What is a Dark Web Scan, and Why Should You Do It?September 8, 2021
The dark web is a collection of hidden sites on the Internet that cannot be found using popular search engines. They are accessed via specialized browsers/clients.
Your company's data could be for sale there, and you wouldn't even know it until it's too late. Breaches often go unnoticed, and the dark web is where the data is hidden and sold off to any variety of cyber criminals. That's why a dark web scan is vital to serve as your eyes in the darkest corners of the Internet.
Understanding the Dark Web
You won't find the dark web through general browsing. You'll need special tools to get through the multiple layers of encryption that are designed to keep users as anonymous as possible. While not everything that goes on is illegal, the anonymity makes the dark web the perfect home for illicit activities, such as selling stolen data from breaches along with most any type of illegal goods.
To be fair, it’s not all bad-- some people actually use the dark web for good. For instance, the dark web allows whistleblowers and journalists to work together to gather data and share information without revealing who they are. However, our focus in this article is on the bad aspects that we need to protect ourselves from.
The primary purpose of data security management is to keep your data from being stolen and appearing on the dark web. Consider that something as simple as a phishing email could expose your data to cyber criminals all over the world. Dark web scans help reveal that exposure early.
What Do Hackers Do with Stolen Data?
While hackers could just use the stolen data themselves, it's often easier and more profitable to simply sell it off. Logins, credit card numbers, social security numbers, medical records, and much more are put up for sale on dark web marketplaces. Buyers can purchase entire lists of information or individual pieces.
Buyers then use this data to commit fraud, identity theft, hold companies for ransom, and more. It may even be sold off to competitors to provide access to confidential company data.
Sellers often use the dark web as a bargaining tool in a ransomware attack. They'll show you what they've stolen and give you a set amount of time to pay a ransom. If you don’t pay, they put your data up for sale. Once it's sold, there's little you can do. Data security solutions help prevent this from happening.
Why Do a Dark Web Scan?
It's difficult to navigate the dark web unless you know what you're looking for. Dark web scans are a proactive way to tell whether or not you've been compromised. They're performed on your entire email domain to determine whether any user information has been listed for sale.
Part of what makes doing these scans a “must” is the stealthy nature of data breaches. Often you don't even realize when they happen. Hackers might use phishing emails to obtain an employee's login details. They then use those details to quietly steal information over the course of months. A scan can show if any employees' logins are being posted online for others to use.
Plus, hackers often love to brag. They'll upload and advertise any successful breaches to build interest for the information they want to sell. If your company knows about it before it's sold, you can take actions to protect yourself, your employees, and customers. You’ll also know there's a flaw in your data security management strategy that needs to be patched.
The only way to know for certain that your information isn't on the dark web is to regularly monitor and scan for it.
Running a Dark Web Scan
A comprehensive data security management solution includes full end-to-end protection, a business continuity, disaster recovery and incident response plan, regulatory compliance reviews, and 24/7 data security management. Of course, it also includes dark web scan capabilities.
GSDSolutions provides a full range of data security services, which also includes monitoring the dark web by providing you with regular dark web scan reports. You'll get details on which domains, personal email accounts, and IP addresses are compromised, and get help executing your incident response plan to protect your business and data.
Give our team at GSDSolutions IT Services a call at (650) 282-7695, or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about our services and how we can help you put a robust managed IT service program strategy in place for your business.
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