The Dark Web – A Scary Story

The Dark Web sounds frightening and it is. You won’t find it via normal search engines such as Google or Bing. You can only access the Dark Web through uncommon operating systems and browsers. Examples of these include TAILS, Whonix, and I2P.

What You Can Buy

Criminals steel information during data breaches and sell it on the Dark Web. Examples include credit cards, account information from financial institutions, forged real estate documents, compromised medical records, and hacked government data. The variety of items that the Dark Web has to offer is unlimited, from Netflix accounts to passports to rocket launchers, all at relatively low cost.  However, the most appealing aspect of the Dark Web is its anonymity.

The Price You’ll Pay

Prices on the Dark Web can range greatly. At the low-end someone might charge $1 for a Social Security number (sold thousands at a time). Comparatively, a diploma might cost hundreds and a passport or complete medical record thousands. When a cybercriminal packages them together the value goes up exponentially.

Since the Dark Web is a marketplace for stolen data, most personal information stolen from small businesses will end up there. With the media so often publicizing large-scale corporate data breaches, small businesses often think they are not a target for cybercriminals. However, that is not the case. As a matter of fact, small businesses often lack the resources to effectively mitigate the risks of a cyberattack. This makes them a prime target for identity theft as well as other cybercrimes.

What If This Happens To You?

Indeed, if your credentials are taken in a data breach, what do you think a Data Breach will cost you? Take a quick look at this Breach Cost Calculator – quantifying risk is often the first step in addressing it.

At a recent Federal Trade Commission (FTC) conference, privacy specialists noted that information available for purchase on the Dark Web was up to twenty times more likely to come from a company that suffered a data breach that was not reported to the media. Moreover, the FTC also announced at the conference that the majority of breaches investigated by the U.S. Secret Service involved small businesses rather than large corporations.

You Can Protect Yourself

Don’t be blindsided by your employee’s dark web data. With more and more data breaches happening every day, it’s likely your employees’ information is being sold on the Dark Web.

Take our free Dark Web Scan to learn what’s out there that could end up costing you your company!