Is Monitoring the Dark Web the Best Way to DECELERATE Cybercrime?

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According to ITProPortal, the cybercrime economy could possibly be larger than Apple, Google and Facebook combined. dark web links has matured into an organized market that’s probably more profitable compared to 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 typical, sell it to other criminals through the Dark Web.

Small and mid-sized businesses have grown to be the mark of cybercrime and data breaches because they don’t possess the interest, time or money to create defenses to protect against an attack. Many have a large number of accounts that hold Personal Identifying Information, PII, or intelligent property that may include patents, research and unpublished electronic assets. Other small businesses work directly with larger organizations and will serve as a portal of entry much like the HVAC company was in the prospective data breach.

A number of the brightest minds have developed creative methods to prevent valuable and private information from being stolen. These information security programs are, generally, defensive in nature. They basically set up a wall of protection to help keep malware out and the info inside safe and secure.

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

Unfortunately, even the very best defensive programs have holes within their protection. Here 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 most attacks is detected by traditional anti-virus meaning that 55 percent of attacks go undetected. The effect is anti-virus software and defensive protection programs can’t continue. The bad guys could already be in the organization’s walls.

Small and mid-sized businesses can suffer greatly from a data breach. Sixty percent walk out business inside a year of a data breach according to the National Cyber Security Alliance 2013.

What can an organization do to protect itself from the data breach?

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

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

The Dark Web holds the secret to slowing down cybercrime

Cybercriminals openly trade stolen info on the Dark Web. It holds an abundance 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 need to infiltrate business and conduct nefarious affairs. An individual data breach could put an organization out of business.

Fortunately, there are organizations that constantly monitor the Dark Web for stolen information 24-7, 365 days per year. Criminals openly share this information through chat rooms, blogs, websites, bulletin boards, Peer-to-Peer networks and other black market sites. They identify data since it accesses criminal command-and-control servers from multiple geographies that national IP addresses cannot access. The amount of compromised information gathered is incredible. For instance:

An incredible number of compromised credentials and BIN card numbers are harvested on a monthly basis
Approximately one million compromised IP addresses are harvested every day
These details can linger on the Dark Web for weeks, months or, sometimes, years before it really is used. An organization that monitors for stolen information can easily see almost immediately when their stolen information turns up. The next step is to take proactive action to clean up the stolen information and stop, what could become, a data breach or business identity theft. The information, 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 possibly 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 impact on cybercrime until the majority of small and mid-sized businesses implement this kind 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 impact 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 will take the biggest hit.

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