Dark Web Monitoring
Monitor and protect your sensitive data
The dark web represents a not insignificant six percent of the entire web. What we usually see - the surface web - accounts for just four percent of the web. The balance - some ninety percent - consists of the deep web; pages that are not indexed by search engines. The dark web is one more level down from the deep web.
Regardless of our level of awareness, the dark web is a threat to our data, and we should be taking every IT support step to protect it from bad actors.
But first, let's examine what we are dealing with here. The regular internet comprises some 4.5 billion web pages. Add on the dark web, and it is estimated that the internet is about 400-500 times bigger than we typically perceive.
Analysis of the dark web in 2019 found that over 2,700 dark web sites contained illicit content. In total, it is believed that the dark web accounts for around 75,000 terabytes of content. This estimate is a substantial amount of data by any measure. Worryingly, the dark web, too, has not been immune to the effects of C0VID-19, as we will see.
Our 2020 analysis and monitoring of the dark web have discovered some disturbing trends that hint at what looks certain to be the biggest cybersecurity threat in the future. This study has thrown up some valuable insights into what we should be doing today and tomorrow to safeguard our data.
Dark web fact #2
The dark web's activity around the global COVID-19 pandemic has skyrocketed. The first quarter of 2020 alone saw more than 1,400 domains relating to COVID-19 being registered by dark web operators.
Subsequently, there was a more than 700 percent rise in search terms related to COVID-19 on the dark web. Against this background, there has been a near 700 percent increase in the number of COVID-19 phishing attacks.
These factors come at a time when growth in dark web use has spiraled by 300 percent in the last three years.
Dark web fact #1
The dark web is not a niche solely inhabited by hackers and those of dubious character. Far from it, in fact. Every day, the dark web is accessed by around two million users via Tor. This web browser masks your IP address to make your web traffic anonymous.
It is thought that around 26 percent of North American web users access the dark web each day. In the European Union, this figure is believed to be approximately 17 percent.
It should also be noted that:
Around a third of all web users in North America logged on to the dark web in 2019
And 60 percent of the content held on the dark web could potentially damage organizations.
Dark web fact #3
That the dark web and its economy is flourishing is now beyond doubt.
It is estimated - rather alarmingly - that up to five percent of the world's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is being laundered via the dark web each year.
This money-laundering is undoubted because over three-quarters of dark web sites seem to be marketplaces of one form or another.
Among the services on offer is illicit access to corporate computer networks. In the first quarter of 2020, prices have jumped by 61 percent, hinting that demand is driving the price upwards.
The end result is cybercrime that is deemed to be worth over $1.5 trillion each year for the criminal networks responsible.
Dark web fact #4
Unknown to many, your data could already be on the dark web and up for sale, even if your cybersecurity measures haven't been breached. Typical of this is the data of 267 million Facebook account holders whose information was sold for $632 per user in the first quarter of 2020.
Also, during this quarter, a further 73 million-plus new user records appeared on the dark web.
Every organization is under threat. For example:
A single data dump in Q1 2020 exposed the customer records of 164 million users from 12 major enterprises
Over 50 percent of organizations have suffered a data breach
What can I do to protect my data?
Great question. By good fortune, there are two things you can do right now to minimize the risk.
Call security - We all need someone to have our back. A dark web monitoring service will flag up a range of potential risks. From your passwords being offered for sale to staff trying to earn an extra buck selling access to your network. Or your data appearing in a third party data dump on the dark web.
Dark web monitoring delves into the darkest corners of the dark web to search for potential harm facing your organization. Dark web monitoring operates 24x7 to protect your organization's systems and data from threats. If potential problems are detected, your organization is immediately alerted, helping you to snuff out cyberattacks before they get underway.
Train your staff - Your human resources are often said to be your greatest asset in business. But sometimes they can unwittingly be your most significant liability.
However, with the proper training, your employees can be your first line of defense against cybercrime threats. This need for training rings true because the vast majority - over 90 percent - of data breaches begin with a phishing attack. And all the tools a cybercriminal needs to launch a phishing attack are widely available on the dark web.
The threat of a successful phishing attack where employees are conned to disclose sensitive information can be massively reduced through cybersecurity training. Our cybersecurity training and sandbox phishing attacks can stop the criminals in their digital tracks.
We have an extensive range of phishing scenarios and simulations to play out with employees, as well as bespoke anti-phishing tools to help staff identify threats. Our service is supported by video tutorials, including potential security risks related to COVID-19. Our tools are regularly updated and available in multiple languages to give your staff the knowledge to effectively repel phishing attacks and keep your data safe and secure.