First things first: let’s explore what the dark web is. To put it simply, the dark web is a part of the internet that is not indexed by search engines. You’ve probably heard about the dark web as a dangerous and shadowy part of the internet that is a hotbed of criminal activity. Malicious actors can sell and buy stolen credit card numbers and subscription credentials.
On the dark web, hackers can hack user email and software accounts to break into the computers of unsuspecting victims. They can also hack bank accounts and get their hands on critical personal information to commit identity fraud. The reality is, the dark web is not a very nice or safe place on the internet. And it’s the last place you’d want any of your sensitive organizational information to be found.
After hearing all of this, you might be wondering: what information of mine, or my organization, is sitting on the dark web, just waiting to be scooped up and exploited by cybercriminals. Unfortunately, chances are that some piece of your digital information is housed on the dark web.
Maybe it’s the login credentials for your email or social media accounts. Maybe it’s private financial information like credit card numbers or online banking credentials. Perhaps it’s even important organizational information that could allow software or infrastructure breaches. Regardless of what information might be sneakily stored on the dark web, developing strategies for protection is something you need to be proactively thinking about.
After reading all the doom and gloom above, you’re probably concerned about what information from your organization is on the dark web. However, like with all matters of cybersecurity, you don’t have to just sit around and wait to be exploited. There are things you can do to protect your own data and the data of your organization – all it takes is a little bit of proactive and strategic planning.
Five fool-proof ways to tackle dark web cybersecurity head-on:
Develop a regular schedule for changing important login credentials
Since the dark web is a hub for storing and selling stolen login credentials for email, software, and financial accounts, it’s important to create a regular schedule for updating user login credentials.
Create and post a schedule in your office that indicates when team members should change their passwords for important accounts. You can even schedule and set automatic reminders that let team members know it’s time to change their password. Encourage your team to take on these strategies with their personal email and financial accounts as well.
Conduct regular cybersecurity assessments
The fact of the matter is, nothing beats committing to a regular schedule of cybersecurity assessments and check-ups. Even when you think all your user practices are secure, cybercriminals are constantly trying to develop workarounds to exploit your users, steal your data and sell it on the dark web.
Work with a team of IT professionals who specialize in cybersecurity and have them lead you through regular cybersecurity assessments. Explain that you want to do regular and thorough reviews of your cybersecurity environment. Indicate that you are specifically concerned about identifying any potential weak spots that could result in sensitive organizational data ending up on the dark web.
Keep your team in the loop
Cybersecurity must be a team effort. While you and your team members might not be cybersecurity experts, every person in your organization has an important role to play in keeping things secure. Let’s face it – the more hands on deck, the better.
Explain dark web cybersecurity threats clearly and consistently to your team. Let them know that they must be consistently vigilant. When you include your team in your cybersecurity effort, you not only stress how important it is, you also empower them to play an active role in a well-rounded cybersecurity strategy.
Be wary of suspicious links and downloads
Also, be sure to tell your team that they should keep an eye out for any kind of email communications or pop-ups that seem suspicious. Cybercriminals are constantly looking for ways to trick users into handing over information that can then be sold on the dark web.
Encourage your team to watch out for common email phishing or ransomware scams. Tell them to be wary before clicking on any unfamiliar link. Above all, institute an open-door policy where team members feel comfortable approaching you about anything that seems suspicious. Remind them that if they have any doubt that a link or email is legitimate, they should always report it to management or the cybersecurity team.
Reach out to a team of cybersecurity professionals for a dark web scan
Finally, when it comes to the dark web, nothing beats the peace of mind that comes from conducting a thorough scan of the dark web. A dark web scan will determine what information about you or your organization is lurking out there on the dark web.
If a dark web scan is something you think might be useful for your organization, reach out to a trusted team of IT security professionals who have experience navigating the dark web securely. Choose a provider that takes a proactive approach to all things cybersecurity. Follow their lead and be sure they help you mitigate any threats or weak security points that are uncovered during the scan.
We can help you stay one step ahead of dark web hackers. Give us a call anytime at (407) 789-3329, or visit our website at www.semtechit.com to chat with a live agent and schedule a dark web scan for your organization.