Does The Dark Web Present A Clear And Present Danger To Your Business?
Honest business professionals hear rumors and, perhaps, horror stories about the criminal activity that occurs on the dark web. Although most people wouldn’t even know how to find this digital underground, we all know that hackers sell valuable personal identity and company information on such platforms.
Although the so-called dark web seems like an almost abstract concept, it can become very real if your digital assets are stolen and shopped.
What makes the dark web particularly dangerous to business owners, CEOs, and other industry leaders is that you might not know your data has been stolen. According to a Threat Post report, a breach resulted in 26 million accounts getting leaked and sold on the dark web. The data was reportedly pilfered off back in 2014 after 33 million accounts were breached.
In recent months, a reported dump of 33,717,787 unique accounts was being shopped on hacker platforms. The frightening reality for industry leaders is that your data could be for sale on the dark web right now, and you wouldn’t even know it. That’s why monitoring the cyber underground remains mission-critical.
What Is The Dark Web?
It may be worth noting that the so-called dark web is not an alternative internet. Rather, the term refers to portions of the internet everyday users rarely experience. The average person may only be able to access 10 percent of available websites. Below this commonly used layer lives the “deep web” and “dark web.”
The deep web makes up about 90 percent of the true internet, and the vast majority of sites are harmless. Many are protected by paywalls or require foreknowledge to register. A small percentage are malicious sites that are hidden for nefarious reasons. Using encryption or unique browser software, among other strategies, these are where cyber-thieves broker illegal deals and sell items that include the following.
- Drugs & Firearms
- Counterfeit Currencies
- Credit Card Information
- Digital Files
- Hacker Services
- Login Profile Information
Large corporations continue to improve their cybersecurity measures by working with third-party IT experts after the Equifax mega-breach garnered headlines. But as recently as October, hackers dropped upwards of 1.3 million stolen credit cards on a dark web site called Joker’s Stash to the tune of $130 million. A Threat Post report indicates cybercriminals were able to sell each account for $100 on the dark web. Considered one of the larger credit card thefts, it barely made mainstream headlines.
How To Defend Against Dark Web Dangers
Entrepreneurs, CEOs, and other decision-makers rarely know their seemingly secure data has been put on the dark web for sale until accounts are leveraged. Consider that Equifax and the recent Joker’s Stash drop resulted in compromised account information. Despite efforts to maintain top-tier cybersecurity, finances were depleted, and reputations destroyed. This reality begs the question about what business leaders can do to be more proactive.
If your company stores valuable digital assets, employee records, or sensitive client information, dark web monitoring could prevent a business nightmare. These rank among the proactive strategies thought leaders are taking.
- Two-Factor Authentication: This strategy helps block hackers from gaining access to your business network via an employee login profile.
- Password Manager Technology: This software helps generate new and uniquely strong password protections
- Dark Web Monitoring: Cybersecurity experts can monitor hidden criminal websites for keywords that alert them that your company or personal data is being shopped.
You may not discover that sensitive digital assets have been pilfered off until bank accounts are drained, credit cards are maxed, intellectual property has been used in another country, or someone gets a threatening email. Enterprise-level cybersecurity strategies deliver the frontlines defense organizations need to prevent incursions. The nominal cost of ongoing dark web monitoring by an expert delivers an excellent return on investment. The value of avoiding the sting of dark web threat actors cannot be understated.