The dark web has been in the news increasingly in recent times – but what exactly is the dark web?
The dark web – explained in simple terms
The dark web is part of the deep web, which requires special software to be accessed – and you won’t find any part of the dark or deep web via Google or other search engines.
In fact, it’s estimated that only 4% of the internet is available via search engines: the vast majority of the internet is made up of this hidden deep web. Much of the deep web is perfectly legitimate – for example, library databases, government intranets, and medical databases are all examples of the deep web, simply because they’re not publicly accessible. It is perfectly legal to access the deep web, including the dark web.
The dark web is a small portion of the deep web that has been intentionally hidden. The special software that’s used for accessing the deep web gives users complete anonymity, thanks to the heavy encryption used by deep web browsers. This anonymity means that the dark web is the perfect place for criminal activity.
What kind of criminal activity takes place on the dark web?
All kinds of criminal activities are transacted on the dark web. But what’s particularly concerning to us at Optimus Systems are cyber attacks and data breaches.
Specifically, personal data and information is being traded on the dark web, and is being used for fraud and online attacks. The NZ Herald recently reported that the following could be found for sale on the dark web:
- Complete medical records
- Drivers’ licences
- Credit card details
- Passwords – for your email account, Netflix, Spotify, PayPal, and more.
Consider also that many people use the same password for different accounts. (If that’s you, you need to be using this free password manager tool!)
So if hackers get one of your passwords, chances are they’ll be able to access your other accounts too. This applies to your work/business accounts (and your confidential customer data), as well as to your personal accounts.
How can you protect yourself from cyber attacks originating from the dark web?
You could choose to monitor the dark web yourself, but this takes a good amount of computer skills to navigate your way around the hidden corners of the dark web. Even if you’re technology savvy, it would take you a good amount of time to even find out how and where to start – let alone how to find any data breaches.
Happily, Optimus Systems offers a dark web monitoring service that constantly and proactively monitors for compromised data, and sends you real-time alerts when data is discovered.
This early notification lets you better manage the potential risk. Being proactive in this way also lets you manage and protect risks relating to your employees, customers, and third-party suppliers, enabling you to protect your organisation’s reputation.
Contact us today to find out how dark web monitoring would benefit your business.