Inside the Dark Web: Unveiling cyber threats to business
Dive into the shadows of the Dark Web! Discover the hidden dangers threatening businesses.
A few months back, a remote region of the capital of India called Nuh, caught the nation’s attention for all the wrong reasons. Emerging as a mega cyber crim hub after Jamtara, Nuh had more than 28,000 cyber crime cases spearheaded by unemployed social engineers, particularly in the dark web, to add to its repository of crimes.
Around March this year, a SpaceX engineer named James Roland Jones, alias, "MillionaireMike," admitted his guilt for discreetly buying personal information and selling insider tips of an anonymous company on the dark web.
Unfortunately, the list of notorious crimes occurring on the Dark Web is endless.
Much like an iceberg, the Dark Web is the deliberately concealed realm of the Internet that is frequently linked to anonymous illicit crimes.
Unlike our known web space, it escapes search engine indexing and is far beyond the grasp of conventional web browsers. Instead, users have to employ a special software called Tor (The Onion Router) to establish encrypted pathways to its domains. Initially crafted by the U.S. government as a secure communication network, the dark web has since then transformed into a hotbed of criminal activity.
As a business leader, safeguarding your organisation's security is your team's paramount responsibility. Wondering what risks the dark web pose to your business? And what are the far-reaching consequences of these malicious activities?
Consider the specified ways through which the Dark Web poses threats to businesses. Read on.
The Dark World of Dark Web
In the 2019 iteration of ongoing research led by criminology professor Dr Michael McGuire from the University of Surrey, titled Into the Web of Profit, cybercrime has emerged not only as a business but as an entire economy with an annual turnover of $1.5 trillion.
The study further reveals a significant 20% surge in harmful dark web listings since 2016. Among all listings (excluding drug-related ones), a substantial 60% have the potential to adversely affect businesses. Dr. McGuire identifies 12 domains in which enterprises face the threats of compromised data or network breaches.
Common threats posed by the Dark Web
Illicit data trade
Within the black markets of the Dark Web, criminals engage in the trade of personal data of employees, like login credentials, intellectual property, credit card details, and other confidential information.
Such stolen data then, becomes fodder for malevolent activities and identity theft, often changing hands to the highest bidder. The consequence? Businesses have to undergo substantial financial repercussions and irreparable damage to their reputations. An instance of this was the running of an identity theft service by Hieu Minh Ngo in 2015 in the US.
Competitive intelligence and espionage
The hidden world of the Dark Web provides a conducive setting for rivals to secretively gather intelligence on each other. This encompasses strategies like industrial espionage, wherein trade secrets and confidential data are illicitly acquired.
The Dark Web can serve as a platform to pull in insiders within organisations, enticing them with financial rewards to reveal confidential information about their organisation or aid in cyber-attacks.
Cyber-intrusion of resources
Within the recesses of the dark web, there’s an extensive array of hacking services. Ranging from customised malware to phishing kits, these resources are used to execute attacks against businesses.
Some of the other associated threats are- operational data, tools for network access, tutorials and keyloggers.
As cybersecurity increasingly captures the attention of small and mid-sized business owners, along with leaders in non-profit organisations, learning more about the intricacies of the Dark Web can empower them to avert potential threats.
Additionally, collaboration with a skilled and expert IT team can prove to be invaluable; they can assess your business requirements and provide guidance on the best strategies to safeguard your operations.
Stay vigilant, stay secure. Guard your business against the lurking shadows of the Dark Web. Knowledge is your shield in the digital realm.