Businesses around the globe are being hit by data breaches every day, but did you ever think about what cybercriminals do with the information they steal in these attacks? More often than not, the stolen information is sold by cybercriminals on the dark web.
What Is the Dark Web?
The dark web is a hidden part of the internet that is inaccessible by conventional search engines and web browsers. While the dark web has some legitimate uses, most of the time it's a hotbed for illegal and criminal activity. Cybercriminals use the dark web as a market for selling and buying drugs, weapons, and stolen personal information such as:
- Email addresses
- Social Security numbers
- Passport numbers
- Medical records
- Bank accounts
- Credit and debit card numbers
- Phone numbers
- Residential addresses
According to Derek Benner, the executive associate director for Homeland Security Investigations at the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the dark web is a major threat and led to the creation of the Cyber Deterrence and Response Act of 2018.
Is Your Organization in Danger?
The answer is yes. Cybercriminals are not just targeting large enterprises but also many small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), which don't have the resources or are using inadequate cybersecurity measures to protect their network. Cybercriminals know this, which is why SMBs are also prime targets for cyberattacks.
What Is Dark Web Monitoring?
Dark web monitoring is a cybersecurity service that allows you to monitor the dark web for your private information. You'll get a notification once your data is found online.
How Can Dark Web Monitoring Help with SOC 2 Security?
Implementing dark web monitoring into your organization's cybersecurity defenses offers the following benefits:
- Provides you with 24/7/365 surveillance capabilities to ensure your private data is safe
- Reduces the time it takes to detect a data breach after the occurrence of one
- Shortens the window of opportunity for cybercriminals to copy and sell your information on the dark web
- Prevents cybercriminals from exploiting your employees and customers on the dark web
- Minimizes the risk of financial and reputational damage
Additionally, dark web monitoring covers three of the five trust principles listed under the Service and Organization Controls 2 (SOC 2) compliance standard which are:
This shows your customers that your company maintains a very high level of information security and that sensitive and private information is being managed responsibly. If your company is looking to get a SOC 2 certificate, implementing dark web monitoring is a good place to start.
What to Look For in a Dark Web Monitoring Service
If you're looking for a dark web monitoring service for your organization, consider the following characteristics to make the process easier for you.
- Proactive monitoring of compromised information
This gives you enough time to respond to a potential threat and prevent a data breach.
- Round-the-clock monitoring
A good dark web monitoring service should have the capability to monitor black market sites, private websites, and hidden chat rooms for stolen business or personal information.
- Threat intelligence
A dark web monitoring solution with good threat intelligence can evaluate industry patterns and use that information to protect your business from cyberattacks.
What Should You Do If Your Information Is Found During a Dark Web Scan?
If a monitoring service detects the presence of your information on the dark web, take the following steps to minimize the damage:
- Change your login credentials
Security experts recommend that you change your password regularly, and especially after your data has been compromised. Don't use the same password for multiple accounts and always use complex passwords that are hard to guess.
- Notify your banks and other financial services providers
If your bank account or credit card number has been detected on the dark web, you should call your banks and credit card companies immediately. Check your credit card statements for any purchases that you did not make and report them as soon as possible.
Inform your bank or credit card issuer that your account has been compromised and that it should be canceled or closed. This will help keep your financial data safe and prevent cybercriminals from taking out loans or opening fake credit card accounts using your information.
- Get in touch with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
Cybercriminals can use personal or business information bought from the dark web to commit fraud and identity theft. If this happens, you should file a report with the FTC immediately.
The dark web is a scary place and the threat of your private information appearing there is real. Fortunately, you can protect your business, employees, and customers by partnering with a reliable managed IT services provider like Charles IT. Our dark web monitoring service will provide you with real-time data and alerts to keep your data safe from the wrong people. If you want to know more about our services, reach out to our team today!