By Montserrat Méndez García,
Have you ever wondered what happens on the dark web and how all these actions could affect your organization? What is it about the dark web that makes it so dark? Is it worth taking the time to invest in monitoring the activity that happens there? The truth is that if you are part of an organization or your work environment handles large amounts of data, dark web monitoring can benefit your business.
The whole Internet is huge, and the exchange of information involves a very high level of complexity, that is why there are some spaces within it that are considered “dark” due to their nature and the activities that take place in there.
The dark side of the Internet is known as the dark web and can be mistakenly confused with the deep web.
But what is really the difference between these two concepts?
The deep web is made up of different sites that are not indexed by search engines and some networks that they cannot detect. However, we spend much more time than we think in this space, since it involves what is behind a login, the intranet or bank accounts.
Now, the dark web refers to content with “unwanted visibility” within the deep web and only exists through private networks. It is behind several layers of security and anonymity that raise the level of difficulty for its tracking, and to access it, it is necessary to have some specific software.
The dark web has two main characteristics: anonymity and impossibility of tracking, and for some activities they can be great advantages. Not everything is so dark, because, although there is a lot of illicit activity, the network is not, so there are many sites with useful and not malicious information.
Is the dark web really dangerous?
Yes, more than we think. Now that working from home is on the rise, professional (and even personal) data is handled in an environment of less control, which means that our own habits are a trigger for targeted cyberattacks.
There are various efforts to regulate the dark web in countries in Europe and America, but many illicit markets continue to operate and are growing. In general, transactions take place in forums that are a great threat to businesses.
It is very easy to obtain access credentials to bank accounts for leaving them without funds, commit credit fraud or simply carry out suspicious operations and steal large amounts of data that will end up inside the dark web.
What activities take place on the dark web?
There are many events that take place there; however, the ones that have the most effect on companies are:
  • Sale of malicious software (Trojan viruses) that show security problems in companies.
  • Sale of networks of infected computers and control devices for them.
  • Use of cryptocurrencies for anonymous and hard-to-trace transactions, as well as cryptojacking activities.
What can companies do to protect data and financial information from these attacks?
Dark web monitoring services have increased in recent years and many companies offer this type of service, since dark web monitoring can benefit your business.
If an organization is involved in a massive breach of data or sensitive information, having the right resources to monitor the situation will help identify the breach, take effective action, and block relevant accounts.
There are dark web monitoring tools that can help with:
  1. Search for customer data and company assets that have been leaked to the dark web.
  2. Detection of security threats and mentions of the company on suspicious sites.
  3. Search for suspicious activity involving the company in any way.
  4. Constant detection of signals of potential attacks to take the corresponding actions.
  5. Information on how the company’s data could be used to prevent possible attacks.
Monitoring the dark web carries a lot of value by keeping decision makers in companies informed about trends in the network’s forums that may compromise the organization’s security and financial information.
However, it is important to note that these monitoring services do not fully scan the dark web, as this is impossible, and they cannot directly remove private information that might appear there. They work in a similar way to a search engine, since they cannot detect anything that is not publicly available, so they only return information such as passwords, payment cards, among others.
There are many other ways that can complement the protection of companies against the dark web, for example: ensuring that employees are trained on the dangers of the network, that all data is properly encrypted and maintain constant audits of the company network.
If a business is a victim of data theft, it will be crucial to have the right resources in place, such as dark web monitoring, to learn about the problem as soon as possible and act efficiently to prevent major losses. Implementing a cybersecurity strategy can provide a complete vision of the assets that the company has and keep them safe in order to reduce the possibility of an attack from the dark web.

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