Is Monitoring the Dark Web the easiest method to Slow Down Cybercrime?

According to ITProPortal, the cybercrime economy could possibly be larger than Apple, Google and Facebook combined. The industry has matured into an organized market that is probably more profitable than the drug trade.

Criminals use innovative and state-of-the-art tools to steal information from large and small organizations and either use it themselves or, most common, sell it to other criminals through the Dark Web.

Small and mid-sized businesses have grown to be the target of cybercrime and data breaches because they don’t possess the interest, time or money to user interface design companies create defenses to safeguard against an attack. Many have thousands of accounts that hold Personal Identifying Information, PII, or intelligent property which could include patents, research and unpublished electronic assets. Other smaller businesses work directly with larger organizations and can serve as a portal of entry similar to the HVAC company was in the Target data breach.

A few of the brightest minds have developed creative methods to prevent valuable and personal information from being stolen. These information security programs are, for the most part, defensive in nature. dark web links set up a wall of protection to keep malware out and the information inside safe and secure.

Sophisticated hackers discover and use the organization’s weakest links to set up an attack

Unfortunately, even the best defensive programs have holes within their protection. Listed below are the challenges every organization faces in accordance with a Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report in 2013:

76 percent of network intrusions explore weak or stolen credentials
73 percent of online banking users reuse their passwords for non-financial websites
80 percent of breaches that involved hackers used stolen credentials
Symantec in 2014 estimated that 45 percent of all attacks is detected by traditional anti-virus and therefore 55 percent of attacks go undetected. The result is anti-virus software and defensive protection programs can’t keep up. The bad guys could already be in the organization’s walls.

Small and mid-sized businesses can suffer greatly from the data breach. Sixty percent walk out business within a year of a data breach in line with the National Cyber Security Alliance 2013.

What can a business do to protect itself from a data breach?

For many years I’ve advocated the implementation of “GUIDELINES” to safeguard personal identifying information within the business enterprise. There are basic practices every business should implement to meet up the requirements of federal, state and industry rules and regulations. I’m sad to say hardly any small and mid-sized businesses meet these standards.

The second step is something new that a lot of businesses and their techs haven’t heard about or implemented to their protection programs. It involves monitoring the Dark Web.

The Dark Web holds the secret to slowing down cybercrime

Cybercriminals openly trade stolen home elevators the Dark Web. It holds a wealth of information which could negatively impact a businesses’ current and prospective clients. That’s where criminals head to buy-sell-trade stolen data. It really is easy for fraudsters to access stolen information they have to infiltrate business and conduct nefarious affairs. A single data breach could put a business out of business.

Fortunately, you can find organizations that constantly monitor the Dark Web for stolen information 24-7, 365 days a year. Criminals openly share these details through boards, blogs, websites, bulletin boards, Peer-to-Peer networks along with other black market sites. They identify data since it accesses criminal command-and-control servers from multiple geographies that national IP addresses cannot access. How much compromised information gathered is incredible. For example:

Millions of compromised credentials and BIN card numbers are harvested every month
Approximately one million compromised IP addresses are harvested each day
These details can linger on the Dark Web for weeks, months or, sometimes, years before it is used. A business that monitors for stolen information can see almost immediately when their stolen information turns up. The next thing is to take proactive action to completely clean up the stolen information preventing, what could become, a data breach or business identity theft. The info, essentially, becomes useless for the cybercriminal.

What would happen to cybercrime when most small and mid-sized businesses take this Dark Web monitoring seriously?

The result on the criminal side of the Dark Web could be crippling when the majority of businesses implement this program and make use of the information. The goal is to render stolen information useless as quickly as possible.

There won’t be much effect on cybercrime until the most small and mid-sized businesses implement this type of offensive action. Cybercriminals are counting on hardly any businesses take proactive action, but if by some miracle businesses wake up and take action we could see a major effect on cybercrime.

Cleaning up stolen credentials and IP addresses isn’t complicated or difficult once you know that the info has been stolen. It’s the businesses that don’t know their information has been compromised that may take the biggest hit.

Is this the simplest way to slow down cybercrime? What can you this is the best way to safeguard against a data breach or business identity theft – Option one: Await it to occur and react, or Option two: Take offensive, proactive steps to get compromised info on the Dark Web and clean it up?