Think of the dark web as one massive black market database of personal information for sale: names, addresses, credit card numbers, social security numbers, and account logins – anything that can be monetized and sold for illegal profit.
There’s more to the dark web than just personal information for sale, but the bottom line for you is that it’s a place where cybercriminals share stolen information anonymously in an online network where search engines don’t look. The part of the Internet the average person has access to represents about 4% of the entire web, while the dark web is hidden behind layers of protection aimed at keeping it tightly controlled.
When cybercriminals hack into a computer or network, they don’t necessarily stop all legitimate activity or crash a network just for fun. More often, hackers are looking for access to a database of information to sell to other cybercriminals on the dark web, who will use credit card or bank account numbers to make illegal purchases or use email or social media logins to send spam or viruses to infect your friends, family, and colleagues to gather yet more personal information to sell on the dark web. Are you sensing a pattern?
Unfortunately, assume that it is. Most data does eventually end up on the dark web. Aside from personal information, the dark web is also a place where cybercriminals sell software that helps other cybercriminals break into computers.
Since the dark web is a part of the Internet the search engines aren’t looking – indexing – your stolen information isn’t going to show up in a quick Google search. The good news is there are steps you can take to protect your business:
The number one way you can protect your business is to plan ahead and budget for necessary improvements for your IT environment:
Planning ahead helps you stay one step ahead of cybercriminals and avoid the loss of income – and reputation – from a data loss. Your first step should be to schedule a dark web scan today with a reputable organization well-versed in protecting businesses and data from becoming victims with the proactive steps outlined above.