Protecting Your Business From the Dark Web

As the area of the internet that search engines cannot index, the Dark Web is a hotspot for selling stolen data. Even if your network security is watertight in other ways, the Dark Web can still pose a risk to your business. By understanding more about how it works and the steps you need to take to keep yourself safe, you can prevent significant and expensive data loss.

Understanding the Dark Web

The Dark Web represents the majority of the internet. Unlike the public web, you won’t find its content by searching Google. Instead, you need to use the Tor browser and its search engine, DuckDuckGo.

Certain websites on the Dark Web allow criminals to sell their wares. This includes cybercriminals, who can steal your data and make it available for other criminals to buy. Other criminals may want to buy your data for identity theft reasons. A number may go further and use it to access your business accounts.

Educate your employees about passwords

Cybercriminals usually rely on people using the same passwords across all their accounts. When someone buys data on the Dark Web, they’ll use the victim’s credentials to try and gain access to their accounts.

A cybercriminal’s efforts will only be successful if that person uses the same password or variations of it across their accounts. Unfortunately, far too many people rely on variations of their passwords to keep themselves safe.

Data breaches tend to come from accounts that a lot of your employees are likely to hold. For example, in 2018, a data breach at Facebook compromised the details of 100 million users. If one of your employees was a victim and they use the same password at work, your networks are vulnerable too. 

Encourage employees to use different passwords across all accounts. As a result, cybercriminals won’t find it easy to gain access to your systems, even after buying an employee’s information.

Perform Dark Web searches

A growing number of organizations are now offering Dark Web searches. Those searches scan some of the Dark Web’s sites to look for data that’s available to buy. You can perform the searches using your employees’ personal information and email addresses.

Although Dark Web scans do reveal some information, don’t use a clear report as an excuse to let your guard down. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to measure the depths of the Dark Web. Because of this, there’s still a chance that your information is out there somewhere.

Use a password manager

Did you know that 86% of passwords in use are available on the Dark Web for others to buy? It’s scary to think that the credentials used to access your system are only a quick purchase away from falling into the wrong hands.

One way to overcome this is to use a password manager. Password managers store all your passwords in an encrypted format. You can only access them when you enter a master password. Using one allows you to vary your passwords between different accounts, without struggling to access them.

By using an encrypted storage system, you avoid the perils that come with simply leaving your passwords in the notes section of your phone. Using a password manager also gives you the chance to change yours every few months, without resorting to resetting your accounts when you inevitably forget them.

Although the thought of losing your logins to the Dark Web is daunting, you can take steps to stop it from happening. With the right amount of vigilance, your company and customer data will remain safe.