What Is The Dark Web?
When someone mentions the internet, we instantly think of search engines and websites. However, the internet is so much more than this. The internet is divided into three branches; the surface web, the dark web, and the deep web. What we are exposed to, commonly known as the surface or open web, is just the tip of the iceberg, making up only 4% of the entire internet. The surface web is the part of the internet containing millions of webpages, servers, and databases that we access through web browsers and search engines such as Yahoo, Firefox, and Google.
The dark web is commonly referred to as part of the internet that is associated with criminal activities. But what exactly is the dark web?
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What Exactly Is the Dark Web?
The dark web refers to the part of the internet that is not visible or indexed by conventional web browsers and search engines. Just like the surface web, the dark web consists of webpages, databases, and servers. However, it requires an anonymous browser, known as The Onion Router (TOR), to be accessed. Contrary to surface web website addresses that end with .com, .org, or .gov, dark web website addresses end with .onion.
TOR allows end-users to access the internet privately and securely by obscuring their IP addresses using a random path of encrypted servers, which help encrypt the traffic from their computers. This way, people can access websites on both the open and dark web anonymously, without giving out their locations, identity, or exposing their browser history to internet service providers.
While the dark web enables genuine people like journalists, advocates for free speech and whistleblowers to express themselves with some level of privacy and avoid exposing their real identities, this same level of privacy is availed to people with ill intentions.
How Does Stolen Data Find Its Way To the Dark Web?
The dark web is commonly known to be a hotbed of criminal activities. These crimes mostly involve the selling and buying of stolen data. This data ranges from account usernames, passwords, credit card information, bank account information, company financial information, and business operational data.
Of primary interest to company executives are the darknet marketplaces (DNMs). Effortless access to these marketplaces has made it easier for anyone to sell sensitive corporate data without exposing themselves. Through these DNMs, anyone can sell corporate data to anonymous buyers who often pay in cryptocurrency for even greater anonymity. According to a study, since 2016, the number of dark web listings that could potentially harm businesses has risen by 20%.
How Can You Limit Your Exposure to the Dark Web?
As a business, integrating cybersecurity controls into your systems is enough security for your data. Monitoring the dark web to check what company data is for sale on the darknet marketplaces is a security control you also need to implement. Frequently scanning the dark web will help you know how efficient your cybersecurity controls are and what risks you are exposed to.
Here are the critical requirements for your business if you are dealing with corporate dark web threats:
- Develop a response policy to guide your response to corporate data appearing on the dark web
- Hire a proactive cyber threat monitoring team to detect network intrusions
As an executive, you need to start thinking about dark web monitoring for your company. Without the ability to monitor the dark web, interactions that may be of concern to your company go unnoticed. As a business, it’s always better to be a step ahead of cybercriminals. It’s crucial to ensure that your data doesn’t fall into the wrong hands, as this may lead to catastrophic effects on your business.
Are You Worried That Your Company’s Data May Be Available on the Dark Web?
Menark Technologies has years of experience in offering dark web monitoring and cyber-surveillance solutions to businesses in Philadelphia, Wilmington, and the mid-Atlantic region.
Schedule an appointment with us today, and let us help you find out what information about your business is larking on the dark web.