Over the last few years, corporate and personal data breaches have become a common occurrence. IBM's 2020 Cost of a Data Breach Report found that the global average cost of a data breach totaled $3.86 million, with the time to identify and contain a breach averaging 280 days. You’ve probably read nightmare scenarios of individuals and businesses who’ve had their sensitive data stolen and then released on the dark web. Unfortunately, this is no exaggeration. The dark web is a perilous place where hackers can buy and sell your personal information, like social security numbers, health records, and credit card numbers, to the highest bidder.
What Is the Dark Web?
Think of it like an iceberg. Only a small portion of the entire iceberg is visible above water. The bulk lies beneath the water. The same is true for the World Wide Web. The everyday websites you visit, and those that are frequented by most of the population, are only the tip of the sites on the web. The internet is made up of three components:
The Deep Web – This is everything else on the internet not found by search engines. Your Amazon account and private Facebook profile are both on the deep web. Nobody can find them because they’re not being indexed by search engines.
The Dark Web – The dark web is an encrypted part of the internet that exists within the deep web not accessible by everyday search engines like Google and Bing. Instead of accessing the dark web through a search engine, users must download special software that masks IP addresses and leaves visitors anonymous.
The anonymity of the dark web is what makes it so powerful - and so dangerous. On one hand, the dark web helps give a voice to individuals like whistleblowers and citizens from countries with strict censorship policies. However, the anonymous, shadowed nature of the dark web allows hackers to roam free without any surveillance, making it a breeding ground for illegal activities.
How to Protect Your Information from the Dark Web
In an era when sensitive business or personal data is a hot commodity, you must have proper security protections in place to prevent your data from ending up in the wrong hands.
5 Ways to Keep Your Information Off the Dark Web:
1. Enable Multi-Factor Authentication on ALL Your Online Accounts
Even social media accounts. Multi-factor authentication enables you to protect your accounts with an additional security prompt. In addition to entering your password, the site will send a code to your phone or email, which you’ll then enter to verify your identity.
2. Practice Safe and Secure Password Management.
This means changing your password every 30 to 90 days and using a different password for every account. The average employee uses the same password thirteen times, hampering the security of their accounts. Tools like LastPass are useful to users who would like to automate secure passwords and track those passwords so they know when to change them.
3. Ensure You have Proper Malware/Antivirus
Malware/Antivirus software are designed to prevent viruses, spyware, adware, trojans and malware infections on your computer. If one of these programs is detected, the software works to notify you and remove the program from your computer.
4. Keep Your Software Up-to-Date
Malware/Antivirus services are constantly finding new threats and updating their procedures. Make sure to update your software so you are protected from the newest and more sophisticated threats.
5. Run a Dark Web Scan
While the prospect of having your information stolen and sold on the dark web is a scary one, it’s better to know than to remain… in the dark about it. If your information has been compromised, we can help you take actions to remedy it and regain your security and peace of mind.
Don’t be left in the dark when it comes to data breaches and business security vulnerabilities. Find out if your business information has been targeted or compromised today. Our dark web scan goes far beyond simple malware and virus scans.
ImageNet's Dark Web Assessment includes:
- Vulnerability Assessment
Designed to help you keep pace with evolving threats. This assessment evaluates current IT systems to determine exploitable vulnerabilities.
- Penetration Testing
Our team performs “ethical hacking” to identify vulnerabilities that can’t be found without significant manual analysis of poor passwords & chain-of-trust issues.
- Configuration Review
Our security engineers review the configuration of various platforms & make recommendations to bring your systems in line with the latest best practices.
- Framework Assessment
For a complete gap analysis, we will interview members of your organization & determine where to make improvements to your security.
- Compliance Assessment
We identify compliance data security shortfalls to help resolve problems and help you meet regulatory requirements.
- Microsoft Office 365 Security & Compliance Check
We’ll identify gaps in the security and compliance features of Office 365 and create a centralized, simplified solution plan.
Managed IT Helps Solve Your Security Woes
Partnering with a Managed IT provider ensures you have proper, ongoing security protocols in place and compliance requirements are continually met. We’ll watch your network around the clock and continually manage firewalls and maintenance to keep your technology secure.
Contact one of our Managed IT specialists today to receive your full network assessment and dark web scan and learn how we can help back up your IT team with customized IT support and simplify security for your business.