The dark web has been described by so many Internet enthusiasts as the “dark, mysterious parts of the Internet” only those with a special browser can access. One of these is Tor.
The Internet is divided into three parts: the surface web, the deep web, and the dark web. The surface web is the part accessible to search engines, such as Facebook, Twitter, and this website.
The deep web is, however, a sea of private data no one can access. This contains your passwords, username, credit card details, bank details, and other private information you’ve used on the Internet that is safeguarded and usually encrypted.
The third part of the Internet, the less popular one, is the dark web. This is often referred to as the Internet underworld. It is only accessible by using special browsers. Because it offers complete anonymity, it is the cyberspace used for various criminal activities — child pornography, credit card sales, illegal arms sales, drug trafficking, etc.
Stolen data from most breached cybersecurity are sold on the dark web by cybercriminals. While this has been known by the authorities for years, it only came into the limelight of the public when the security systems of Equifax and LinkedIn were breached and most of their business data stolen and sold on the dark web.
Cybercriminals are not only interested in data from big players, such as Google or Apple; they are also interested in data from your business if it is private and can be used against you to cripple your business or sold to interested companies.
What if my business data ends up in the dark web?
There are numerous ways cybercriminals can get into your business and steal private data. Once they have company emails and passwords, they may:
- Pose as members of your staff and convince other co-workers to give sensitive information or even worse, transfer money
- Send phishing emails and trick your employees into clicking bogus links that download malware of leads them to fake websites.
- Hack into your company’s network to gain access to private documents.
Because of this, you must take active steps to secure your business from hackers. While having various cybersecurity layers in place to protect your business is a good idea, scanning the dark web from time to time to see if your company emails and passwords are out there for sale is not a bad idea either. This will help with damage control and show you how your data have been leaked, as well as steps to take to secure your business against future attacks.
Running a dark web scan is a prudent step to take for your business security. However, you’ll need to be careful. There are a lot of companies out there that claim to help you scan the dark web for leaked data, but they are only after your data — the ones you submit to them. Once they get the information, they will not hesitate to sell it to the highest bidder.
To prevent this, you must look for a reputable company that offers dark web scanning and will not store your data or will only do so in an encrypted format, which it cannot access. This way, you’re sure your private data is in safe hands.