The world wide web is larger than you think. A good part of it is completely out of sight. This is the dark web. According to managed IT services experts in Birmingham, it's important to understand what happens in the dark web and how it impacts you, your family, and your company.
What Happens on the Dark Web?
Those who explore the dark web usually do it through browsers like I2P or Tor. It allows users to access websites via IP addresses or special URLs. They can go on forums, to message boards, or into marketplaces.
Some items available for sale include illicit drugs, stolen Social Security numbers, and ripped financial information. The prices are surprisingly low, with SSNs going for as little as $1. Most sales are done with cryptocurrency, so tracing the transactions is almost impossible.
A popular purchase for those who want to commit identity theft is stolen medical records. Those records contain a ton of personal information that makes it easy for a criminal to impersonate an innocent victim of fraud.
Are Businesses Vulnerable to the Dark Web?
Businesses are also vulnerable to criminals who purchase information on the dark web. A few dollars is enough to buy information on network vulnerabilities and key information about employees, and that's enough to do serious damage to many businesses, according to managed IT services experts in Birmingham.
Let's say the hacker gets key information about one of your employees, such as a name, position, and job responsibilities. This information would allow the hacker to create an email that looks very close to what the employee would normally receive every day. It could lure the employee to open a link that downloads malware which gives the hacker a doorway into the network. This is a classic spear phishing attack.
According to Symantec, the average user received 16 malicious spam emails every month. Times that number by your employee count. All it takes is one employee opening up one malicious email to cause major problems.
What Should You Do?
Protecting your company against common threats like spear phishing is the first step. Employees should be required to use strong passwords, and change them frequently. For those using devices outside the network, two-factor authentication is necessary. Employees need to go through training on what a phishing email looks like and how to handle them.
For more information on how to secure your company against cyber threats, get in touch with ION247. We are the managed IT services experts Birmingham companies trust for all their cyber security needs. Contact us now for more information.