The dark web, to say the least, is a very shady place. It’s the unindexed part of the internet that cannot be accessed via search engines and is swarming with criminal activity. While the dark web itself is not illegal, it’s a popular place to conduct illegal transactions on the web since user’s location and identity remain anonymous. It’s not uncommon for stolen personal information such as bank account numbers and social security numbers, or driver license or passport information to be sold on the dark web at low prices. A recent entrepreneur.com article explains why the dark web should be a concern for small businesses and ways to deal with these threats.
First and foremost, the dark web should be such a high concern for small businesses due to the rapid rate at which sensitive information can be bought and sold. For example, if your organization experiences a data breach and customer credit card information is stolen, it can be bought and sold by criminals before you even notice your data has been breached. This obviously can lead to a lack of trust your customers have towards your organization and could possibly lead to lawsuits as well.
Even if you know that you’ve experienced a data breach and think your stolen information is somewhere on the dark web, good luck finding it. The dark web is full of websites constantly changing addresses and extremely messy and volatile. Small businesses that attempt to manually search the dark web for their stolen information usually end up exposing themselves to even greater threats.
There are, however, ways small organizations can address the threat of their information winding up on the dark web. In addition to implementing training exercises and educating employees on good cyber habits such as not using the same password across multiple accounts or clicking on phishing emails, it is recommended to deploy dark web monitoring response tools, which alert companies when any activity associated with sensitive data is found on the dark web. With the information provided by these tools, organizations can decide which information to monitor. This information may also alert organizations of breaches sooner as well as shorten disaster recovery response times.
As always, OptfinITy has tools and solutions available if this is a concern of yours or your organization. Feel free to give us a call at 703-790-0400 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or concerns regarding the security of your data and how to best keep it off the dark web.