on active shooter response.


9. How to Conduct Social Media Intelligence Safely: 5 Expert Tips

Viewing social media on a mobile device and laptop with security icons overlayed

The role of social media intelligence has become increasingly pivotal. But while the internet provides a window to watch adversaries, never forget adversaries can use the internet to watch you. Any online investigation can reveal potentially sensitive information such as an analyst’s identity, location, or organization. If spotted by subjects, this could potentially compromise an investigation. Or even worse, detection opens the door to reprisal attacks against the investigator or their organization. 

So how should analysts address these risks? Recognizing these challenges, this blog post unveils five expert tips to guide analysts in conducting social media intelligence safely. From safeguarding personal information to implementing secure communication channels, the article provides actionable strategies to mitigate risks and ensure that social media intelligence efforts contribute to enhanced security without compromising the safety of analysts or their organizations.

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As we bid farewell to an eventful year, we extend our gratitude to our readers for their continued support. At LifeRaft, we remain committed to providing cutting-edge insights into the world of threat intelligence. Stay tuned for more informative content in the coming year, as we continue our mission to empower security professionals with the knowledge they need to stay one step ahead of evolving threats.

Here's to a secure and insightful 2024!

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