You don’t need to go far to find plenty of frights this Halloween. Many threats lurk just behind your screen, in the not-so-distant corners of the Dark Web. There are many Dark Web secrets, but we can shine a light on a few of the most important ones for businesses to know about.
The average person knows very little about how the Dark Web actually works—how it is accessed and how your information could be sold on it. The first step towards protecting your personal and company data is being informed about the enemy you are fighting. Take note of these dark web secrets and consult with your cybersecurity expert about how to keep your information out of the wrong hands.
The standard web is searchable because its pages have been indexed by search engines. The Deep Web is not searchable, but it can still be accessed without going onto the Dark Web. For instance, private email accounts and internal website searches could be considered part of the Deep Web. Meanwhile, web pages on the Dark Web are also unsearchable, but they are only accessible via Dark Web browsers like Tor. While not everything on the Dark Web is necessarily illegal or nefarious, its inherent anonymity makes it the perfect place for cybercriminals to sell stolen data.
Download our 2020 State of the Dark Web white paper to learn more about your cybersecurity risks.
The Dark Web is a huge place, and it is only getting larger. 2 million active users go on the Dark Web every day. In fact, access to the Dark Web may not be as difficult as you think. All it takes is downloading a special dark web browser, like the Tor browser, and knowing the destination you are looking for; unlike the standard internet, Dark Web pages are not indexed by any kind of search engine, making it harder for law enforcement to shut down illicit activity.
That’s right; 2-5% of the global GDP—$142 trillion international dollars in 2019—is laundered through the Dark Web each year. The stolen information and other illicit trades that take place on the Dark Web are extremely lucrative for cybercriminals. Plus, the anonymity of these transactions, often conducted with cryptocurrency, make for effective money laundering schemes.
A terabyte is equivalent to 1,000GB of data. For scale, you could store approximately 250 full-length, HD movies, and they would only take up a terabyte of data. While movie piracy is certainly a cybercrime, it is not what nets hackers a lot of money on the Dark Web. A more relevant number is 6.5 million; that is the number of document pages you can typically store in a single terabyte. The Dark Web offers 75,000 terabytes of data, potentially including your own personal information and sensitive documents.
There was a 738% increase in COVID-19 related terms on the Dark Web in March of 2020. This makes sense; COVID-19 first spread into the U.S. in the early spring of 2020, and there would be little reason to discuss it before it became a major global threat. But this enormous uptick in COVID-19 terms also comes with a spike in COVID-19 related phishing attacks. Hackers are preying on the public’s fears and vulnerabilities in the pandemic, tricking victims into divulging information that can net big money on the Dark Web.
The Dark Web is scary, especially for business owners. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to protect your information and to remediate a breach when it happens. Cybersecurity providers can use tools like Digital Agent’s Dark Web Monitoring program to quickly alert you to stolen data.
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