why would anyone want my information out on the dark web?

Cyber Security: Why Would Anyone Want My Information on the Dark Web?

Dark web activity has increased by 300 percent in the last three years which makes anybody’s information fair game. Just as the internet can be a force for good, it can also be a force for evil. Whether it happens by coincidence or for malicious reasons like blackmail or ransomware, all information has the potential to be valuable to the right people on the dark web. That’s why cyber security is of the utmost importance to keep your company’s information protected. To truly understand how your information can be compromised and held hostage, it’s important to learn a few important facts:

The Dark Web Unwoven

  • The dark web is the area of the internet that is only accessible if you have certain software and the right configurations.
  • Prior knowledge of its cluster of networks (darknets) is required in order to search and gain access to the dark web.
  • The dark web is the primary place where people looking to buy or sell stolen data will shop to gain access to passwords, identities and other forms of proprietary information.
  • Most interactions on the dark web are untraceable, which makes it an ideal place for criminal activity.
  • An estimated 90 percent of posts on dark web forums are from buyers looking to contract someone for cybercrime.
  • Cybercrime gangs are real and satellite affiliates of cybercrime gangs pay cybercrime bosses 10 to 20 percent of the take on each successful job from payouts of stolen information.
  • About 65 percent of active criminal gangs rely on spear phishing powered by dark web data to launch attacks.

Bottom line, it’s all about the money. The dark web is a lucrative place for people to gain email addresses, passwords and sell or exploit private information. The more compromised accounts and passwords cybercriminals can find, the more money they can make.

Tangled Up in Ransomware

You can’t talk about the dark web without talking about ransomware. This is one of the top methods cybercriminals use to gather valuable information or data to sell to the dark web. In 2020, credentials for about 133,927 C-level Fortune 1000 executives were available on the dark web. Once word gets out to the public that a breach occurred, all the information from an organization’s end-user accounts end up sold on the dark web. If your information has reached the dark web for any reason, it cannot be removed without paying a hefty price.

An estimated 52 percent of organizations choose to negotiate with cybercriminal extortionists or simply pay the ransom that is being demanded. Paying off a ransomware demand isn’t cheap. The average ransomware payment in the third quarter of 2020 was $233,817, up 31 percent from the second quarter of that year. In some ransomware variants, like the current weapon of choice, double extortion ransomware (DER), victims can be on the hook for two payments – or even three if they’re ensnared by the more recent triple extortion variety. It is a multibillion dollar industry and growing. But there is a light at the end of this dark tunnel: Your managed IT services provider can help safeguard your information by keeping an ever-vigilant eye on dark web activity.

Keep Your Information Out of the Dark With ArcLight

Protecting your organization is not a “one and done” endeavor. Unfortunately, in today’s world, businesses of every size need an ongoing strategy against ransomware, phishing, malware and more. Cyber security is the best kind of protection you can have for your business. Knowing the moment your company’s data becomes available on the dark web allows you to act quickly to change compromised credentials and keep your data secure.

Dark web monitoring is the process of searching for and tracking your organization’s information on it. This process exists to keep your information safe and protect company finances and high-yielding assets to avoid ransomware attacks.

At ArcLight, we use proven tools, processes and systems to protect our clients’ digital data, networks and employees. Contact us, the Tulsa IT services provider you can count on to quickly advise your organization the moment a data breach occurs and immediately execute a remediation plan. 

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