The dark web is a place that requires a special browser just to gain access to it. Inside the dark web, you’ll find all kinds of hidden websites, and a world of illegal activity. These activities can include the buying and selling of user credentials and passwords, credit card numbers, and even business data. The problem? Anyone can end up on the dark web, even your business. Having your data stolen and sold is one of the worst things that can happen to your company, especially if you’re a small startup. That’s why you need dark web monitoring and protection.
Let’s look closer at how having dark web monitoring can help you monitor your business’s data and potentially prevent a data breach. The average cost of a data breach for a small business is about $36,000-$50,000. That’s 50,000 potential reasons to protect yourself!
Provide Advanced Warnings
Perhaps the most important feature of dark web monitoring is that it can provide your business with an advanced warning when your data leaks. Dark web monitoring services comb the darkest reaches of the hidden internet, searching for data and keywords related to your company. If anything is found, you’ll know right away, and time matters in a cyberattack. The quicker you can identify that an attack may happen, or is happening, the more you can mitigate the losses caused by it.
Unfortunately, most dark web monitoring services don’t actually help remove your data once it’s found. It’s up to you to take steps to scrub your data, or, at the very least, expunge your name or business from the data that’s already been stolen. You’ll need to report things like credit card numbers/bank account numbers, and close the accounts. If your social security or EIN is stolen, report it to the IRS and Social Security Administration ASAP. Passwords should be changed immediately, and, if you’re not already using a password manager, it’s a good time to start.
Protect Sensitive Data
Believe it or not, your business’s data is one of its most important assets. From credit card numbers to bank accounts to trade secrets, information is what drives innovation, productivity, and revenue. Having just a small sliver of your business information stolen can be devastating, especially if you’re a smaller business that can’t recover from the costs of a data breach.
Dark web monitoring can help you protect your sensitive data by letting you know when it’s been stolen, and potentially teaching some important lessons about your business’s security. If you skimped on your cybersecurity tools and your data ends up stolen, you know that an investment in further web security is necessary.
Hackers are constantly looking for ways to breach defenses and exploit data, and business and personal data bring in millions in sales every year on the dark web.
Identity Theft Monitoring For Employees
Identity theft is a serious problem in the United States, and with the right credentials, a cybercriminal can potentially access your business through the stolen identity of one of your employees. Most dark web monitoring services will have identity theft monitoring in place, and you can extend that service to your employees to ensure maximum protection.
Protect Yourself With Password Protocols
One of the simplest ways to protect both personal and business data is to create, moderate, and enforce password protocols for your business and at home. Passwords should be updated once every few months, if possible, or at least once or twice per year. You should enforce strict password requirements for work accounts. Some good password habits include never using company or personal info, never using common phrases or dictionary words, and never sharing passwords.
The more diligent you are with protecting passwords, the more secure your business will be as a whole. We underestimate the power of a good password, which is probably why the most-used passwords of last year included “123456” and “password”. Make no mistake—your password is the first line of defense against cyberattacks, and potentially the strongest link in the cybersecurity chain when done right.
Using a password manager can help you get passwords under control, and provide a safe and secure place to store and manage them. Most password managers also provide a password generator tool, so you can generate secure passwords every time. These services usually only cost a few dollars per month, and the investment is well worth it to protect you and your employees.
The dark web is a place where cybercrime thrives, and information is one of the hottest items on the menu. Business and personal information can sell for hundreds of dollars per set, and you don’t want some hacker making money from your business’s most precious resources. Make the investment, get a password manager with dark web monitoring, and protect yourself and your business from the dangers of the dark web.