Caught in the Dark Web

Where your information is sold to the highest bidder

                                                                                          Complete Technology Solutions

What it is: The Dark Web is a sub-layer of the internet hidden within the “Deep Web.” When you use search engines like Google and Yahoo, you are only searching the surface layer of the internet. This surface layer makes up 0.4% of the entire internet.

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The other 99.6% consists of databases, private academic and government networks, and the Dark Web.

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This section of the internet is approximately 550 times larger than the surface layer. Those looking to access the Dark Web must have specialized software, and the pages are not indexed (meaning you cannot “surf” the Dark Web).

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Furthermore, encryption of data and random routing procedures make it virtually impossible to track users on the Dark Web.

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What it’s for

The Dark Web is infamously known to be a sort of online black market. Most highly publicized data breaches were made worse when that data was put up for sale on the Dark Web.

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How information ends up on the Dark Web

Information is typically stolen through the use of malware, often spread through email.

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Malware can cause damage in limitless ways, but one of those ways is by stealing user and network information. Read about the most commonly used types of malware and how to protect your business here.

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Another popular method hackers use is phishing. A hacker will send an email that appears to be from a reputable source, typically to any employee within a company, asking them to update or change personal information.

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They direct the user to a fake website where they can enter information.  If that user gives what is asked for, the trap is sprung. Depending on what a hacker wishes to do, they may be able to access the business’s entire network or even personal information.

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Why awareness is important

Once information is obtained, a domino effect occurs. All it takes is a single password to set things in motion.

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Suppose a hacker successfully phished an employee’s password at a business. First, they may simply sell that password (typically among numerous others they’ve acquired).

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With inexpensive malware purchased from the Dark Web, they can access any bank or card information entered online. This is only a mild example. They can virtually destroy the user’s livelihood by opening accounts, ruining their credit, and even engaging in more illegal activity using that identity.

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When a hacker gets into a business network, the financial impact can be deadly.

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The average cost of a data breach last year was $3.68 million according to the Ponemon Institute’s Cost of a Data Breach Study (2018). This is not factoring in any “aftershocks” once a data breach has occurred.

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Recovering or repairing any damage done, as well as the down time needed to do so, are costs incurred by the business.

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Furthermore, the reputation of a business suffers drastically when the breach comes to light. According to a study by the Ponemon Institute (2017), trends show that the majority of consumers will stop doing business altogether with a company who has allowed a breach to occur.

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Business owners must have an arsenal of cybersecurity measures to protect themselves and their customers from breaches. The first step is to ensure that all users within your business network are protected.

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It is important to take necessary precautions however, including ensuring that those users are not already trapped in the Dark Web.

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Contact CTS today to request a complimentary Dark Web analysis and learn more about Complete Cybersecurity Solutions that will protect you and your business from future threats.

 

 

 

Learn More:

What is Malware?

What is Malware?

A field guide for business owners Malware is the most harmful threat to a business' security. This is true for two reasons: the effects of malware attacks are often detrimental to a business and its productivity, and the probability of experiencing a malware attack...

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