Our ears perk up when we hear the words “Dark Web”. We often imagine it as a virtual wild west where hackers and criminals live in secrecy, sharing and trading illegal content.
If you’ve had your data stolen before, there’s a good chance that it’s ended up on the dark web. But imagine if you had your business’s confidential information leaked? The results could be detrimental. Scary, right?
To better help you understand the dark web and how to protect yourself, we explore:
Let’s start off by learning about what the Dark Web actually is!
The internet is not a single concept, but rather a multi-layered paradigm that is often compared to an iceberg. We can see and access the tip, but there’s far more beneath the surface.
First, there’s the “Surface Web”, a layer that contains publicly available information and is crawled and monitored by search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Wikipedia, etc.
Then there’s the “Deep Web”. This layer consists of access-controlled information such as legal documents, medical information, government intel, and so on. This content is hidden behind a paywall or requires sign-ins and makes up a massive 96%-99% of the internet.
Finally, there’s the “Dark Web”, a layer that lives in the darknet and is the deepest you can go. To access this layer, a user requires specific software and is definitely not indexed by search engines. The goal is to maintain anonymity by hiding users’ identities and activities.
How You and Your Business Are Affected
Could Your Business be Impacted?
Any business could be impacted at any given time. The dark web is a free-for-all marketplace for illegal activities. This includes hacking, buying, selling, trading stolen personal and financial information such as passwords, sensitive client information, credit card details, stolen identities, and much more.
So how could this look in practice?
Let’s say you use Office365 in your Accounting firm and don’t have your multi-factor authentication (MFA) set up. You hire a new team member who has yet to undergo cyber security training and who has their own password to log into Office365. They will most likely create a password that is easy for them to remember, and one that they already use on their personal accounts (E.g., social media).
Now, let’s say this person’s social media account got hacked. The hacker can simply look at other accounts they may use this same password for and break into these accounts as well. This includes your Office365 account.
Although this hypothetical data breach was unintentional, your business is now compromised. Bank details, financial reports, clients’ information, and everything you have given that person access to could now belong to a complete stranger.
Unfortunately, this example is many businesses’ reality, regardless of your industry. If you’re a SME, you’re still at risk, where small businesses account for 28% of data breach victims.
In order to detect whether your details are on the dark web, we use a set of tools that monitors dark web activity for your credentials. This is one of the many steps we take to ensure the safety of your business.
Dark Web Activity
Should I Be Worried?
A short answer: yes.
This is obviously a huge risk for a business that is trusted with their clients’ details, alongside their own confidential data. A data breach puts people and businesses at risk where your reputation can be ruined faster than you can say “hacker”.
So, should you be worried about the dark web? Yes.
Can it affect you even if you’re not active on the darknet? Yes.
Are there protective measures to put into place to ensure your data doesn’t get into the wrong hands? Fortunately, yes!
Protective Measures to Put in Place
How Can I Protect My Business?
Besides the obvious advice to keep your distance from the darknet, increasing your awareness really is the first step to protecting you and your business. When you understand the possible risks, you understand how to mitigate them.
The second is to protect your identity as much as you possibly can by incorporating Cyber Security Solutions (link to new landing page) into your business’s IT. Integrating these is part of building your business’s strong IT foundations, where minimising the risks of potential cyber threats is an absolute must these days.
At TribeTech, we know that enhancing your data security is crucial for any business to survive. As part of our SecureOffice solution, we offer cyber security solutions that help protect against potential threats that impact your ability to work. From managing firewalls to dark web monitoring, SecureOffice covers many areas.
As part of our service, we offer a free Dark Web Scan to detect if (or what) business credentials are available on the dark web. From there we can help create solutions.