The Dark Web: How to Protect Your Data

The most pressing security concern your business faces today is data security. How can you protect your business and your data from those that want to steal your data for profit?

Finding the answer starts with understanding your risk.

What is the Dark Web?

You’ve likely heard of the dark web but aren’t sure exactly what it is. You’re not alone, mainly because the dark web isn’t commonly used by people involved in legal activities.

The dark web is best described as an endless illegal marketplace of data for sale. To be clear, the data is stolen personal information that shouldn’t be available. Names, addresses, social security numbers, account login credentials, credit card numbers, and anything else that can be monetized and sold for illegal profit eventually finds its way onto the dark web.

The dark web is a vast wealth of information for sale, including corporate information. Aside from personal information like account logins, it’s a haven for criminals to find and share this information. You might wonder why criminals can find this information so easily. You can’t, which boils down to indexing: the search engines use to review millions of websites and log each for everyday web users to find in a quick Internet search. This part of the Internet only represents about 4% of the entire Internet. Users and websites on the dark web take great lengths using multiple privacy measures to prevent being discovered or indexed.

How Can You Prevent Your Data from Being Sold on the Dark Web?

Most data will end up available on the dark web because, aside from being a major e-commerce data hotspot for criminals, the dark web is also a forum for criminals to teach other criminals how to break into other computers undetected. Some of these hacks don’t aim to crash a network to hold your information for ransom; it’s potentially far more profitable to steal the data to sell on the dark web over and over.

The upside is there are plenty of security measures you can use – just like the dark web does – to protect your own privacy:

Security Audit

Review your entire IT environment to see what additional security measures you might need. How you store, access, and use data should be controlled with established processes to minimize risk. Who is using your network and accessing your data? If you don’t know, that’s a weakness you can’t afford. Monitoring your IT environment and network regularly should be a priority.

Vulnerability Testing

From your security audit, are there areas you discovered that could use additional security measures to prevent data loss? For example, do all users accessing your data use two-factor authentication? Requiring multiple steps to verify users trying to access your data is just one way to offset the possibility of data loss due to weak or compromised passwords.

Cybersecurity Training

Anyone accessing your network and information should be using best practices for secure passwords, including the two-factor authentication mentioned above, and following established protocols for data storage and management. This is part of strong access controls as a continuation of your security audit to maintain ongoing use of best practices and the most up-to-date security measures.

Dark Web Scan

This is the trickiest step for your business; do you know where to start? If you manage to stumble onto the dark web, would you know where to look for your data? A dark web scan does exactly what it sounds like – scanning the dark web and its endless hubs, forums, and websites to see if and where your data is being sold.

These steps will help you protect your business and your data. If you’re not sure how to get started with a dark web scan, get help from a reputable organization that understands how the dark web works.

Protect your tomorrow with a dark web scan today.