A Cybersecurity Expert Explains The Dark Web

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By Kyriakos Kaimis

Are your company’s data and network secure? Or, are you worried you may have been hacked, putting sensitive data at risk? You may be wondering about the latter if you’re looking up information on the dark web and how it may impact your business.

From bespoke malware to hacking services targeted at FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 companies, the dark web has gone deeper underground to thwart law enforcement as much as to share new and advanced ideas with fellow hackers on how best to hack businesses.

Having a comprehensive security plan that evolves with the changes and advancements in security is key to protecting your data, your identity, your company, your company’s brand, your clients, and your customers, among other things. 

What is the dark web? The internet is made up of three parts. The surface web, also known as the clear web, which makes up the websites and webpages of the internet that are indexed by search engines such as Google. The deep web, which consists of pages that you can access by using login information such as bank account or medical records. And the dark web, also referred to as the darknet, which is the part of the internet not indexed by search engines and which cannot be accessed unless done anonymously by using special anonymizing software. People who live in countries where access to the internet is restricted can communicate more openly on the dark web, but it has also been infiltrated by criminals who deal in things like malware, stolen data, and stolen identities.

What do we know about the dark web’s impact on businesses? According to Security Magazine, there is a hacker attack approximately every 39 seconds. Stale user accounts, like those that are unused or with outdated permissions, are easy targets for hackers to exploit, and according to Varonis, 65 percent of all companies have more than 1,000 stale user accounts. More than 600,000 users of Email.it have their data placed and sold on the dark web.

What are the consequences of stolen data on the dark web? Cybercrime on the dark web is incredibly profitable––according to Cybersecurity Ventures, it’s more profitable than even the global illicit drug trade. According to RSA, a consumer account could go for as little as $1.00 on the dark web. The global average cost of a data breach … is $3.92 million, a 1.5 percent increase from its 2018 study.” The average total cost of a data breach for a U.S. business is $3.86 million. 

Is the dark web creating the need for more cybersecurity experts? Because the demand is high, the need for cybersecurity experts is high––in 2019 alone, there were more than 715,000 cybersecurity experts as reported by Cyberseek. Meanwhile, cybersecurityventures.com estimates that there will be more than 3.5 million cybersecurity jobs come 2022.

What can businesses do about the dark web’s threats? Things like changing passwords regularly, training employees, choosing the right ISP, monitoring spyware, encrypting client and customer data, among other things, are necessary. But it all must be included in a customized plan that is always reviewed and updated, and addresses the new concerns of the day.

If you don’t have your own team to address these issues specifically, then you may want to consider outsourcing it to a professional group such as Computer Specialists. With 2021 upon us and the economy hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, the time is now to ensure the safety and integrity of your data.

Custom Computer Specialists is proud to sponsor Spotlight LI. Since 1979, Custom has been dedicated to providing Long Island’s schools, local government agencies, healthcare facilities and businesses with advanced technology solutions and support. To learn more about Custom Computer, or to be considered for a future Spotlight LI, please email [email protected].