What Is The Dark Web?

What is the dark web? Treysta Technology Management shares insights and information into what exactly the dark web is.

Is Your IT Company Talking To You About The Dark Web?

It’s often considered illegal to access (but it’s not illegal to access it). It is a place, however, where a lot of criminal activity occurs––things like the unlawful sale of drugs, firearms, and counterfeit currency. Dark web transactions can also harm a business. If you’ve been hacked or your data breached, chances are that the breached data is on the web. For example, illegal sales and purchases of the following happen regularly:

  • Credit card information
  • Personal identity information
  • Hacker services
  • Digital files
  • Login profile information
  • Otherwise stolen data.

According to Statista, the average price of stolen bank details was $259.56 while the average price of credit card information was $33.88. Those prices may sound cheap (and that’s part of the problem, too––they are likely bought quickly and easily), but those prices are for the sale of one account on the dark web––imagine the total sum of a whole set of data. For example, have you ever heard of Joker’s Stash? Just under a year ago, Joker’s Stash sold 1.3 million payment cards/credit cards––all from a breach––and made a whopping $130 million. If your company’s data was breached, that could mean hundreds of individual accounts.

All in all, the stakes are high. The dark web isn’t a place where you want your business information or data floating around and being sold to a buyer who can then resell or unlawfully use the data.

So, what is the dark web actually and how could it impact your business? We are here to tell you in simple language.

What is the Dark Web?

There are three parts of the Internet and these include the following:

  1. The surface web comprises 4% of the Internet and includes all indexed websites that can be accessed by just about anyone. Google and YouTube are good examples.
  2. The deep web makes up 90% of the internet and includes all websites that can be accessed only through a valid means of authentication and are not indexed by search engines. Medical records and bank accounts are good examples.
  3. The dark web, also known as the Darknet, comprises 6% of the Internet and involve websites that use hidden IP addresses not indexed and not hosted on securely encrypted networks, and so users remain anonymous and untraceable.

You may remember the Equifax breach? Well, that left hundreds of thousands of people at risk because of that business’s data breach, and much of the stolen data ended up on the dark web. Lawsuits after lawsuits have been filed, including a class action. So, a business gets hit on two fronts: (1) stolen data where they risk the trust and loyalty of clients and customers and (2) serious financial risk due to the data losses and subsequent lawsuits and damage to a company’s reputation.

How Does the Dark Web Threaten Businesses?

As implied, the dark web is a threat to businesses. Hackers and other criminals can conduct unlawful criminal conduct pretty freely and with minimum risk. The first real threat is what has already been addressed: the illegal sale and purchase of information. The second real threat is the ability of these hackers to share new ideas, techniques, and methods to compromise a company’s security and network systems. A third risk is a reality that you don’t know who is targeting or attacking you or, alternatively, if you’ve even been successfully attacked. The latter, though third, is a real problem. It’s one thing to know you’ve been hacked so that you can start addressing it immediately and mitigate future harm and a totally different thing to not know and have data stolen and used pretty consistently.

How Do You Protect Yourself, Your Clients & Your Business?

If you want to protect yourself, your clients, and your business, then you need to get serious. You need a security solution that is comprehensive and constantly updated and proactive. Managed IT professionals like us at TREYSTA are equipped with the resources and talent to help your business protect yourself, your clients, and your business. It’s probably the single most important thing you can do today: call, chat, or email us to learn more.