Most of us have probably heard of the Dark Web. Do you know what it is? Or if it’s even real? Unfortunately, it is real and as a small business owner you need to understand what it is and why monitoring it may be important for your business's cyber security.
The Dark Web is part of the World Wide Web that is only accessible by means of special browsers that allow the users to remain anonymous. The most popular dark web browsers are Tor and I2P. Both of these browsers use masked IP addresses to maintain anonymity for users and site owners. This prevents users of the Dark Web from being traced. While the Dark Web can be used for “Good”, because of the anonymity of users, it has become a nesting ground for criminal or illegal activity.
Why You May Want to Monitor the Dark Web
Dark Web monitoring services are a fairly new trend in Cyber Security but they offer some very important benefits that you may want to consider. Dark Web monitoring provides real-time, proactive search capabilities to identify, analyze and monitor for an organization’s compromised or stolen employee and customer data that may be on the Dark Web. This can help to identify threats to your organization that you otherwise would not know exist. By identifying employee and/or customer emails and passwords that have been compromised and are for sale to the highest bidder on the Dark Web, you can proactively prevent a breach before it occurs.
Why is this important?
A great example of why monitoring is important can be found in the 2018 Starwood Hotels breach. Most people have heard about the breach that was reported in November of 2018 and was first discovered in September 2018. What most of you probably don’t know is that after the breach was discovered, Cyber Security experts ultimately determined that the “hackers” had been in the Starwood systems since 2014. The original breach went undetected for over 4 years! Had Starwood been monitoring the Dark Web, they may have discovered their stolen data much sooner and proactively stopped the breach before additional damage was done. Dark Web monitoring can be an early detection mechanism to help to minimize the risk to your small business.