What is the dark web, where does it exist, and how can you safely monitor it to keep your data safe? Here’s what dark web monitoring experts have to say about it.
You must have heard this term many times on a TV show or on the news. The dark web is a deeper part of the World Wide Web that people can’t access through normal browsers or search engines like Google or Bing. Less than 1% of internet users have made it to the dark web, and only 1 in 7 IT security professionals have accessed it.
The dark web is a criminal’s paradise; many don’t know how to access it, while many know of it but don’t know what it’s about. Either way, it’s essential to learn what it is and how it can hurt your confidential data.
What is Dark Web?
The internet that you use every day is just the tip of the iceberg, the web is a vast place with many layers, and the deepest of them is the dark web. Cybercriminals today function like professionals. They are more innovative, creative, and organized with their crimes, thanks to the dark web’s anonymity. In addition, technological advancements have given them plenty of options to conduct their activities on a larger scale—almost like a corporate entity—while being completely hidden from the real world.
The internet has three parts:
The surface or clear web is the part that everyday internet users access, and it only represents 5% of the internet. These websites can be found through search engines, and your IP address is trackable. For example, many YouTube videos and blog websites show up when you search for an apple pie recipe. All the websites in the search results are a part of the surface web.
The deep web is another web layer that you access every day while using Netflix or online banking services. Deep web requires login credentials for access, and most online content exists here. Things like corporate email accounts, corporate intranets, cloud storage like Dropbox or iCloud, internet banking, digital services like Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, and private online forums are a part of the deep web.
The dark web is a subset of the deep web, where all the content is intentionally concealed, and people using regular web browsers like Chrome or Firefox can’t access it. 48% of the internet content lies on the dark web. Although it’s famous for its illegal activities and cybercrimes, the idea behind the dark web was to offer a safe and anonymous space for political activists, investigators, journalists, and human rights organizations who seek justice.
Like any other thing on the internet, the dark web is also misused by cybercriminals. Due to its anonymity, it’s hard to track crimes there or see what people are up to. Therefore it’s the hub of the most illegal activities, including selling drugs, guns, confidential data, adult content, stolen credit card information, etc.
The dark web is accessed through special software called The Onion Router – Tor which masks a user’s identity. Many other technologies offer dark web access, but Tor remains the top network with over four million daily users and 50 thousand active sites. Even Facebook joined the Tor network to create a dark web alternative for its social site.
What is Dark Web Monitoring
The dark web is filled with hackers, ransomware gangs, and other criminals; they freely talk about their crimes, trade and exchange illicit content. If you’ve ever experienced a data breach, it could be selling on the dark web. To check on such criminals and their confidential data, organizations and individuals use dark web monitoring services as a proactive cybersecurity approach.
The dark web analysts use advanced techniques to enter the deepest layers of the dark web and identify the illegal copies of content or confidential data on these sites. This is followed by informing the client and removing the content to keep the data safe.
Dark web monitoring looks for the following data on the web:
Stolen credit cards
Stolen credit cards account for most illegal business activities on the dark web. Cybercriminals share, sell and trade millions of stolen bank accounts with a moneyback guarantee for disabled accounts.
Documents and Login Credentials
Dark web marketplaces are filled with confidential data, bank documents, contracts, designs, access information, login credentials, and other files from various organizations. They are sold on the dark web after a data breach. Cybercriminals do this to blackmail organizations or employees, earn a ransom, or hurt their reputation by exposing sensitive material.
eBooks & Learning Content
You usually have to pay for e-learning courses or books, but the dark web offers them for free. That’s not all. Many hackers also offer tutorials for the techniques used in advanced hacking, how-to guides, etc. They are selling like hotcakes on the dark web.
Software programs are expensive, but the dark web offers them at a much lower price. Therefore, 37% of the software installed and used worldwide is pirated. People mostly download the cheaper versions or don’t pay for most software programs.
Benefits of Dark Web Monitoring
Financial Fraud Protection
Dark web monitoring saves you from financial fraud because most hackers use corporate identities to perform illegal activities. It can also protect you from going bankrupt.
Threat Intelligence Solutions
The experts monitor the deep and dark web 24/7 to identify and mitigate threats to your organization, offering threat intelligence management. These services enhance your cybersecurity and allow you to manage your threats and remain secure promptly.
Secure Confidential Data
All your confidential data and documents remain secure from breaches and leaks, which saves your company from damage.
Your revenue gets lost when people access or download your content for free or pay the pirates. Dark web monitoring allows you to immediately remove the illegal copies of your products with DMCA Takedowns so you can protect your revenue streams.
To protect your business and personal data from theft and counterfeit, reach out to Onsist. They are reliable brand protection solution providers with over ten years of experience serving organizations and artists worldwide. Their expert ONIST analysts offer deep web and dark web monitoring services to ensure your safety. Visit their website or request a free analysis for your brand.