You may not have heard of the dark web before, but it’s where you don’t want your company’s data to end up. The dark web is like a back alley where you can find almost anything for a price. However, your company could be paying the price if your data is on the dark web.
What is the dark web?
To understand the dark web, you first need to know how it differs from the parts of the internet you may already be familiar with. Firstly, there’s the surface web, which is the part of the internet easily accessible with a regular internet browser like Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge. This includes websites like Google, Amazon, and Facebook.
Then, the layer below that is the deep web. The deep web is not accessible and cannot index by search engines like Google. Think of it like the parts of the internet that are not for public consumption.
Finally, there’s the dark web. A part of the internet that can only be accessed with a unique browser called The Onion Router (TOR). TOR encrypts a user’s internet traffic and bounces it through a worldwide server network, making browsing activity, and IP addresses hard to trace. With TOR, users can access dark websites with ‘.onion’ domains, which contain various information and services that tend to be inaccessible over the regular internet. These could be anything from news reports attempting to evade censorship to illegal services like drug dealing and money laundering.
What does it mean when your data is on the dark web?
If your company’s data is on the dark web, it’s time to employ a full cyber security health check.
Once cybercriminals have your data, they can do whatever they want. They may attempt to blackmail your business with sensitive information or even sell it to the highest bidder. Healthcare records and credit card details are available on the dark web for as little as $40 to fuel identity theft and fraud. Compromised passwords may also be sold in bulk, which could then be used to launch credential-stuffing attacks against your company.
The longer your company’s data is on the dark web, the greater the chance to be target for cybercrime. That’s why it’s essential to keep an eye on the dark web and monitor for any mention of your company’s data.
How do you know if your company’s data is on the dark web?
The best way to determine any company data breach is to subscribe to a dark web monitoring service. Fortunately, many managed IT services providers (MSPs) offer dark web monitoring as part of their cybersecurity offerings. This service scours the dark web for any mention of your company’s data. If there’s evidence of data leak, the MSP will assess the extent of the breach and proactively secure system vulnerabilities. The MSP may even help you notify affected parties and the authorities to mitigate the fallout from the data breach.
How can you prevent data from going on the dark web?
A comprehensive cybersecurity framework is crucial to keeping data away from the dark web. This starts with implementing strong security measures like firewalls, intrusion prevention systems, role-based access restrictions, and endpoint protection software. You should also encrypt all sensitive data to ensure that it can’t be read if it falls into the wrong hands.
Last but not least, you need to train employees regularly on cybersecurity best practices. Human errors like setting weak passwords and clicking on suspicious links are often to blame for data breaches. By increasing awareness of cyber threats and teaching employees how to spot them, you can prevent massive-scale data leaks on the dark web.
At Empower IT, we ensure your data stays where it’s supposed to — with you. Our high-quality dark web monitoring is designed to protect your business from data breaches, and other online threats. Contact us now.