What is Dark Web Monitoring?

by admin October 31, 2022

What is Dark Web Monitoring?

The dark web is essentially a marketplace for cybercriminals. If your data has been compromised, the dark web is the place where it is traded. It could be sold by miscreants, to miscreants, who can later hack into your system or extort money from you to prevent a data leak and so on.

What are the implications for your organization if your data is on the dark web?
If your data is on the dark web, it puts your business and your customers at risk. For example, as a business you possess a lot of the Personally Identifiable Information (PII) on your customers and employees. If leaked, it could shut down your business by:

  • Opening you to lawsuits which can be costly in terms of legal representation, fines and settlements
  • Causing loss of confidence in your brand
  • Resulting in the loss of existing customers and new business

What are dark web monitoring services?
One way to mitigate the risks of the dark web is by signing up for dark web monitoring services. As a part of the dark web monitoring service, a company may keep an eye out for any information you specify or that is related to you that may be present or traded on the dark web. There are various avenues where such information may be made available on the dark web. Examples include:

  • Chat forums
  • Blogs
  • Social media platforms
  • Online marketplaces (Dark web’s equivalent of eBay or Craigslist)

Another service offered as a part of dark web monitoring includes vulnerability alerts. On the dark web, there are entities willing to give away information about vulnerabilities in systems and software for a price. A company that offers dark web monitoring will keep an eye out for such information and alert its customers of such threats. Companies offering dark web monitoring services may also be able to offer you industry insights, trends, and benchmarks that can help you proactively tighten your cybersecurity.

Safeguarding your data against being found on the dark web
With dark web monitoring services, you will know if there has been a data breach. Let’s say you come to know your e-commerce website’s user IDs and passwords have been stolen, or your customer’s credit card data has been leaked via your database, you can take the necessary steps to mitigate a possible ransomware attack or data leak before it happens. But, that’s reactive. That’s damage control after the damage has been done. While dark web monitoring services can warn you if your data has been compromised, here are a few things that you can do to keep your data safe in the first place.

Password hygiene
Follow good password hygiene and industry best practices. Establish clear password policies and rules and regulations regarding password sharing. Discourage the use of the same passwords for multiple accounts or use of passwords that are too simple or obvious such as user’s name, date of birth, numbers in sequence and so on.

Train your staff
Train your staff to identify spam, phishing, and other malware traps. Conduct tests and mock drills and re-train those who don’t pass them. Provide updates frequently because new threats surface regularly that may affect you.

BYOD policies
If you allow your employees to bring their own devices to work, establish a clear BYOD framework that will help you manage the risks associated with this setup.

Access permissions and roles
Establish different user roles for your staff and give them role-based data editing, copying or sharing permissions, so that each employee only has as much access to information as they really need.

Being exposed on the dark web can be exhausting, scary and life-threatening to a small or medium-sized business. Teaming up with an MSP who specializes in cybersecurity or offers dark web monitoring services can help keep you safe.

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