Why should my company use a dark web monitoring service?

Is your company's sensitive data up for sale on the dark web? It's a chilling thought, but unfortunately, it's becoming increasingly common in today's digital age.

We'll explore the importance of dark web monitoring and why it should be an essential part of your organisation's cybersecurity strategy. Don't wait until it's too late - read on to discover how you can stay one step ahead of cyber threats and protect your company's assets.

In this blog, we’ll cover:

What is a dark web monitoring service?

The dark web is a hidden part of the internet that is not indexed by search engines and can only be accessed using specific software, configurations, and protocols. It is where cybercriminals sell stolen data, trade malware, and engage in illegal activities. The dark web is a haven for criminals who seek to exploit vulnerabilities and steal sensitive information from unsuspecting victims.

A dark web monitoring service is designed to track and monitor the dark web for any mention of your company's name, domain, or sensitive information. These services can scan millions of data points on the dark web and alert you if they find any instances of your data being shared, sold, or discussed.

Exploring dark web criminal activities

The surge in dark web crime is out of anyone's imagination, as cybercriminals relentlessly search for valuable information to exploit, taking advantage of the anonymity and secrecy the dark web offers. Did you know that...

  • Dark web usage has surged by 300%

    A recent report indicated that dark web usage has surged by more than 300% since 2017. It is believed that the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting lockdowns have been a major factor in driving more people towards the dark web.
  • 24 billion usernames, and passwords available on the dark web

    New research by Digital Shadows in June 2022 revealed that there are over 24 billion combinations of usernames and passwords in circulation in cybercriminal marketplaces, with a significant portion of them being traded on the dark web. This staggering number is almost four times the number of people on the planet and represents a 65% increase from a previous report in 2020.
  • An estimated 2 to 5% of the global GDP is laundered on the dark web

    The issue of money laundering has become a major source of concern for law enforcement agencies worldwide, and the dark web has emerged as a hotspot for this unlawful activity. Recent estimates suggested that between 2 to 5% of the global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is laundered on the dark web in a single year, posing a significant threat to the stability of the global economy. It is crucial that steps are taken to curb this growing menace and bring the perpetrators to justice.

Is dark web monitoring service worth it?

The cost of a dark web monitoring service varies depending on the provider and the level of service you require. However, the cost of a data breach can be significant, with an average cost of $3.86 million per incident, according to a 2020 study by IBM Security. 

Just when you thought your company's sensitive data was safe and sound, a data leak can strike like a bolt from the blue, catching you off guard in the most unexpected of ways. It seems that even the coolest, most cutting-edge AI tool on the block - ChatGPT - isn't immune to the spectre of data breaches. 

Check Point Research (CPR) has reported an increase in discussions on dark web forums concerning the unauthorised sharing or sale of compromised premium accounts for ChatGPT over the past month. These are their key findings regarding the situation:

  • Leak and free publication of credentials to ChatGPT accounts
  • Trade of premium ChatGPT accounts that were stolen
  • Bruteforcing and Checkers tools for ChatGPT – tools that allow cybercriminals to hack into ChatGPT accounts by running huge lists of email addresses and passwords, trying to guess the right combination to access existing accounts.
  • ChatGPT Accounts as a Service – dedicated service that offers opening ChatGPT premium accounts, most likely using stolen payment cards.
chatgpt leaked account details 2
(Source: Check Point Research)

chatgpt leaked account details 1
(Source: Check Point Research)

When you thought your company's data was safe and sound, the ChatGPT data leak came along to shatter that illusion. It's a stark reminder that the most unexpected data breaches can and do happen. Just consider the potential cost of a data breach, investing in a dark web monitoring service is a mere pittance by comparison.

By knowing that your company's data is being monitored and protected, you can focus on running your business and serving your customers, without worrying about cyber threats.

What are the key benefits I will get when using a dark web monitoring service?

Dark web monitoring services offer several benefits that are essential for any business looking to protect its data. Let's dive deeper into the key benefits of using a dark web monitoring service and how it can protect your valuable data.

  • Proactive threat intelligence

    Dark web monitoring services offer proactive threat intelligence, which can help you stay ahead of emerging threats and protect your sensitive data.

