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Dark Web

Dark Web Monitoring Tools – These 5 Features Are a Must

It may sound counterintuitive, but the Dark Web presents an invaluable opportunity for businesses to flip the script on hackers. The Dark Web remains a relatively hidden digital space that comprises upwards of 5 percent of the entire internet. This is where cybercriminals go to peddle sensitive and valuable data after breaching vulnerable business networks. Online entities enjoy significant anonymity on the Dark Web, making it easier to swap bank account numbers, intellectual property, and personal identity profile information for cryptocurrency.

Although the average internet user can neither find nor penetrate Dark Web sites, cybersecurity specialists have the tools and skills to monitor their activity. By enlisting the support of a Dark Web monitoring firm and deploying the right tools, you can determine whether your system has suffered a breach. That type of threat intelligence allows business leaders time to take proactive measures before cybercriminals deliver a crushing blow.

What is Dark Web Monitoring?

Dark Web monitoring involves infiltrating nefarious sites where online thieves auction off the digital assets of people and businesses. Using unique tools, a cybersecurity expert tracks down information associated with the client or their organization. A cybersecurity professional usually deploys monitoring tools tailored to identify markings in this criminal underground. This preemptive strategy can prevent a breach by having relevant intelligence about malicious intent regarding the following.

  • PII (personally identifiable information)
  • Compromised credit cards
  • Leaked credentials (personal or business)
  • Fraud tools, fake gift cards, toolkits for phishing and ransomware

It may come as something of a surprise, but the Dark Web remains a disturbing resource for hiring criminals and hacking services. In sometimes overly competitive industries, a rival corporation can pay cybercriminals to breach another’s system and steal proprietary information. For-hire hackers can also launch ransomware attacks and viruses to freeze or destroy critical data.

Features of Dark Web Monitoring Tools

Much of the cybersecurity defenses businesses invest in are designed to deter cyberattacks, as well as DDoS attacks to damage business continuity and uptime. The reasoning behind cybersecurity as a deterrent is based on the idea that hackers are inclined to treat vulnerable networks like low-hanging fruit. Penetrating hardened cybersecurity defenses is not worth their time and energy.

But truth be told, a determined threat actor who possesses sophisticated hacking skills can breach most systems. If your operation comes under attack from an adversary, its digital assets could already be for sale on the Dark Web.

Case in point, the Marriott hotel group was infiltrated by sophisticated hackers in 2014, and they were not detected until 2018. Using an account takeover strategy that involves stolen passwords and usernames, cybercriminals absconded the personal identity records of 300 million guests. That’s why Dark Web monitoring proves an invaluable strategy for uncovering digital thefts that are in progress. These rank among the crucial features of Dark Web monitoring tools.

1: Darknet Search Engines

A Dark Web search engine is a specialized digital tool that allows users to locate otherwise hidden information on platforms. There are a wide range of options available to those concerned about sensitive and valuable information being sold. Some Dark Web or “Darknet” search engines focus on things such as illicit drugs, government surveillance, and criminal activities. Others help industry leaders locate information related to their organization and staff members.

Identifying digital assets on the Dark Web provides industry leaders with an opportunity to circle back and conduct a post-mortem evaluation of their cybersecurity. Business leaders and managed IT professionals can evaluate the hacked materials to determine systemic weaknesses. Using it as a form of threat intelligence creates an opportunity to re-examine current cybersecurity measures.

2: Digital Forensics

The Dark Web is the Wild West of the digital age and cybercriminals are sometimes bold enough to share confidential information. This creates what cybersecurity insiders refer to as Indicators of Compromise (IOC) feeds. Companies can passively monitor the communications of hackers from around the world, waiting for keywords to emerge that relate to their organization. In this way, open source intelligence monitoring tools garner insights from IOC feeds that could help prevent an imminent cyberattack.

3: Deep Web Social Media Insights

Legitimate internet users are often taken aback to learn the Deep Web has its share of social media platforms. They do not necessarily look like Facebook or Twitter and are more akin to message boards. But these sites — for those who know how to find and access them — are where cybercriminals traffic in stolen data.

One of the key features of an effective monitoring tool is its ability to tap into these sources and follow IOC feeds. The tool should also have the bandwidth to lift the information in a fashion that readies it for threat intelligence usage. Smartly deployed and utilized, the best tools help thought leaders get a step ahead of attack trends and threats.

4: Geofencing Software Features

A hacker may be sitting in a café halfway around the world while selling your assets on the Dark Web. Then again, unethical employees could be selling data to industry rivals nearby. Little can be done to bring a hacker in a rogue country to justice. But when people burglarize or conspire to steal from an organization, locating them can prove meaningful.

Geofencing software helps cybersecurity professionals identify hackers and determine their location. As they move to exchange your private data for cryptocurrency, law enforcement can step in and do their job. Not only does this feature help hold digital thieves accountable, but it also sends a strong message to other bad actors.

5: Risk Analysis Features

One of the primary reasons companies perform Dark Web monitoring stems from the value they place on threat intelligence. Knowing what information is showing up on these secretive sites allows savvy business leaders to prepare for emerging threats and identify account takeover activity. If time-sensitive information is surfacing in this criminal underground, someone is pulling it off your servers or Cloud-based storage. Top-tier Dark Web monitoring tools offer features that enhance digital risk assessments.

Who Needs Dark Web Monitoring Tools and Support?

Firewalls, antivirus software, and multifactor authentication are excellent cybersecurity measures. But you need a searchable real-time archive of the Deep and Dark Web that allows you to conduct your investigation there and remain covert. Ongoing Dark Web monitoring, which deploys the right tools, provides threat intelligence that lets business leaders know they are at risk before a breach occurs.

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