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Last year, a survey of worldwide Internet users revealed that only 12 percent of users have accessed the dark web, a hotbed of online criminal activity where hackers go to sell credentials, credit card numbers, bank account data and other personal information. In the U.S., only 10 percent of online users have visited it.
Part of the dark web’s draw is the capability for users to preserve complete anonymity, as it can only be accessed with special software and web servers. The dark web also uses strong encryption to protect its data and its users’ identities.
The dark web acts as a catalyst for corporate data breaches, which may produce more results for online criminals than personal data breaches as companies simply house more data.
The dark web marketplace gives criminals a place to sell what they steal, including subscription and social media credentials, hacked bank account numbers, debit and credit card numbers. It also allows criminals to continually expand the tools in their toolbelt by selling software that helps them break into even more computers and networks.
Having corporate information released on the dark web puts your business in danger. Not only could employee and customer data be published, but sensitive corporate information and digital assets could be put at risk.
Businesses must consider the negative publicity that a data breach will cause. Consider the recent data breach of Zoom, the popular video conferencing platform.
More than half a million account credentials for the popular video conferencing platform were posted to the dark web, either offered for free or for next to nothing. Most of us continue to reuse the same passwords for many of our logins, the passwords accessed will be used for much more than video call interruption. The pay-off for hackers could be immense.
Zoom also was forced to put product and feature development on hold for 90 days to place its sole focus on security concerns, while navigating explosive growth and demand for their services.
So how do you know if your personal or corporate data is being exchanged in this nefarious corner of the Internet?
The first place to start is by running a Dark Web scan with an expert cybersecurity firm, like Outsource IT Solutions Group. A dark web scan will make you aware of breaches and hacks that have already happened and allow you to remediate the issues that allowed them.
Outsource IT Solutions Group can provide your Chicago area company with a layered cybersecurity approach that addresses each facet of your data protection for data in transit and at rest. Email us or reach us by phone at 630-701-3393 to claim your complimentary initial consultation.