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The Dark Web – A Scary Story

The Dark Web sounds frightening and it is. It is a place most of us will never visit – it can’t be reached via normal search engines such as Google or Bing. It can only be accessed through uncommon operating systems and browsers like TAILS, Whonix, and I2P.

What You Can Buy

Information that is stolen during data breaches is sold on the Dark Web – 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 from $1 for a Social Security number (sold thousands at a time) to hundreds for a diploma to thousands for a passport or a complete medical record. Sometimes these are packaged together and 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. Small businesses often lack the resources to effectively mitigate the risks of a cyberattack, making them a prime target for identity theft as well as other cybercrimes.

What If This Happens To You?

Once 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. 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!