Dark Web Monitoring: Keeping Private Information Private


September 3, 2020

Lindsay Smith, Core Services Coordinator, Integris

“No, really.  It won’t happen to me.”  “I don’t need dark web monitoring, I’m safe.”

Nobody can afford to have this posture in these unprecedented times.  With Personally Identifiable Information (PII) spreading far and wide by way of public outlets such as social media platforms, antivirus alone is simply not enough.  An antivirus with multiple, sophisticated AI algorithms to protect against the vast amounts of threat vectors cannot stop Bill in Accounting from using the same credentials at work that he does for his Facebook account.  We offer dark web monitoring services that scan the dark web 24/7 for stolen corporate credentials with the very tool we use to protect ourselves here at Integris.

Dark Web Monitoring: Early Detection Saves Businesses

Cybercriminals take full advantage of the added layers of privacy the dark web provides which allows them to sell contraband and your credentials like Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Lattés in the fall.  So, what is worse than having your credentials stolen?  Having no idea it happened to you

The early detection and alerting of compromised user credentials and taking quick action to retire detected passwords will help prevent a breach from occurring.  The earlier we detect a user’s compromised credentials; the sooner action can be taken. This makes dark web monitoring such a valuable tool.

We receive an array of alert types such as plain-text passwords, hashed passwords, and/or PII.  Plain-text can be viewed just as it is written, spoken, or typed, whereas hashed passwords convert the password into a string of random-looking characters.  When in the hands of a cybercriminal, this mathematically altered password will not stand much of a chance with the abundance of encryption dictionaries readily available on the Internet. 

How to Keep Your Information Safe from the Dark Web

After reporting on hundreds, if not thousands, of compromised credentials to client point of contacts, here are a few tips and tricks that I highly recommend:

  1. Educate Yourself
    I like to throw on different security podcasts when driving to stay informed on the latest threats, phishing simulations, and best security practices.
  2. Follow the right people on LinkedIn. 
    LinkedIn has a wealth of knowledge being shared nearly every moment of every day. 
  3. Encourage clients and prospects to fully engage in security training and awareness courses.
    Knowledge is a very strong weapon to arm employees with to ensure your organization stands behind a powerful human firewall.
  4. Use A Reputable Password Manager
    Passwords that can be simply memorized are typically ones that can be easily hacked.  Take the human memory element completely out of the equation by using a reputable password manager that gives the user the only key that exists to decrypt their data.
  5. Strengthen your passwords for any accounts you own, both personally, and professionally. 
    Most password managers will have a random password generator built into the software which gives the ability to create and save a new complex password effortlessly.
  6. Use Unique Passwords for Everything
    Personal and professional accounts should have unique passwords.  This way, if a credential is compromised, you only have to go to one place to change it.  Too many times I hear, “but I use that for everything!”

Dark Web Monitoring Keeps Your Information Out of the Hands of the Bad Guys

What if you didn’t know your information was “out there?” Bad actors use your private information for financial fraud, identity theft, scams, and other damaging actions. The sooner you know you have been compromised, the quicker you can take action to protect your privacy, your reputation, and your network.

Experian reports that compromised data can yield from $5 to over $100 for financial information, and more than $1000 for medical records or passports.

The more data your business has stored in its database, the more inviting your systems become for bad actors. Proactive dark web monitoring alerts you when any compromised information is detected on the dark web, allowing you to act quickly before more damage is done.

Free Dark Web Scan: Is Your Data on the Dark Web?

There have been numerous breaches on public entities like Yahoo, Experian, and Capital One. Chances are that your business’ information may already be on the dark web.

Your business isn’t the only one at risk if it is; your clients’ information may be there, too. The negative impact of having compromised data on the dark web is devastating to small and medium-sized businesses who lack the resources to rebuild their reputation and remediate the incident.

 Integris offers a free, no obligation dark web scan to see if your business’ information is for sale, and  dark web monitoring in all our plans.

Don’t just assume your business’ data isn’t on the dark web.

Know for sure. 

Contact Integris for your free consultation and dark web scan today.

We're Integris. We're always working to empower people through technology.

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