The Internet is vast and continuously developing. Due to pervasive digital technologies and connected devices, data generated is constantly increasing. Criminals are becoming more sophisticated in their ways of attacks that are difficult to detect.
An increasing number of businesses fall prey to criminal attacks leading to a substantial financial loss of intellectual property. Cybercriminals generally sell this stolen information or data on the dark web.
Over 95% of the world’s data reside in the dark and deep webs. Only 5% is present on the surface web and accessible via browsers. In case your data is found on the dark web, there is a great possibility that criminals on the dark web can access your data.
This leaked data can cause financial, personal, and reputational damage to your organization. Therefore, organizations must add dark web monitoring capabilities to their security efforts.
This article will discuss dark web monitoring, how it works, its benefits to organizations, and how organizations protect their information from the dark web.
What Exactly is the Dark Web?
In simple terms, the dark web is a portion of the internet that isn’t indexed by search engines. This means you can’t find it through Google or Bing. The most common way to access it is through an anonymizing network like Tor. All your activity is encrypted and untraceable when you browse the dark web.
You can think of the dark web as a hidden layer underneath the surface of the internet we use daily — also known as “the clear net.” The clear net comprises websites that are easily accessible through Google and other search engines, like Facebook and Amazon.
What Type of Data can Compromise on the Dark Web?
The most potential type of data that can be compromised on the Dark Web include:
- Online account credentials, including usernames and passwords, financial data, and third-party services, such as PayPal, Mailchimp etc.
- Customer data includes Personally Identifiable Information (PII), credit card details, routing numbers, bank accounts, and more.
- Network credentials, such as user ID and password for a business’s IT network access, include administrative accounts that can give hackers keys to your business.
- Employee data such as HR records and bank account information.
- Proprietary information your organization’s competitors or other malicious actors might benefit from copying or compromising your services or products.
Dark web monitoring is a process of monitoring the internet for activities on the so-called “dark web.” This includes websites that are not accessible via standard search engines and may be used for illegal or illicit purposes.
Businesses can use dark web monitoring to reactively and proactively cope with data breaches. Instead of scanning the entire dark web, cybersecurity firms manage massive databases of compromised credentials. When a data breach occurs at an internet service provider, the cybersecurity firm adds any leaked information to its monitoring database.
Businesses can regularly check employee credentials against the database to discover whether any corporate accounts are vulnerable. A real-time dark web monitoring warning with more information about the data breach and recommended actions is typically sent to the impacted employee.
Here are some most recognized activities found on the dark web.
- Darknet market
- Hacking groups and services
- Fraud services
- Illegal financing
- Phishing and scams
How Does Dark Monitoring Work?
Most people would not know how they can find that their data is on the dark web. Even security professionals usually do not have the tools to search the dark web. In such a scenario, dark web monitoring can be a valuable asset.
Dark web monitoring for organizations helps proactively and reactively deal with data breaches. Despite scanning the entire contents of the dark web, cybersecurity firms curate large databases of compromised credentials.
It continuously searches the dark web and halts raw intelligence in real-time. Hundreds and thousands of websites are monitored for particular or general information. When a threat is detected, users can create a customized alert to notify team members and others in the organization relevant to the threat, such as legal, marketing, fraud teams, and human resources.
Importance of Dark Web Monitoring For Businesses
Businesses can stay ahead of the curve on data breaches and cyber attacks by monitoring the dark web. Here are just a few of the benefits of dark web monitoring:
Protection from Data Breaches
In the wake of a data breach, businesses can suffer significant financial losses, damage to their reputation, and loss of customer trust. One way companies can protect themselves from data breaches is through dark web monitoring. The dark web is a collection of websites that are not indexed by search engines and can only be accessed using special software. These websites are often used by criminals to buy and sell stolen data. By monitoring the dark web, businesses can identify stolen data before it is used to commit fraud or identity theft. In addition, dark web monitoring can help enterprises to assess a data breach’s risk and take steps to mitigate that risk.
