The internet is a big place — bigger than we could possibly envisage. You can find the answer to any question imaginable, chat with people from all over the globe and there is more content to keep us entertained than we could enjoy in a lifetime.
Unfortunately, it’s not all memes and funny cat videos. Whilst being a member of the online world boasts many advantages, it is also home to illegal activity — predominantly across the dark web which is the perfect place for cybercriminals to connect, share information and divulge tactics in order to scam unsuspecting victims.
What is the dark web? Well, it is a sector of the internet that predominantly hosts this type of criminal behaviour as it runs on anonymity. Whilst government organisations pay close attention to happenings in this corner of the web, it is very difficult to track users and their actions.
You may have heard of the many advantages that dark web monitoring offers from an individual vantage, but it is also crucial that corporations consider investing in this internet security tool. Now, more so than ever, we are trusting companies with all kinds of private information and from a business perspective, it is extremely important that the appropriate steps are taken to safeguard customer data.
The dark web explained
The dark web is one of three layers of the internet, which also includes the surface web and the deep web.
We all access the surface web and the deep web on a daily basis. The surface web includes the standard websites that we use to chat with friends, shop and read up on the latest news articles. The deep web contains sites that are not indexed by a regular search engine, but are still necessary in allowing us to carry out normal everyday activities such as paying bank bills and accessing school or work intranets.
The dark web, on the other hand, is a completely different section of the internet. If you are wondering how to access the dark web, you should first and foremost know that normal search engines such as Google, are not linked to dark web sites.
Instead, you have to download the TOR (The Onion Router) browser. Sites are not indexed and ranked as they are on the surface web and all are anonymously hosted. This makes it very difficult for government organisations to track down the perpetrators of illegal activity including cybercriminals involved in identity theft and the selling of personal data.
Benefits of monitoring for businesses
From a business perspective, the main benefit of dark web monitoring is that it provides you with a proactive opportunity to deal with data breaches — those that may have already occurred as well as future attacks.
Criminals who operate in the dark web are particularly fond of selling personal data such as financial details, passwords and login information. Online hackers obtain this information by undertaking data theft, often at the expense of large companies which can be very costly and cause considerable distress to customers.
By utilising a dark web monitoring service that is provided by an internet security company, you can instantly be alerted should the information of your clients or employees end up on a dark web site. You will then be able to take steps to protect your internal business as well as informing customers of the breach — in many countries, this is a legal obligation.
Data breaches can cause considerable damage to the image of a company and so proactively monitoring and alerting clients as soon as a breach occurs can play a large role in re-installing customer trust.
Reading and monitoring dark web forums can also alert you should criminals be simply considering your company as a target, so you can act quickly to prevent damage before it occurs. It’s important to remember however, that the dark web can be a dangerous place. It is not recommended that you spend time simply browsing websites on the TOR server and it is probably best to engage the services of an internet security expert, should you be considering actively searching the dark web.
All businesses have responsibilities towards their clients, one of which is data security. Customers place enormous trust in corporations to safeguard their personal information which is why it is vital to take every precaution possible. Dark web monitoring, conducted by a trustworthy online security company, is a simple step that can protect customers and the brand of an organisation.
About the Author
Bridget is a writer and editor, currently living in Melbourne. She is a copywriter for Newpath Web and loves working with words of all shapes and sizes. When not playing around with punctuation and grammar, she enjoys travelling and curating her Spotify playlists.