Are you Risking a Data Breach?
Cybercriminals are desperate to get their hands on your data. Find out how you can help prevent your information from winding up for sale on the dark web!
There is one universal law in business: Whenever there is a high enough demand for a particular commodity, then someone, somewhere, will offer it for sale. Today, the demand for personal information and illegal access to corporate data by those seeking to do nefarious activities has never been higher. The dark web is the cybercriminals’ favorite place to buy it.
What is the Dark Web?
The dark web is an underground global online marketplace of products and ideas where a vast number of illegal activities occur. Despite what many people believe, the dark web is only a small section of the ‘deep web‘ which is a parallel version of the internet we all use every day. Standard browsers like Chrome or Safari won’t allow you access to the deep web. To access it, users need specialized browsers like Tor.
You won’t find any mainstream online retailers like Amazon or TaoBao on the dark web, but that doesn’t mean financial transactions don’t exist. They do, and among the best-sellers is confidential information from businesses.
How to Thwart Dark Web Information Brokers
Once your company’s information is on the dark web, the horse is out of the gate, and there isn’t anything you can do to remove it successfully. Even expensive dark web monitoring companies can’t do anything other than alert you when your data is showing up for sale. That means it is crucial for you to prevent hackers from stealing both yours and your customers’ personal information. With an average cost of around $242 for each individual record stolen in a data breach, you can’t afford not to take cybersecurity seriously.
Cybersecurity begins by creating a realistic and actionable plan for your employees and then training your team on how to implement it day-in and day-out. Here are four concrete ways that you can help stop cybercriminals from profiting off you.
- Create a robust individual password for each of your accounts. Too many people are using easy-to-guess passwords like ‘123456,’ ‘qwerty,’ and ‘Password1’ for sensitive accounts. Help your staff avoid these weak passwords by setting rules for all passwords used for business accounts. Ensure that everyone uses a password of at least eight characters containing a mixture of cases as well as special characters symbols. Stay away from sequential patterns and personal information like birthdays or zip codes.
- Conduct workshops to teach employees how to secure company data and avoid common online scams. In a shocking study, Kaspersky Labs found that 90 percent of all data breaches were due to employee errors and were not the fault of inadequate server security. These errors include handling data improperly, transporting devices or computers with access to sensitive information off company premises, and falling for online scams. Companies must train team members during the onboarding process on how to properly handle cybersecurity issues. Refresher courses for long-term workers need to be part of all ongoing training workshops.
- Assess your cybersecurity risks. As a company, you are responsible for keeping your data and the personal information of your customers safe. Conducting penetration tests is the best way to determine the strength of your existing precautions. A thorough penetration test will simulate a real-life hacking attempt to check your company’s software, hardware, as well as your staff. Remember that penetration tests are necessary on an ongoing basis, especially after updating hardware or software.
- Consider if you need to invest in insurance to cover your business in case of a data breach. Even a minor data beach can wind up costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. That is enough to bankrupt many small businesses. To protect against excessive losses, many companies are purchasing data breach insurance from their providers. Data breach insurance will help you pay for legal defense and any liability damages if customers sue your business.
Are you looking for a dependable third-party IT company to help protect your data? Motz Technologies is happy to assist local PA businesses with all their IT needs. Call 717-204-4540 for more information.