Identifying Cybersecurity Risks on the Dark Web
The Dark Web. The name alone conjures up certain images, almost always invoking a sense of danger and illegal activity. It is a place for criminals to ply their trade, so why would you want anything to do with it?
In truth you probably don’t, but it’s also true that several organizations are now seeking to data-mine the dark web in search of threat intelligence in order to improve IT security. But what is the dark web exactly?
The dark web is an untraceable part of the internet. It is not indexed by search engines like Google, and in fact, search engines are incapable of finding it. Accessing the dark web requires specific software and often special authorization as well. This all provides cybercriminals with the anonymity that they seek to help them conceal their activity.
Because it allows hackers and other criminals to strike from the shadows, many organizations are working to uncover cybersecurity risks on the dark web.
Cyberattacks, whether in progress or being planned, can leave certain patterns on the dark web, as do other activities that pose IT security risks. The patterns are what most security experts watch for. This takes time, however, with the average cybersecurity incident requiring 197 days to detect. If an organization can contain a breach within a month of detection, they will have an advantage as this allows them to limit their exposure.
Here are some points to ponder in identifying dark web cybersecurity risks:
- Is your organization coming up in conversation? A common indicator to watch for is the mention of your organization’s name, its employees, or its website. This could give reveal whether an attack is in the planning stages, or if data has already been stolen.
- Keep an eye out for personal identifiable information (PII) such as personal health data or financial information. When a data breach has occurred and data is stolen, it is often sold quickly and in large amounts. This is one of the usual ways in which such a breech is detected.
- If you ever have concerns about whether your personal data has been stolen, you can most likely find your usernames and passwords online. This won’t tell you if the information comes from a recent breach, or an older incident, however.
- Watch for coordinated phishing attacks. These attacks are common and are becoming increasingly sophisticated.
- Watch for sensitive company information. This can include confidential information on your products, your market, the organization itself, and much more. You should be watching for anything that can be used to identify your organization. Cyber criminals would love to gain access to your company’s sensitive information and trade secrets.
Identifying risks on the dark web involves remaining vigilant and staying on top of your IT security policies and procedures. This is especially important if your organization still relies on outdated technology.
For IT security to can count on, turn to Safe Harbour.