should you be worried about the dark web

Every day we hear about new threats to the safety and security of businesses around the world. Many of these threats originate in a place called the dark web, allowing individuals to creep into the online lives of millions of companies and individuals. There is no target too big and no target too small when it comes to attacks from these destructive forces, allowing them access to logins to banks, software, employee emails, subscriptions, and any even your own private servers.

Anyone can become a victim of the dark web, from governments to schools, hospitals, businesses, and individuals; ransomware and phishing email attacks are growing more frequent and widespread. It is estimated that at a minimum in 2019, there was a 41% increase in ransomware attacks, and of those attacked, an average of $84,000 was paid in ransom by each victim. These are shocking and staggering amounts, and although such an amount may not seem like much to big business, small businesses and individuals are left making difficult financial decisions that leave them hurting monetarily or vulnerable and exposed.

What is the Dark Web?

It sounds ominous because it is; the dark web is mostly comprised of illegal activities. In addition to facilitating the sale of drugs, guns, and other illegal paraphernalia, the dark web is a haven for identity theft criminals buying and selling stolen and hacked information from companies and individuals. This hacked information is being sold to be used as the basis of any number of internet-based attacks from phishing emails and scams targeting individuals within your business to using ransomware against your company to steal customer information, shut you out of your company software, and exploit your company for money.

Can You Access the Dark Web?

The dark web is a unique landscape that is not easily accessible and navigated by an everyday consumer or business owner. You cannot just jump on Google and search the dark web. It is an unregulated and unindexed area of the internet that cannot be found using your average search engine. In fact, only approximately 4% of the internet is easily accessible through search engines; the remainder is comprised of the deep web and the dark web, which is accounts for about 90% and 6%, respectively, of the content available on the internet.

Deep Web versus Dark Web

Frequently people may refer to the deep web and dark web interchangeably; however, It is important to differentiate the deep web and the dark web as they are not one and the same. The deep web accounts for most content on the internet and consists mostly of private resources that are web-based but not indexed or searchable by search engines. The content found on the deep web mostly consists of corporate websites, government information, and resources, medical records, educational institutions, etc. Unlike the dark web, the information on the deep web is not typically illegal or nefarious in nature; rather, it is not indexed because it is private information accessible only by its intended end-users.

Should I Worry About the Dark Web?

While most believe that the dark web is primarily used to target more lucrative businesses, individuals, and countries or governments, the reality is anyone is vulnerable to an attack from stolen data on the dark web. Stolen data can affect not just the finances of your business but its ability to continue to operate. In this day in age, companies rely on technology and the internet to store records, data, and financial transactions. Businesses do so under the assumption that it is more efficient and secure. When your data is stolen and compromised, it can be time-consuming, costly, and challenging to continue to run your business successfully.

How Can the Dark Web Affect Your Business?

The truth of the matter is that much of the information sold on the dark web is successful in being used to access information and data. Once your information has been accessed and used against you, many businesses are left with the difficult decision to pay large sums of money in hopes of retrieving stolen information or almost certainly losing all of their pertinent and priceless business data. A number of businesses such as doctors and manufacturers have even been forced to shut their doors because of the malicious attacks from phishing emails and ransomware; and their inability to retrieve the critical business data that has been stolen.

How Can I Protect My Business From Falling Victim to the Dark Web?

It is in everyone's best interest; individuals and businesses alike to take the time and make the extra effort to protect your information from the possibility that your data may be at risk on the dark web. Using a knowledgeable and professional security-focused company to keep your business information safe and secure is critical to the overall security of your company and its customers.

At NetEffect, we provide security solutions for your organization that will leave you feeling at ease and protected from these potential and pervasive threats. Protecting your company's information is critical to continuing to provide your services in an efficient manner and keeping your company safe from possible attacks by internet threats that can have debilitating effects on your operations. With our team of knowledgeable and experienced IT experts, we can use special tools to access and scan the dark web for any potential security threats associated with your company.

Knowledge is powerful in combating dark web threats. With our capabilities, we can pinpoint account information that has been compromised and guide you with a strategy to combat these threats and secure your company data. With this valuable information in hand, we can work with you and your company to create a customized and effective plan to reduce the risk to your business.

Contact us at NetEffect to discuss how we can help your business by offering our “SecureNet” suite of security protection for your network and our user security awareness training for your employees to learn to recognize these potential threats and what steps they can take to protect themselves and your company.