No business is immune to data breaches, whether big or small.
We know we sound like a broken record on this one, but it’s true.
We see the high-profile companies like Equifax and Uber experiencing massive cyber attacks often and may be gravely underestimating how we could be affected. These attacks over the past 2 years have compromised millions of user accounts and put countless consumers at risk of identity theft and financial loss.
According the NBC News, the number of data breaches in the U.S. rose 29 percent just in the first half of last year, and that trend has continued since.
With businesses in industries like yours (read: across many sectors), we’re finding IT and technology professionals pouring money into data security to prevent cyber criminals from accessing sensitive data. This is encouraging and important!
Even so, though, the previous attacks are difficult to monitor once things get out. Cyber criminals now take to the dark web to sell and buy stolen personal information and circumvent traditional protections later on as a result.
What Is the Dark Web?
The dark web, AKA “darknet”, is a layer of the internet that’s hidden from search engines.
The dark web is only accessible through special software or configurations, and it allows users to remain anonymous. This anonymity makes it easy to buy and sell illegal items and services.
Cyber criminals buy and sell stolen data on the dark web to commit identity theft and fraud. They also leverage this stolen data to fund criminal organizations around the world.
What happens during a Dark Web scan?
Dark web scanning helps organizations detect cyber threats that expose stolen email addresses, business accounts and other personal information on the dark web.
A dark web scan uses human and artificial intelligence to scan criminal chat rooms, blogs, forums, private networks and other sites. The scan operates 24/7.
How does the scan identify your stolen data?
A dark web scan identifies stolen credentials and other personal information that’s circulating on dark web networks and channels.
This scanning method searches specifically for your business’s email domains and IP addresses. The scan detects data from private sites that require memberships within the cyber criminal community to enter. For instance, if a dark web scan determines that your credentials have been exposed, you should immediately consult your IT and/or security teams to determine the source or cause of that data breach.
You can’t remove data that has already been distributed within the dark web, but you can take precautions immediately to contain this data and protect users against identity theft!
Why invest in Dark Web scanning?
Unsure whether dark web scanning is a necessity for your business?
Here’s why you shouldn’t delay:
- Data breaches are costly.
According to HealthIT Security, the average cost to recover from a data breach is $225 per compromised record. Plus, if your data is compromised, you could face a mandatory forensic examination, compliance fines and potential lawsuits. These activities incur huge costs that are damaging to your business.
- Data breaches impact people.
Exposed data can absolutely impact your people, employees, their families, and beyond. Identity theft adversely affects people’s lives by adding stress, losing money, and, in some cases, it can cost people their livelihoods. People can have their licenses revoked, criminal warrants issued in their name, and even have medical records exposed. Dark web scanning can really be critical to the successful protection and security of your customers, employees, and vendors.
- Small businesses aren’t immune to hackers.
Big companies like Equifax, Uber, Yahoo!, and Target end up in the news when they experience data breaches. That doesn’t have to be you and that doesn’t mean small businesses aren’t vulnerable.
Stolen information on the dark web is up to 20 times more likely to come from an entity whose breach wasn’t reported in the media.
At Cooperative Systems, we take Dark Web scanning very seriously and help Hartford- and Boston-area businesses protect their data from modern digital security threats.
Get in touch with us.