When you see commercials about the dangers of the Dark Web, your first thought might be, “Here we go again. Another scare tactic to convince me to buy something.” That reaction is completely warranted. But when you peel back the layers of hype, you may be surprised to find out what the Dark Web really is and how its existence increases your company’s vulnerability to cyber threats and attacks.
What Is the Dark Web?
The Dark Web is many things to many very different groups of people. But when it comes to your business, it’s a place online where people can buy and sell almost anything without much worry about getting caught. Dark Web sites are on the same Internet we all use, but they are only visible to people who know how to access them–usually through several security layers.
You gain access to the illegal sites of the Dark Web by invitation only using the Tor browser. The identities of people running and using these sites are often masked, so it’s nearly impossible to follow a financial trail back to an actual person. Even if law enforcement knows about criminal activities, pinpointing the source to bring them to justice requires an experienced forensic data retrieval expert.
The deep web accounts for at least 96% of the internet. The dark web accounts for roughly 5% of the deep web and is known as the “Wild West” of the deep web where law enforcement is almost powerless.
How Do Criminals Use the Dark Web?
Well-funded criminal organizations use phishing scams, website spoofing, and other tactics to steal everything from credit card numbers to your employee’s Microsoft365 login. They can then sell this information on the Dark Web. A credit card number might be sold for as little as $10. Someone’s Paypal login could go for less than $300. They can even get something as sophisticated as a company’s accounts receivable list, so they can pretend to represent your company and re-route client payments.
Small businesses are some of these criminal’s favorite targets because they can’t afford a full-time, in-house cybersecurity team. They often lack the resources to prevent, detect, or resolve these issues before damage is done.
This private marketplace does exist, and every business, regardless of size, needs to know if their information is out there. There are some clear and cost-effective steps any size business can take to secure its data.
Tips for Dealing with the Dark Web
Invest in Your Employees
Your people are your first line of defense. It’s critical that you educate them about scams that might trick them–or you–into sharing private information. Create a security-minded culture that isn’t based on fear, but empowered to protect themselves and the business. No one has to be a victim of the Dark Web when they’re informed about it.
Consider Dark Web Monitoring
Dark Web monitoring is a type of service that combines machine learning technology with people to explore the far reaches of the Dark Web in search of any data that may be related to your business or employees. It can notify you if anything is found, so you can take action to close any accounts or change login information before that information is used against you.
Look into a Managed IT / Cyber Security Services Company
Managed IT is a cost-effective solution for companies that cannot feasibly hire a full-time IT expert plus a cybersecurity expert, ERP expert, and webmaster. When you work with a managed IT company, you gain access to specialists in their IT field when you need them. And they’re not taking up room on the payroll when you don’t.
Working with a Dallas / Fort Worth managed IT company means you’re both supporting the Texas job market and getting help from people who live and work in your area.
Create a Layered Cybersecurity Plan
Cybercriminals are constantly testing your business network’s defenses to find a weak spot they can exploit, so just having good malware protection isn’t enough. You need a professional cyber security expert who can keep your company’s data, patient information, and cloud data safe from a cyber attack.
Building a security-minded work culture is the first layer. Good malware protection is next. You can also take steps to protect your website from tampering and develop and backup and recovery plan, so you never have to worry about a ransomware attack.
Layers of defense like these guard your company against attacks that both steal information and try to use that information to steal money from you or damage your reputation.
Navigating the Dark Web
The Dark Web exists. And there’s no off-switch to shut it down. But no business ever needs to fall victim to it because any company can access cost-effective and efficient security to prevent and quickly respond to attacks. Contact us now to learn more.