Businesses of all sizes understand the threat that cybercriminals pose. Phishing, trojans, and identity theft are all potential threats to any company with a digital presence. Although business owners follow standard operating procedures to prevent cybercriminals from accessing their data, such as antivirus software and two-factor authentication, many business owners don’t understand that they should be honing in the dark web—the origin of the majority of cyber crimes.
The dark web refers to the part of the web that cannot be accessed by conventional search engines like Google. This part of the Web is a hotbed of criminal activity and one of the hottest commodities you can find for purchase on the dark web is data. Long before you realize you’ve been breached, your company data, and the data that belongs to your clients or customers, go for sale on the dark web. Bank login credentials, subscription credentials, social security numbers, and credit card details are available on the dark web for a price.
Why Small Business Are Vulnerable
Small businesses are particularly vulnerable to cyber threats for several reasons. The primary reasons are the lack of resources and cash, as well as the lack of education. However, ignoring the potential threat of cybercrime is no longer an option. Many businesses operate under the assumption that they’re just a blip on the radar and that cybercriminals aren’t interested in stealing from them when there are bigger corporations to go after. However, just the opposite is true.
In 2018, nearly half of all businesses that experienced a cyber attack were small businesses. Furthermore, cyber security-related incidents cost small businesses an average of $34,000 annually. And yet the average small business spends just $500 per year on cybersecurity.
Although many small businesses simply cannot instill corporate-level security practices, there are still several precautions they can take to protect their company. The fact is, security breaches aren’t just financially draining but can decimate the business as a whole. Many small businesses never recover after a cyberattack.
Dark Web Monitoring
Businesses should be concerned about the security threats posed by the dark web. Because it’s labor and resource-intensive to monitor the dark web independently, small business owners should consider dark web monitoring by Webhose or a similar service.
Dark web monitoring is the process of searching for and keeping tabs on any information that surfaces beyond the accessible part of the Web. Such services scan the dark and deep web for your social security number, email address, passport number, phone numbers, bank account information, and much more.
Although there is no all-in-one security solution, professional security consulting and managed IT services is essential. These third-party companies can help you better understand the threat of likely scenarios and develop safeguards and systems that can drastically reduce the chances of a security breach.
At the very least, reach out to potential security companies and have them conduct an audit on your current security processes. Chances are you’ll quickly learn that you have gaping holes in your current operating procedures and there’s plenty of room for improvement.
Defense Against Dark Web Dangers
In addition to dark web monitoring, there are several steps you can take to secure your data, including two-factor authentication and password management technology. Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security to your accounts so that even if someone has access to your account, they’re unable to breach it.
Security awareness training is also an important piece of the puzzle. According to a survey from Lastline, 84% who were polled stated that human error was at least a partial reason for their company’s security breach. There are several actions that can compromise company security, such as recycling the same passwords or clicking on email attachments from unverified recipients. Regular training can reinforce best security practices and prevent mishaps from occurring. Most importantly, it can help employees respond appropriately.
Your business should have a system security plan that summarizes all the security practices in place to help you keep your data secure. It should outline your training methods, incident-response plans, and hardware and software security measures. If you don’t have an in-house IT team, it’s best to outsource your system security plan to a knowledgeable company.
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