  • Early detection of data breaches

    Dark web monitoring services can detect data breaches before they become major security incidents, giving you the opportunity to take action before the breach becomes widespread.
  • Protect your reputation

    By monitoring the dark web, you can identify potential threats and take steps to mitigate them before they become public. This can help protect your company's reputation and maintain customer trust.
  • Compliance

    Dark web monitoring services can help you stay compliant with regulations that require companies to protect sensitive information, avoiding potential fines or legal actions.
  • Competitive advantage

    By monitoring the dark web, you can stay ahead of your competitors and be the first to know about emerging threats. It can help to develop a competitive advantage for your company.

How to choose a suitable dark web monitoring tool?

Choosing the right dark web monitoring tool can be challenging. The best dark web monitoring service for businesses will vary depending on the specific needs of each organisation. Here are the main factors to consider when choosing a suitable tool for your business.

  • Holistic coverage

    It's important for a dark web monitoring service to provide comprehensive coverage of the dark web, including both public and private marketplaces, forums, and other online sources. This will ensure that all potential threats and vulnerabilities are identified and monitored, giving businesses a complete picture of their security posture.
  • Real-time alerts

    A good dark web monitoring service should provide real-time alerts when potential threats are detected. These alerts should be customisable to the specific needs of the organisation and should be delivered via multiple channels, such as email, SMS, or mobile app notifications.
  • Customisable dashboards and reports

    A dark web monitoring tool should provide customisable dashboards and reports that allow businesses to view their dark web monitoring data in a way that is relevant to their specific needs. This can include metrics such as the number of potential threats detected, the types of data compromised, and the geographic locations of threat actors.
  • Actionable intelligence

    A commendable dark web monitoring service should provide actionable intelligence that businesses can use to proactively mitigate threats and vulnerabilities. This can include recommendations for strengthening security measures, such as changing passwords or implementing multi-factor authentication, or alerts for suspicious activity that may require further investigation.
  • Integration with existing security infrastructure

    An easy-to-use dark web monitoring service should be able to integrate seamlessly with your business's existing security infrastructure, including security information and event management (SIEM) systems, endpoint detection and response (EDR) tools, and threat intelligence platforms. This will allow businesses to leverage their existing investments in security technology and streamline their security operations.
  • Strong data privacy and security

    The best dark web monitoring service should have strong data privacy and security measures in place, to protect the sensitive information that is being monitored. This can include encryption of data at rest and in transit, multi-factor authentication for access to the service, and regular security audits and vulnerability testing.

How to start monitoring the dark web to protect your business data?

Once you've chosen a dark web monitoring tool, here are some steps you can take to start monitoring the dark web and protect your business data:

  1. Define your scope 

    Identify which data you want to monitor, such as your company name, domain, or sensitive information. This will help you set up the right alerts and filters.
  2. Set up alerts

    Configure alerts for your chosen keywords and data types. Set up real-time alerts via email or text message, so you can take action quickly if a threat is detected.

  3. Review reports

    Regularly review reports generated by your monitoring tool. This will help you stay informed about emerging threats and identify potential vulnerabilities.
  4. Take action

    If a threat is detected, take action immediately. This may involve contacting law enforcement, taking steps to protect your data, or communicating with your customers and stakeholders.
  5. Continuously monitor

    Cyber threats are constantly evolving, so it's important to continuously monitor the dark web for new threats and vulnerabilities. Regularly review your monitoring tool and adjust your alerts and filters as needed.

Safeguarding your organisation's sensitive data today!

In today's cyber landscape, cybersecurity is more critical than ever before. It's essential to have the right tools to protect your organisation's sensitive data and prevent breaches.

We encourage you to learn more about how to implement dark web monitoring in this blog or try our dark web monitoring tool, uBreach for 14 days free.

uBreach is a user-friendly dark web monitoring tool that can be effortlessly fitted into your cybersecurity plan. Unlike other products that require a steep learning curve, uBreach is designed to allow you to quickly get up to speed and start protecting your business data. Safeguarding your organisation's sensitive data has never been easier!

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