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Is your data protected from the Dark Web?

With the evolution of technology, specifically the internet, we only scrape the surface in our everyday web usage and leave much more to the great unknown.

We are gathering, sharing and holding personal information of ourselves and others, only knowing the whispers of the real danger and consequences of that data becoming readily available to the wrong people.

Along with the rapid development of surface internet, the progression of the Dark Web has gone unnoticed to the average member of society, but the harsh reality is: its advancing at a terrifying rate.

Why should you be alarmed?

Internet criminals have developed technology to take fractional pieces of information from easily hackable websites all over the world and gather this data to sell or exchange to other criminals online. Over time, this technology will cross reference passwords, emails and other personal information until one day they are alerted of a match. They are in and out of your accounts within milliseconds with everything they need. It’s that simple.

These elusive criminals appear in our thoughts as underground figures with no faces, however on the contrary, they could be anyone that we see walking down the street. The Dark Web is a perfect place for someone to hideout anonymously and access valuable information while remaining under the radar. In fact, according to Addictive Technology Solutions, over 2 million active users connect to the Dark Web through the TOR browser every day.

Robert Marsden, Managing Director for Addictive Technology Solutions says there isn’t one simple solution to mend against all potential threats. “Ensuring good business security posture is a defence-in-depth approach. There is not a single magic bullet”.

It’s important to remember that business security goes well beyond the software and technology we use, it should also be engrained in our Managers, all the way down to our front-line employees. According to the 2020 IBM Cost of a Data Breach Report, 23% of data breaches across the globe came down to human error. Furthermore, 22% of data breaches in Australia alone were due to human error.

“Businesses need to ensure that they understand their level of risk and exposure and ensure they have the right layers of defence in place from the network right down to the employee. It won’t matter how much you’ve spent on security if key staff are all too eager to unknowingly leak their company credentials. Good security posture will include end user training” Marsden says.

So, what can you do to ensure your business is safe from the threats and dangers of the dark web? Robert breaks it down for us.

Get your password up to scratch. Over 80% of cybersecurity incidents are cause by weak/bad passwords. This alarming number can easily be reduced by implementing more complex passwords across your business and personal accounts.

Addictive Technology Solutions suggests adding multifactor authentication (MFA) for every user relevant to your business when using any software or technology, but especially on the internet.

Next up, try steering clear of your favourite superheroes and sport teams as they can be easily guessed and/or found on public forums such as social media.

Regularly train and educate your staff and users around good security habits. Encourage your staff to utilise secure password storage vaults and discourage sequential and recycled passwords.

Don’t turn a blind eye to the dark web. Just because you haven’t been made aware of a breach, doesn’t mean your personal or company data isn’t circulating the Dark Web. Utilise MSP’s (Managed Service Providers) to keep you on track and regularly monitor the Dark Web for any compromised data and potential breaches.

Robert Marsden says if you haven’t already, consider a third-party provider to help you manage and contain sensitive information that may have detrimental effects if leaked on the Dark Web. “It is vital that businesses put in place systems to monitor this leakage, and by partnering with an MSP such as Addictive Technology Solutions, they’ll have the support, tools and systems to assist that they would not have been able to afford on their own”.

Get on top of this sooner rather than later. With the global pandemic still very much a part of our everyday lives, large quantities of the workforce are now stationed remotely at home with access to sensitive information from their own network. The 2020 IBM Cost of a Data Breach Report states that 76% of participants said remote work would increase the time to identify and contain a data breach, while 70% of participants said remote work would increase the cost of a data breach. Now more than ever, organisations must action the necessary parameters to mitigate the possibility of a data breach before it’s too late.

 

Sylvia Johnston

Sylvia is a Senior Executive at HiRUM Software Solutions, which has become one of the global leaders in hotel software, helping hotel and accommodation managers with a complete hotel software solution.

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