It is the subject of many news articles, yet the dark web remains a mystery that most people wisely choose to avoid. For business leaders, though, ignorance isn’t bliss when it comes to protecting their systems, their customer data and their intellectual property. Now is the time to get wise to the risks of the dark web.

What is the Dark Web?

Google Dictionary’s definition is of ‘the part of the World Wide Web that is only accessible by means of special software, allowing users and website operators to remain anonymous or untraceable.’ You might know that the dark web is used for trafficking drugs, weapons and humans, but that is just a part of the underground activity. Passwords, corporate and individual data, and even ‘hacking as a service’ are available with a little digging. Most victims are oblivious.

How Do I know if My Business is Compromised?

A report by The Ponemon Institute found that the mean time to detection of an intruder is 197 days1. New technologies can certainly reduce this time, but the ideal scenario is prevention of intruders, so developing very strong data protection and IT security measures is a priority. Checking if your business information is already available on the dark web is something best left to the professionals. One good measure is to sign up with which constantly scan the dark web and inform you if somewhere you’ve given your email address to, has been compromised. It proactively monitors for stolen data relating to your organisation.

Stronger Passwords

You don’t have to wait before the horse has bolted to lock the stable dooR. Protective measures around passwords can reduce the potential for damage and make your organisation a less attractive target. One of the key problems for users is the sheer number of systems they must log into, each with separate passwords.  550 options are available.

From banks and government services to social media and email, many apps offer two factor authentication when logging in. This usually involves sending a uniquely generated passcode that is sent by SMS – using two factor authentication means that even if your passwords are compromised, hackers will find it harder to progress.

Educating Staff about Secure Online Behaviour

The most common routes into an organisation include phishing and unsafe websites. Attacks are far more sophisticated than their clumsy predecessors, but look for low-resolution logos, poor punctuation or odd word choice, and check the sent address of any email you are unsure of. Establish processes that include checking by phone when any contact details are changed, or any unusual orders.

Educating your staff about safe online behaviour can drastically reduce your risk. Staff education tools, and our own IT security specialists can guide you on more low-cost and free ways to bolster your security and establish safe practices. Getting expert advice, using modern technology, or using managed services that include enterprise-level security, can reduce your risk of finding your own organisation’s information for sale on the dark web.

Time to design a stronger defence and improve your organisation’s safety online? Contact our friendly IT security specialists today.


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