Help Law Enforcement to Track Criminals
As the dark web continues to grow in popularity, so will the role of dark web monitoring in law enforcement. Law enforcement can obtain information about criminal activity with dark web monitoring that would otherwise be hidden from view. This includes identifying illegal drug sales, tracking the sale of stolen data and uncovering terrorist plots. In addition, dark web monitoring can help law enforcement identify and apprehend child predators and human traffickers.
Businesses Track Employee Activities
By tracking employee activity on the dark web, businesses can gain insights into what workers do when they’re not on the clock.
- Are they visiting sites that could put the company at risk?
- Are they sharing confidential information?
Dark web monitoring can help businesses answer these questions and more. Not only does it provide a wealth of data, but it also helps to identify trends and patterns that may otherwise go unnoticed. As a result, dark web monitoring is an essential tool for any business that wants to stay ahead of the competition.
Help Firms Better Prepare For Potential Attacks
Web monitoring tracks, records and analyzes a company’s online activity. This activity can include website visits and clicks on social media activity, and online purchases. By monitoring this activity, firms can better understand their customers’ needs and preferences. Additionally, web monitoring can help identify potential security threats. For example, if a firm notices a sudden spike in web traffic from a particular country, it may indicate that a cyber attack is being planned. By identifying these threats in advance, firms can take steps to protect themselves and their customers.
Protecting the Privacy
Businesses are responsible for protecting their employees’ and clients’ personal information. Dark web monitoring can help companies to identify potential threats and take steps to mitigate them. For example, the business can provide credit monitoring and identity theft protection services if an employee’s personal information is leaked on the dark web. In addition, companies can use dark web monitoring to proactively search for employee and client data that has been compromised to take steps to prevent future data breaches. While dark web monitoring cannot eliminate the risk of data breaches, it can help businesses reduce their impact.
How You Can Protect Your Information From the Dark Web?
The internet can be a dangerous place. Hackers and cybercriminals lurk in the shadows of the Dark Web, waiting to steal your personal information. But there are ways to protect yourself from these online threats. Here are some tips to help keep your info safe:
- Use Strong Passwords: Long, complex passwords are harder for hackers to guess. Use a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters to create a unique password for each of your online accounts.
- Be Careful about What Information You Share Online: Hackers can use social engineering techniques to glean personal details from public sources, so limiting the amount of information you make available is essential. Be careful about sharing sensitive information, such as your Social Security number or bank account details.
- Run a Dark Web Scan: This will help you identify any sensitive information that has been compromised and allow you to take steps to protect yourself.
- Enable Two-Factor Authentication: This adds an extra layer of security to your account by requiring you to enter a code from your phone or email in addition to your password.
- Be Careful What You Click: Cybercriminals often use phishing emails and links to try and trick you into revealing personal information or downloading malware. Don’t click on any links or attachments unless you’re sure they’re safe.
- Use a VPN: This will encrypt your traffic and prevent anyone from snooping on your activities. You should also make sure you are using strong passwords and two-factor authentication. By taking these precautions, you can help to keep your information safe from the dark web.
- Obtain Dark Web Monitoring Services: These services can help identify when your information has been compromised and can also guide how to mitigate the risk of future attacks. In addition, you should also consider implementing security measures such as two-factor authentication and encrypting your data.
Protect Your Business Data From Dark Web With InsecureWeb
Safeguard business information against data breaches, data leakage and illegal selling of data on the dark web. 81% of hacking-related data breaches use stolen or weak passwords. Insecure web monitors the dark web to detect compromised proactively and stolen data used to perform criminal activities against your organization.
We keep an eye on malicious actors by monitoring dark web activities happening on hidden websites, peer-to-peer (P2P) networks, hidden chat rooms, black market, IRC, botnets, and much more. Perform your digital attack surface analysis with Insecureweb, which provides dark web monitoring and protects your most vulnerable assets.