The term “dark web” often gives off an ominous feeling when uttered among individuals and business owners alike, but in actuality, few have ever seen the dark web. Most people have no idea what it is or how to access it and cannot comprehend the risks behind what goes on there.
While not knowing anything about the dark web might make you look trustworthy, it can, more importantly, also put your business at risk if you aren’t actively maintaining a dark web monitoring tool.
The key to thwarting threats from the dark web is knowing what they are and how to combat them before they can take down your infrastructure and negatively impact your brand.
Understanding the Dark Web
In its simplest definition, the dark web consists of hidden internet sites that users cannot find by searching Google or any other well-known search engine. Instead, access to these sites can only be gained using a special anonymizing web client called Tor Browser.
With virtual traffic tunnels created by randomized networks, no one can detect a user’s identity when they hide behind the browser, and dark websites then use encryption software to further ensure that all activity remains anonymous.
Though some claim that the dark web can be used for good, the fact that law enforcement continuously scours it to find and take down criminals should tell you everything you need to know about what goes on there. The dark web is full of illegal activity, and it is where crimes like identity theft, ransomware, phishing scams, and the like originate.
Many business owners have no idea that the dark web even exists, and alongside the proliferation of cyber threats and data breaches, it can all pose serious security issues.
Examples of threats on the dark web
The dark web poses a significant threat to businesses, as it provides a hidden marketplace for cybercriminals to buy, sell, and exchange sensitive information, malware, and illicit services. This is why your business needs an effective dark web monitoring tool in your toolbox.
One of the most prominent threats on the dark web, and why your business should invest in an effective dark web monitoring tool, is the sale of stolen data. Cybercriminals can easily purchase stolen credentials or sensitive information from data breaches and use this information for various malicious purposes.
These stolen credentials can be used to gain unauthorized access to corporate networks, compromising important data and causing significant financial and reputational damage to businesses. The dark web also provides a platform for selling personally identifiable information (PII), including social security numbers, credit card details, and even medical records.
This makes it easier for fraudsters and identity thieves to target businesses and individuals, leading to financial fraud and identity theft.
Another significant dark web threat faced by businesses is the sale of hacking tools, exploits, and malware. Cybercriminals can purchase sophisticated malware and hacking tools on the dark web to launch targeted attacks against businesses.
These attacks can include ransomware, which encrypts a company’s files until a ransom is paid, or distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, which can bring down a company’s website or online services.
These dark web marketplaces also offer malware-as-a-service, where cybercriminals can rent or buy ready-made malware to launch attacks without requiring advanced technical skills. This ease of access to powerful hacking tools and malware allows even novice cybercriminals to launch devastating attacks against businesses, making the dark web a breeding ground for cyber threats.
The Importance of Dark Web Monitoring Tools
It should come as no surprise that data breaches are on the rise. The dark web has criminals offering cybercrime as a service in exchange for some fast cash, so much and so often that the activity has become a major growth industry, leading to a greater need for dark web monitoring tools.
Today’s businesses are facing more potential problems than ever. Their threats include stolen usernames and passwords, sensitive business and customer information being stolen and sold on the web, and even counterfeit products and services being sold on the market. Unfortunately, all of these threats have subsequent consequences that can lead to a loss of customer trust, as well as fines and penalties as the result of regulatory compliance issues.
If even a small part of your network has been exposed and then hacked, bad actors can wedge their way in and wreak havoc on the rest of it, and once the damage is done, it can take a long time for businesses to recover from it. For these reasons, investing in dark web monitoring tools is key for every business owner.
Key Features of an Effective Dark Web Monitoring Tool
What is dark web monitoring? It is a process that uses automation to find and stop potential threats before they can damage your business.
You should never try to conduct dark web monitoring manually, however. If you want to truly be protected, you need a real-time monitoring dark web monitoring tool that continuously crawls the dark web and alerts you to threats that may be coming your way.
You also want that monitoring service to provide comprehensive data coverage from a range of sources, including I2P, IRC, Tor, and Telegram channels, criminal forums, marketplaces, and paste sites, among others. Such expansive coverage detects a wide range of threats, including compromised data, financial information, and sensitive documents.
If you’re ready to invest in dark web monitoring tools, a few other features you need to look out for include the following:
- Machine learning and natural language processing to better understand what is threatening your business
- Dark web marketplace monitoring that peers into the dark web to see if anyone is selling the data they stole from you
- Identity monitoring that tracks compromised credentials to stop identity theft and the effect it can have on your business
- Continuous monitoring that allows you to stay ahead of emerging threats and ensure up-to-date protection
The right dark web monitoring tool will equip your business with the tools it needs to keep attacks and data breaches at bay.
Why Choose Bolster’s Dark Web Monitoring Tool
Bolster’s dark web monitoring tool is a comprehensive solution that provides businesses with targeted security.
First, the tool focuses on early warnings, which means it looks out for illicit activity and gathers intelligence to predict how bad actors might behave. Bolster is able to provide information on where hackers are located and trends in the groups or people targeting your business.
The dark web monitoring tool also gives you the ability to click directly into specific threats to see the exact data that has been compromised, allowing your team to know if it’s a particular employee that needs to change their password or if there’s a specific company credit card that is compromised.
All dark web threat data is summarized in an easy-to-digest analytics dashboard, highlighting your biggest threats. In response, businesses can identify criminal intentions and instantly configure responses accordingly, protecting themselves with a plan and creating a viable strategy to scrub their information from the dark web.
When you display a strong commitment to best-in-class technology and pair it with around-the-clock support from a team of security experts, you’ll find that these are what makes Bolster’s dark web monitoring solution unlike any other on the market.
To see how Bolster’s dark web monitoring tool can work for your business, request a demo with our team today.