The evolution of cyber crime has been rapid and to this day is ever expanding. In the first half of 2019 data breaches exposed 4.1 billion records. Gone are the days of your basic everyday lone hacker, these days cyber criminals are becoming more professional and organized by the hour. In fact, there’s a sort of parallel universe where they all operate in a very corporate-like manner. And that universe is called The Dark Web.
The Surface Web and The Deep Web
In order to define what exactly the dark web is it’s important to first define the difference between the main three categories of the internet: The surface web, the deep wed, and finally the dark web.
The Surface Web: The surface web includes any typical websites you’ll visit throughout the day. If you google the daily forecast you’ll get websites that link to your local forecast for the day. If you look up “dog videos” you’ll likely get sent to a YouTube page with dozens of cute puppy videos. These are examples of the surface web.
The Deep Web: The deep web will show up in a normal internet search but will require some sort of login credentials. This could include something as mundane as your Netflix account or something more private like your banking account.
What is the Dark Web?
The Dark Web is a completely different beast than your surface web or deep web. For starters the Dark Web isn’t something you can simply find on your typical search engine. In order to even access it one must use an anonymizing browser such as Tor. And that’s the most appealing part of the Dark Web is it’s anonymity. Because of this fact the Dark Web is often a central hub for cybercriminals to engage in all sorts of illicit or illegal activities.
Things you might find on the Dark Web include:
- Credit card details, login credentials for something as serious as banking accounts or as trivial as a Netflix login.
- Contact details/communication avenues for striking deals with hitmen, drug dealers, arms dealers, hackers, etc.
- Marketplace to buy malicious codes to corrupt or jam IT services and even RaaS(Ransomware as a service).
Implications if you are on the Dark Web
If your data is currently out there on the dark web then your company and your clients could be in danger. Some of the consequences of having your data leaked on the dark web include:
- Lawsuits that require your company to dole out large sums of money in the forms of fines or settlements
- serious damage to your brand
- Loss of customers and business
How do you secure your data from the Dark Web?
Password Hygiene: CIT talks a lot about making sure you have good password hygiene, but guess what? It’s one of the easiest yet most often neglected aspects of effective cybersecurity. Establish strict policies on password sharing and reusing old passwords. Companies need to discourage the use of the same passwords across multiple applications and make sure all passwords are unique and not personal.
Train Your Staff: Make sure your employees know how to identify a phishing scam or other malware traps. Make sure to patch your humans!
BYOD Policies: If you allow your employees to bring their own devices to work, establish a clear BYOD framework that will help you manage the risks associated with this setup.
Access Permissions and Roles: Establish different user roles for your staff and give them role-based data editing, copying or sharing permissions, so that each employee only has as much access to information as they need.
Being exposed in the dark web can be exhausting, scary and life-threatening to a small or medium-sized business. Teaming up with an MSP who specializes in cyber security or offers dark web monitoring services can help keep you safe.
Corporate Information Technologies provides small to mid-market organizations with expert I.T. services including compliance assessment, cybersecurity penetration tests, and comprehensive business continuity planning services. Corporate Information Technologies can help organizations, quantify, create, refine, and mitigate the risks presented by business threatening disasters in whatever form they may be disguised.
Contact us to learn more and let us show you how good I.T. can be– Don’t Gamble With Your Security