Companies depend on online data to improve their products, services, business processes, marketing, advertising, customer relationships, etc. While most data is available from several legitimate sources, you can find almost half of the online data on the dark web. Most of the information includes financial and personal information that cyber hackers stole from various companies. It is a threat that most businesses face. Thus, dark web monitoring is critical to ensure that your business information and clients’ data remain safe.
Importance of dark web monitoring
The dark web is not easy to access. It needs the Tor Onion browser and similar technologies to access this subsection of the deep web. On one side, it represents the more common activities propagated by cybercriminals, such as stealing vital data, scams, and the sale of personal and financial information.
On the other side, legal activities occur on the dark web, such as coding that makes legitimate websites run better, secure transactions, and bitcoin exchanges.
While you cannot discount that many cyber criminals conduct underground exchanges on the dark web, you can also find plenty of valuable dark web data that are still untapped, which can help your business. Users of the dark web can browse anonymously, and there are no regulations governing its use, so users can do as they please.
Nevertheless, it is essential to use dark web monitoring tools to ensure that your business information, client data, and other critical information remain safe from hackers. Access to dark web forums can give you indications of data breaches. Moreover, it can alert you if someone is selling your valuable information. If you receive quick notification (often in real-time), you can respond to IP infringement, business email compromise, and phishing.
What can you find on the dark web?
The dark web is like an exclusive marketplace where cybercriminals sell specific items with large profits.
- Social Security numbers. One of the typical personal items sold on the dark web is Social Security numbers. Cybercriminals can steal a person’s identity and use the social security number to secure financing or open lines of credit.
- Email addresses. A person’s email account contains personal information and is very easy to hack. You can use a dark web email scan to check if your address has already found its way on the dark web.
- Passport number. Most people use their passport as a backup or secondary ID if personal IDs, Social Security cards, or driver’s licenses are lost. However, cybercriminals can use your passport number to make their stolen identity more valid.
- Medical records. Under HIPAA, medical information is private. Your company or healthcare facility will face fines and sanctions for leaks of medical information.
- Bank account numbers. Another common item that circulates in the dark web is bank account numbers. Cybercriminals can access your bank accounts and siphon off money at will.
- Credit/debit card numbers. The dark web has a proliferation of credit and debit card numbers because of the number of e-commerce stores, and some browsers can store your credit card information. Therefore, cybercriminals can gather various personal data if there is a browser breach.
- Passwords. You would not believe how easy it is for cybercriminals to steal passwords. Some reports say that about five billion passwords are floating on the dark web. Passwords are critical because they can unlock many things, from social media to government, corporate, and bank accounts.
Benefits of dark web monitoring
Dark web monitoring can give you immediate detection and remediation of a cyber threat. Threats can include those related to sales and marketing of breached data, planned attack campaigns, and data leakage.
Monitoring the dark web can give your analysts various information that helps them learn about attack planning and rising threats and evidence of ongoing or successful attacks.
Chat rooms and web forums are places where many cybercriminals discuss their potential targets, exchange information about tactics, techniques, and procedures for executing attacks, and possibly recruit accomplices.
If you can monitor attack chatter, you can discover mentions of your brand, specific executive, or your organization as actual or potential targets. You may also learn about discussions regarding planned attacks against or vulnerabilities in infrastructure components, devices, and software applications your organization use. There could also be discussions of how to victimize your employees or bypass your security programs successfully.
Impact on your business
Good things happen on the dark web that are not reported. Most news about the dark web is on criminal activities and the illegal exchange of goods. But more internet users want the anonymity the dark web provides.
Consumers increasingly use anonymized web browsers such as Tor for their routine searchers. In addition, online marketers use tracking tools to find target consumers. These consumers want to avoid the targeted ads sent to them according to their web searches, so they shift to private web searches. This shift will affect your use of companies that rely on tracking online users for targeted and online advertising.
Dark web monitoring will help you gather threat intelligence if you are into cybersecurity. By tracking hackers’ information sharing and collaboration, a security expert can gain insight into emerging and new threats.
With the help of cybersecurity professionals, enterprises can access unindexed data from the dark web. With the anonymity this side of the web offers, you can extract untapped customer, operational, and business insights.
Making your dark web monitoring more effective
You need to have the right tools and experts to monitor the dark web effectively. The combination of technology and technical expertise can help you to:
- Sustain awareness across channels
- Beef up your defenses and mitigate threats proactively
- Obtain visibility into early warning signs of chatter and attack planning
Dark web monitoring is not easy. With the right skills, experience, and robust technologies, you can surmount the barriers to accessing the information on the dark web.
Accessing the dark web requires technology to monitor the sources that can misuse your data. Access likewise needs specialized knowledge. So, use a dark web monitoring solution with robust features to ensure data protection. If you want to access the dark web, ensure that you have help from a cybersecurity professional.