It sounds like something from a horror movie: a dark room where secrets are traded and sold for the profit of criminals. Only in the case of the dark web, there isn’t one room, but thousands, maybe millions, a labyrinth of nearly inaccessible sites for conducting cybercrime, and it could haunt your business.
The Dark Web
You’ve probably heard of the “deep web,” the layer of the internet not indexed and therefore not available to search engines. To access such sites you need to know the exact address you intend to visit. Many such sites are just old (and were never indexed), organization-specific, or otherwise just occupying space on a server somewhere that few care about.
The dark web, on the other hand, is the deep web plus serious protection. Cyber criminals use sophisticated layers of encryption to hide locations and data. While your computer records your IP address, browsing history, and loads of other data, encrypted dark web sites are virtually undetectable and untraceable.
Security from the Dark Web
Most organizations don’t know they are hacked until much later. The typical process might look like this:
• Your organization gets infected with malware or a virus you don’t immediately know is there.
• The virus collects customer data without your knowledge, such as credit card numbers for sales or social security numbers of employees.
• Collected data is sold in bundles on the dark web.
• Dark web buyers pay in bitcoins, a digital untraceable currency.
• Purchasers use fraudulent credit cards to make purchases.
On average, breaches are caught within about 5 months, giving plenty of time for the cybercrime to take place on the dark web.
Be Proactive, Not Reactive
Most organizations end up in the pattern described above. Breaches are discovered after they occur (or are at least attempted) and businesses work reactively, but there is another way.
The technology exists to safely, proactively monitor the dark web. In doing so, the internal workings of the dark web are revealed: plans are discussed, strategies exchanged, jobs are sourced, hacks are discussed, the latest malware is sold, and so on. Top notch cyber security involves extracting useful, actionable data from the dark web and proactively protecting your business.
Cybercrime costs businesses billions of dollars each year, and numbers continue to rise. With the right cybersecurity you can protect your organization from becoming just another statistic, sold to the highest bidder on the dark web.