The Dark Web: What Is It and How Can It Impact Your Business?

You’ve probably heard of it before, but what exactly is the dark web? This brief article demystifies these so-called “dark spaces” while sharing the steps you can take to protect your business from dark web threats.

For most people, the term “dark web” is synonymous with criminal activities. And there’s a good reason for that. Anytime an organization has its sensitive data stolen, it almost always turns up on the dark web.

Even more alarming is the recent rise in popularity of the dark web, which increases the risk to your network. It’s now possible for anyone to hit your business with a crippling denial-of-service attack. Even a non-technical would only need to rent botnet time on a dark web site!

Watch this short video to get started:

How can you protect your business against dark web threats? Before we get into that, let’s first go over what the dark web is and how it works.

Where Is the Dark Web?

Websites. Message boards. Marketplaces. These are just some of the things that spring to most people’s minds when they think of the internet. And yet, all these merely make up one of three main layers of the web, known as the surface web. The deep web and the dark web make up the remaining two.

You are presently on the surface web. But say you signed in to your email; for instance, you’d find yourself in the deep web. In simple terms, the deep web is where data that is protected by passwords are stored. That includes email accounts, bank accounts, health records, and so on. And although the dark web is contained within the deep web, the key difference is that sites on the dark web can’t be found using traditional search engines.

How Does the Dark Web Work? Rather than having the typical “.com” or “.gov” endings, sites on the dark web terminate in “.onion.” What’s more, finding a site on the dark web requires a special browser. The most widely used is The Onion Router (Tor in short). The name onion points out that Tor uses several layers of encryption to ensure user anonymity and privacy.

How Can Your Private Information End Up On the Dark Web? In case some of your sensitive data turn up on the dark web, it’s probably because some cybercriminal managed to steal it and is looking for buyers.

But what are some of the techniques and strategies employed by hackers and other bad actors to access your information? Here are the three most common ones:

  • Phishing scams and SIM swaps
  • Rummaging through your waste papers to find documents containing personal information
  • Using malware or hacking into accounts to steal passwords

How Can You Minimize Your Organization’s Exposure to Dark Web Threats? The harsh reality is that you can never fully avoid dark web risks. That said, you can still implement certain measures to mitigate the threat. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Employ the latest encryption strategies to secure your data since encryption approaches have very limited life cycles.
  2. Conduct dark web monitoring to identify any possible threats to your network.
  3. Restrict your employees from using the Tor browser to prevent malicious staff members from soliciting bids for your insider information.
  4. Screen team member devices for dark web access.
  5. Develop a response strategy in case of a data breach. Your plan must clearly state how you plan to deal with partners, clients, and legal concerns if your data turns up on the dark web.
  6. Partner up with a reputable IT services provider. Your chosen technology partner must monitor, identify, and react to dark web threats as part of their cybersecurity services.

In Need Of Reliable IT Support to Protect Your Network From the Dark Web Threats?

Our cybersecurity specialists at Parkway Tech are here to help you secure your business in Winston-Salem, Greensboro & the Triad from the dark web.

Contact us now to get started!

Written by Chris Michalec posted on November 23, 2020

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