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What Is the Dark Web?

The anonymity and privacy the dark web affords its users have made it pretty much synonymous with criminal activities. If you are searching for ways to safeguard your business against dark web risks, you’ve come to the right place.

When you think of the internet, a couple of things probably spring to mind, such as message boards, websites, marketplaces, and so on. However, this is just the surface web, also called the open web. In simple terms, the open web is what you can see when you open a browser and look something up using a search engine. The search results are typically sites that everyone can access.

The dark web is not all that different from the open web. The main difference is that dark websites can’t be accessed using regular search engines and requires you to know the actual page URL to access its sites. An excellent example of this is Hidden Wiki, which, as the name suggests, is simply the hidden version of Wikipedia.

What’s more, to access dark websites, you would need anonymizing browsers like Tor that obscures your IP address. Tor allows users to hide their identities and locations from organizations that can track network activity such as government agencies or internet service providers. This is the chief reason why the dark web is a hub for numerous criminal activities, such as trading stolen credit card numbers, hacked bank accounts, stolen subscription credentials, and even software that can be used to break into people’s computers.

Watch our latest video on YouTube to get started on what you need to know about the dark web:

What Significance Does the Dark Web Have to Your Business?

The most prominent area of interest for most business leaders is Darknet Marketplaces (DNMs). With roots in the illegal drug trade, ever more robust DNMs are now being used to sell all kinds of unlawful products and services. These anonymous “dark” spaces offer the perfect forum to buy and sell illegally acquired digital products such as stolen intellectual property, stolen codebases, pirated software, and so on.

Open, anonymous access to DNMs means any malicious employee could easily solicit bids for critical insider information from an anonymous clientele. In fact, the majority of corporate data breaches occur in this way. Without ever exposing their identity to the criminal underground, an employee with the Tor browser could sell sensitive data, access, or code on these DNMs. To make it worse, dark web criminals typically transact using Bitcoin, further guaranteeing their anonymity.

How Can You Limit Your Organization’s Exposure to Dark Web Threats?

To safeguard your business against all the various dark web risks, you need to start monitoring the dark web and DNMs. But this is easier said than done, especially if you consider how easy accessing criminal technology is nowadays. Thanks to the dark web, even a non-technical person can hit your business with a denial-of-service attack by merely renting botnet time on a DNM.

However, thanks to their open-but-anonymous nature, DNMs can be monitored easily, enabling you to take the necessary remedial actions. Here’s what you need to do to deal with dark web threats:

  • Use robust encryption on all sensitive information and ensure the encryption strategy is up-to-date. That’s because encryption approaches become obsolete quickly and need constant updating.
  • Partner up with a reputable IT services provider to help your team monitor, detect, and react to threats before they get out of hand. Make sure they include dark web monitoring in their cybersecurity offerings.
  • Monitor the dark web as a whole and DNMs in specific for risks that could affect your business.
  • Monitor employee devices and online activity for dark web access.
  • Establish a clear response plan in the event your business information appears on the dark web. The plan has to define how you will deal with clients, stakeholders, and legal concerns if a breach occurs.

Looking for A Reliable IT Partner to Protect Your Business Data From the Dark Web?

Our experienced IT professionals at Buffalo Computer Help are eager to help your Buffalo or Western New York business stay safe from corporate dark web threats.

Contact us now to schedule your first dark web consultation.

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