The use of technology in business has led to an increased emphasis on analytics and data. Companies are gaining incredible insights into their customers, competition, and the marketplace through a thorough analysis of their websites and social channels. These insights can help inform decision making and can be used to develop successful marketing strategies.
However, as with all things technology, it can be manipulated for negative use. The dark web is a serious threat to all businesses, especially in 2020. The dark web refers to a part of the internet that’s “hidden” to search engines and requires you to use an anonymous browser to gain access.
Although not all of the dark web is used for illegal means, it is estimated that over half of the dark web hosts illicit content. It is home to a significant amount of criminal activity. The type of crime associated with the dark web varies, from selling illegal substances to the possibility of buying access to $50,000 bank accounts.
A serious consideration for businesses is that an estimated 60% of listings on the dark web could potentially harm an organization. Some of the threats posed by the dark web include malware attacks, trojan viruses, targeted espionage, phishing, data, intellectual property information, and more. These threats are categorized into three key danger areas for businesses:
- Reputational Damage: Attacks that cause damage to a business’s brand or reputation, causing them to fall behind competitors.
- Disruptive Damage: Inflicting malware or other attacks that interfere with business operations.
- Theft damage: Spying on business functions or committing theft that negatively impacts a company’s market position or causes a financial loss.
It’s important to note that no business is safe from hackers, especially small businesses and start-ups. Cybercriminals go for easy targets, not necessarily high profile organizations. With more and more people working remotely, home networks are becoming increasingly vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
With these kinds of threats impacting companies every day, it’s vital that a company take the necessary steps to protect themselves.
How to protect your business from the dark web
The most effective way of protecting your business from the dark web is to hire an expert IT service provider who offers professional dark web scanning.
Dark web scanning is an IT service provided by a cybersecurity expert. The dark web is searched and scanned to detect whether your personal or business information is present. These scans can sift through databases to see if your usernames, passwords, social security numbers, credit card details, sensitive company data, and other important information have been stolen.
Although you won’t be able to remove this information if it is detected on the dark web, you can take action to protect yourself by strategizing more secure measures on your systems, changing passwords, enabling MFA, and more.
What are the benefits of dark web scanning?
It can identify stolen information
A dark web scan may notify you of stolen data that you might have never discovered. A large number of data breaches go undetected, and even if they are spotted, it’s often too late. You may then take the necessary steps to get this information removed or prevent it from being acted on.
Encourages a high-level of cybersecurity
Scanning the dark web for stolen credentials demonstrates the dangers that the internet poses. This added awareness encourages business owners to take cybersecurity seriously. By assessing the online world from a safety perspective, you are more likely to practice strong security measures, such as changing your passwords regularly.
Gives you the opportunity to respond to threats
One of the most significant issues with cyber attacks is that once they occur, it’s difficult to recover. Hackers target businesses that are vulnerable, striking fast and hard, leaving no time to respond.
By conducting a dark web scan, you can stay one step ahead of cybercriminals. If your business information is detected online, you can take legal actions, notify financial service providers, and contact any relevant body to ensure your business is safe.
It’s up to you
The dangers of the dark web may loom large, but there are simple ways to protect your business. Although you can never guarantee that an attack won’t happen to your business, you can do your best to mitigate the risk and understand the threats that face you. By investing in services such as dark web scanning, you optimize your business’s safety and keep your clients safe, as well.