If you're not careful, your employees' personal information and/or their corporate credentials could be for sale on the dark web. Here's what you need to know to protect them.
The dark web is a shadowy corner of the internet, and it's become an increasingly popular destination for cyber criminals looking to buy and sell stolen information. It's estimated that personal credentials belonging to millions of employees are available on the dark web, with many being sold specifically targeting those in high-level positions. This allows criminals to gain access to company secrets, financial information and potentially even manipulate their way into purchases or transactions.
Their malicious activity can be difficult to detect because it looks like the normal day-to-day operations of employees.
The Human Element & The Role It Plays
Many businesses don't realize that their employees are one of their most significant security risks. Afterall, 82% of cybersecurity breaches are due to human error (Verizon’s Data Breach Investigations Report).
Business owners know they should be doing more to protect their employees from the dark web, but it can feel like an insurmountable task that never quite gets done. Even when organizations become aware of the risk and dedicate time and resources to implementing security measures, they often remain lax in their approach. According to the 2022 CNBC Small Business Playbook, 42% of small and medium-sized businesses have no cyberattack response plan. Underestimating the havoc a cyberbreach can wreak on your business is a mistake that could cost you dearly.
(Related: Don’t Click That)
How Do You Know if Your Employees' User Credentials are on the Dark Web?
A dark web scan can be an invaluable tool for businesses to help identify risk exposure and act as an early warning to cyber risks lurking in the shadows. By scanning the dark web, organizations can detect malicious activity that could put their company secrets and financial information at risk. These scans provide a comprehensive view of the digital landscape, allowing companies to proactively protect their employees from becoming the target of a cyberattack.
For example, when running a dark web scan against your corporate email domain, the results can uncover employees who may have used their business email for non-business activities and had their credentials compromised. For this reason, employees should never use business email addresses for non-business-related activities, and separate passwords should be used for each website or application used.
We know this is a lot to take in for most business owners, and that's why we're here to help. To learn more about the dark web, read our "Dark Web Scanning: Understanding the Why and How" blog post. Here we explain the process and value of running a dark web scan for the identification of cyber threats and how it serves to inform the prioritization of remediation measures to better protect your business.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect your employees and your business from the dark web. Start by training all of your staff on basic security protocols such as using strong passwords and avoiding suspicious links in emails. You should also consider implementing multi-factor authentication for any online accounts that handle sensitive information. This adds another layer of security that makes it difficult for hackers to gain access to a user's credentials.
By staying vigilant and taking the necessary measures, you can protect your business from becoming another victim of cybercrime on the dark web. Protecting your employees and their data is essential, not just for the security of your business but also to help maintain a positive reputation in the eyes of customers and partners. Taking these steps will ensure that you are always one step ahead of any potential threats.