You may have seen commercials from Experian that offer to scan the dark web for your private data so you won’t be a victim of identity theft. Unfortunately, the dark web presents a great danger to businesses as well. Cybercriminals use undercover websites on the deep web to sell confidential data, discuss plans for attacking businesses, and launch malware attacks. Since security breaches are on the rise, you will find there is an increased need to track confidential data on the dark web so you can protect your business and clients.
What is the Deep Web?
The deep web refers to a network of websites that people can view only through an identity-hiding browser called Tor. As stated by Michael K. Bergman, an expert on the deep web, only 0.03 of the deep web is readily available to standard search engines (Google and Bing for example). The federal government developed the Tor web browser to allow individuals to share confidential information without exposing their identities or locations. Tor can conceal the location of individuals by directing their traffic randomly through many different offshore servers.
The legitimate use of the deep web helped:
- The federal government protects their online intelligence communications
- Protesters speak out against tyrannical governments
- Journalists receive their scoops from anonymous sources
How do cyber criminals use the Deep Web for illegal activities?
Unfortunately, some crooks discovered they can use deep websites to run criminal activities with almost no chance of law enforcement agencies catching them. These illegal deep websites are known as the dark web. The dark web offers an illegal marketplace (also referred to as the black market) for criminals to buy hacking exploit kits and blocks of personally identifiable information (for example, credit card numbers, intellectual properties, and login information). It is the same black-market people mention when talking about the sale of human organs, illegal drugs, and slave labor. To make sure that purchases stay secret, cybercriminals use Bitcoin, a form of digital anonymized currency, instead of a credit or debit card.
The dark web also offers secret forums for cybercriminals to discuss attacks against organizations, governments, executives, technologies, and services. Additionally, criminals use the dark web as a hidden staging area for sending malware to business networks. Then, they hijack the devices to log into online accounts, launch spear-phishing campaigns, and collect ransomware funds. Cybercriminals can go a step further and hire company employees to carry out insider attacks.
What is dark web monitoring?
Dark web monitoring experts search obscure areas of the web for your organization’s stolen or compromised data. They use advanced crawling software to hunt for confidential data in deep web pages, social media services, forums, bulletin boards, peer-to-peer sharing networks, and malware samples. If the crawler finds confidential data, you will receive an alert and your organization can begin remediation activities, including updating account passwords, notifying customers of the breach, and reporting the event to industry regulating agencies. Dark web monitoring experts can also run cybersecurity sting operations by placing fake personal information on corporate networks and then tracing the data online if a breach happens. It is like law enforcement officers marking dollar bills to capture mobsters and drug dealers.
How can you prevent dark web security breaches?
- Scanning devices with anti-malware applications.
- Running device operating system updates as they become available. Hackers target devices that do not run these updates.
- Replacing obsolete operating systems, especially Windows Vista and 7, with Windows 10
- Not using the same passwords across many online accounts and services
- Watching out for employees using consumer cloud services, such as Dropbox and Evernote, for workplace tasks without IT oversight. The consumer version of cloud services does not have enough security controls to protect business data against leaks and breaches. For example, if your staff needs to share files with others, you can ask SwiftTech Solutions to set up company accounts for an encrypted enterprise-level cloud application, such as Dropbox for Business, Egnyte, and Box Enterprise.
- Requiring staff members to take part in regular training on safe cybersecurity practices
- Developing a business continuity plan to make sure that your business can operate if there is a breach.
We can provide dark web monitoring services as part of an overall Security as a Service package:
- Web security
- Email security
- Web monitoring
- Enterprise Anti-Virus & Anti-Malware Protection
- Ransomware Protection
- Intrusion Prevention, Detection, and Management
Interested in subscribing to our Security as a Service? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 877-794-3811.