The internet is much bigger than what most people realize. Most people know about Google, Facebook, Amazon, BBC and other popular websites, but very few really know beyond these websites.
There is another part called the Dark Web which is a shady corner of the internet that can only be accessed using specialized software.
Why should the deep web be of interest to you?
First, let’s take a closer look at the dark web, sometimes known as the deep web or darknet.
Understanding the Dark Web
The internet you know is barely scratching the tip of the iceberg. What we know as the internet accounts for only 15% of all searches and pages. The rests are huge databases and hidden accounts represented by the dark web.
The Dark Web is a collective term referring to specific websites existing on an encrypted network that cannot be found through a traditional search engine or visited using the usual traditional browsers. Tor is the anonymity-based browser used for hiding user’s activity on the web. It is also the ideal tool for accessing the dark web. Just like a VPN service, Tor can change your location such that it appears you’re accessing the web from a different country other than where you reside. After installing the TOR software, you can connect to the dark web and use the built-in browser to search the dark web for anything you want.
When webmasters and website owners run their sites through Tor, the website’s IP address is encrypted so that it appears at a different IP address on Tor’s private network. The level of secrecy of websites running on the dark web goes beyond hiding IP addresses, which makes it difficult to know the real faces behind these sites.
Although a majority of websites on the dark web use Tor, there are those using similar services such as I2P, but the underlying operating principle remains the same. To access the websites on the darknet, you must use a specialized browser such as Tor.
Who Uses the Dark Web?
Since the main selling point of the dark web is anonymity, it has become the ideal rendezvous point for hackers, cyber-criminals, drug dealers and other privacy-seeking individuals. This has necessitated the creation of special security units by governments to infiltrate and obtain intelligence from the dark web in order to burst criminal groups.
Apart from shady characters, there are many activists and journalists from autocratic countries who use the dark web to expose secrets and present their ideas anonymously.
How Dark Web Research Can Benefit Your Business
Even with its notorious reputation, the dark web can serve as a security resource for organizations. Because trading in stolen data such as user logins and credit cards have become a service staple on the deep web, businesses can beam their searchlight on criminal networks so that they can quickly react to data breaches or learn the latest hacking methods so as to block the loopholes.
The dark web offers cybercriminals a relatively safe and secure platform for their illegal operations, thus attracting large numbers of cybercriminals. It has also led to a dramatic increase in cyber attacks due to its low risk to reward ratio. Your business can take advantage of the large congregation of cybercriminals in the deep web to gather insightful intelligence. This can be as simple as using your existing IT resources and teams to carry out such task.
When you monitor the dark web, you can find out, what has been stolen and information that may be used against your business. Your company can develop a useful cybersecurity data repository that can be used in predicting attack targets and improve the overall business security.
How closely and frequently you research the dark web will depend on your company’s risk assessment levels. It is, however, critical to include deep web research as part of your business’s security so that you can understand your business’s potential attackers and their motivations. Organizations whose IT teams are overworked can outsource their research to specialist security companies.
As with every aspect of cybersecurity, the goal is not to just gather intelligence but to take action and create effective incidence response policy to mitigate potential attacks.
To learn more about how monitoring the dark web can help keep your business safe, please click here to contact one of our team members.