OSINT-y Goodness, №3 — The Business Journals

American City Business Journals is a Charlotte, North Carolina, USA based publisher. One of their largest circulating titles is a series called The Business Journals. Their other publications include AmericanInno, Bizwomen, Hemmings, Inside Lacrosse, and Sports Business Journal. Why is a business publication a good OSINT resource? It’s where you can find information about private companies who typically don’t have a lot of information available about them. You can also use it to investigate people or organizations. There is a wealth of information to be found, if you take the time to comb through a Business Journal publication.

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Easy to find at bizjournals.com

This is a subscription publication, but their website does offer some free material. For example, on their main homepage of bizjournals.com, you can see a free article from the Silicon Valley Business Journal, “Tesla unveils $39,000 compact SUV for the masses.” Several other Bizjournal publications will have free stories as well.

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“It has the functionality of an SUV, but will ride like a sports car,” Tesla CEO Musk said of the Model Y.”

There are also articles that are labeled as, “sponsored content.” This still may be good information, but it’s best to keep in mind that it’s like an “infomercial” on television. It’s sponsored by a company, so the material will probably be skewed as something promotional for them. Still, free material is good for OSINT gathering.

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Sponsored Content by Deloitte: 1 in 3 mid-sized firms lack IT governance and could face digital disruption

So, let’s now get to the real meat and potatoes of the Bizjournals serial publication. In addition to national business news, they publish regional-specific business news for over 40 U.S. cities.

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Over 40 U.S. cities have a Business Journal publication.

Once you have your desired city selected, you can then dig around in one of the following topics Bizjournals covers.

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That’s a pretty good spread of industries covered.

You also have the option to just search general news, people & companies (HINT: great #OpSec information can be found in this section, like “People on the Move” where promotions, awards, or new jobs are touted), events, and job postings.

Hey! Look! I was in “People on the Move” once!

That’s a lot of stuff you can get from the Bizjournals for free, right? Now, let’s dive into what their subscription will get you. First, articles with a key require a subscription to read. Also, there is other online content that comes with the subscription. You’ll have access to some longer, more in-depth business articles, email alerts about news, and online tools. Keep in mind that a subscription to the Sacramento Business Journal won’t give you access to an article from the Milwaukee Business Journal that’s behind a paywall. Each city is an individual subscription.

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See the key? This article requires a Bizjournals subscription to read.

But, the greatest thing you get with a Bizjournals subscription is their Book of Lists. It’s not a clever name; it really is a book of lists.

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The Book of Lists is a great OSINT resource!

The Book of Lists can be a treasure trove of information about which companies operate in different markets, how they compare with their competitors, and chock full of information about featured employees — usually the C-Suite. But, you can’t get the Book of Lists without a subscription.

To reiterate, subscriptions for Bizjournals are done by city. To the best of my knowledge, there is not one comprehensive subscription for all U.S. cities, but you should inquire with them if that suits your needs. An annual subscription to a single city is $115 for digital only and $140 for digital and print. Once you subscribe to one city, you get discounted rate offers to add more cities to your subscription. If you do frequent OSINT research on companies, this is a pretty good bargain.

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Bizjournals subscription information.

As far as social media goes, the main publication can be found on Twitter as @bizjournals. Then, each individual city’s publication will also have their own Twitter handle, like @PHLBizJournal for the Philadelphia Business Journal.

The only negative that I can think about Bizjournals is that you can receive quite a bit of advertising email from them. Be sure to set up your email preferences if you subscribe or if you just opt-in to receive their free email notifications. It can get to be a lot! Otherwise, this is a solid publication that really gets granular at the local level about business happenings which can provide a lot of information for your OSINT research.

P.S. I am not getting any compensation from The Business Journals for this blog post. I was once a subscriber a few years ago, but I didn’t have a need to renew. It’s just a good resource that I don’t think people know a lot about.

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#Librarian turned #InformationSecurity professional. Your guide up a mountain of information!

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