What is the Darkweb and Its Business Impact?
Whenever you hear the darkweb mentioned, what do you think of? Most often you will get mixed messages. Some people don’t take information found there seriously while others don’t understand how dangerous it can be. Knowledge is power. The more we know about this part of the internet, the more we can safeguard ourselves against the negative aspects of it.
The Darkweb and How It Can Affect Your Business
- How is the darkweb different from the inter-web? When you think about searching for something on Google and Bing, you probably think of the Inter-Web. You use the surface web to research things that are publicly available by typing in a URL into your browser. What most people don’t know is this is just the crust of the internet. Below the surface of the web is something we refer to as the deep web or the invisible web. You actually can’t find this information because it is not indexed by standard search engines. The deep web is actually 500 times larger than the surface web. Then there is the darkweb. It is a tiny fraction of the web that is only accessed through specialized software called a Tor browser. It is a network that is used to anonymously communicate the origin and destination of internet traffic.
- Who uses it? The thing that differentiates this part of the web from other parts is its anonymity. It is an instrument to shady and illegal activities, such as drug sales, firearms, and stolen credit card numbers. Last year, AlphaBay, a darkweb marketplace made $600K to $800K a day, was shut down by law enforcement. In countries where the government restricts access to specific websites and social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, darkweb tools can help them view what they want.
- How do I access it? One of the most useful tools to get on the darkweb is the Tor browser. With Tor, you can access web addresses that end with the .onion extension. These address are only available on the darkweb and can’t be accessed through your normal web browser. Tor’s browsing experience is a lot slower than you are probably used to mostly due to its anonymity. A lot of websites block traffic from coming to Tor.
- Have I been compromised? Far to often, people use the same password for everything. They use it to log into their computer and all their social media accounts. Most people don’t know if their login information has been sold by criminals until they are notified by a third party. Education is the first defense when it comes to security. It is important to change your password often and use different passwords for different accounts. This will reduce the risk of having your information compromised. If you want to know if you have been compromised, your trusted IT provider can run a scan for you.
- What is its impact on my business? Most small businesses don’t feel like they will impacted by stolen or compromised data. This could be further from the truth. We have seen several small businesses that have had their credentials stolen and then held hostage until they give in to the demands of the criminals. Criminals don’t always target a business based on size. They look at the ones that are most vulnerable. Stolen user name and passwords, can give them access to a variety of accounts including banking, internal emails, and proprietary business data.
At Protek, we use advanced tools to monitor and detect if your company data has been compromised. When we stay on top of this deep part of the internet, we can find compromised company information and notify you immediately so you can change your credentials and lock down your business data. We can also help you devise a security plan to help prevent your business credentials from being compromised in the future. Security and education is at the forefront of our minds. The more you know about what can potentially harm your business, the more you can prepare yourself against it.
If you are interested in having a darkweb scan, click the button below or call us at 801.999.4767.
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Eric is the owner and CEO of Protek Support and is a CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional). He graduated from Utah State University with a Bachelors of Science degree in Business with an emphasis in Information Technology (IT). He is an IT Services expert in a variety of technology related fields. Some of these fields include document management software/hardware, enterprise level networking and VoIP phone systems, as well as large scale software implementation projects and the setup of small business networks.