Dark Web Monitoring: How It Works


By: Ted Hulsy, CRO, Snap Tech IT

Unmasking the Underworld: A Deep Dive into Dark Web Monitoring

Dark web monitoring

The term ‘dark web’ is thrown around extensively in conversations today as a place where criminal activity and communication occurs, and rightfully so: the number of dark web listings that could harm an enterprise has risen by 20% since 2016. As the name implies, the dark web is part of the internet that isn’t indexed by search engines. The dark web doesn’t permit users to look up what’s happening on it through regular browsers.

The dark web enables users to buy credit card numbers, review stolen password information, buy usernames and passwords, sell illegal items, engage in credential theft, access criminal chat rooms, and review illegal bulletin boards. Although there’s nothing we can do about the existence of the dark web, we can equip ourselves with the information and dark web monitoring services required to stay on top of potential stolen credentials.

Before we cover dark web monitoring, let’s first look at the dangers of stolen passwords and credentials.

Dangers of Stolen Passwords and Credentials

Compromised credentials refer to login credentials, like usernames and passwords, that have been stolen by an unauthorized person or entity. When a cyber-attack gains access to this information, they can use it to impersonate the person/business, as well as access other sensitive information or systems that they otherwise would not have been able to access. Such systems include bank accounts, credit card accounts, personal identity information, confidential business data, cloud-hosted business applications, and the list goes on.

It’s important to take the proper steps to ensure you are protected from this kind of information or identity theft. Stolen credentials can fuel cyber-attacks, phishing attacks, malware infection, identity theft, or worse, personal safety concerns in real-life.

What is the Dark Web?

The dark web is a hidden network of internet sites that are only accessible through a specialized browser designed to keep internet activity private and anonymous. The dark web facilitates illegal and dangerous activities since there is no public record of what’s occurring on the sites. Considered part of the deep web, the dark web is a very concealed portion of the greater deep web that few people will ever see, interact with, or access.

So, how is the dark web structured? Here are a few key layers:

  • No webpage indexing: nothing on the dark web is indexed by surface web search engines. Google cannot access or discover dark web pages.
  • Virtual traffic tunnels: a randomized network infrastructure creates traffic tunnels for users.
  • Firewalls and encryption: the dark web is hidden behind additional layers of firewalls and encryptions to make it hard to find.

What Does the Dark Web Monitor?

The dark web is home to personal information exchanges, selling of drugs and illegal weapons, black market sites, and chatrooms hidden beyond the surveillance of the government. Dark web monitoring uncovers these exchanges and protects clients’ personal information before data breaches take down employees, companies, and larger entities.

Fear not, there are services that enable you to monitor what’s happening in this disturbing corner of the internet known as dark web monitoring.

How Does Dark Web Monitoring Work?

Dark web monitoring is the process of searching for and monitoring information that is exchanged and shared on the dark web. The goal is to find stolen or leaked information, compromised passwords, and intellectual property operating within the dark web for clients. As companies and organizations store more of their information online, cyber-attacks are becoming an increasing threat, which is why dark web monitoring is critical for entities moving forward.

Here are some of the key features of dark web monitoring:

  • Threat Potential: Dark web monitoring tools map out the dark web to pinpoint sources of threat intelligence.
  • Threat Hunting: Once emerging threats are identified, dark web monitoring protects clients from targeted attacks.
  • Incident Response: Time is of the essence with cyber-attacks, which is why this process allows clients to react and respond instantly.
  • Platform Integration: Information collected through dark web monitoring is synced up with other security systems for fast responses.

What Are the Business Benefits of Dark Web Monitoring?

Staying on top of the information leaked and shared on the dark web comes with numerous benefits, including:

  • Data Breach Identification: Dark web monitoring allows businesses to identify and isolate data breaches instantly so they can act before further problems arise.
  • Future Threat Preparation: Dark web monitoring makes it easier for organizations to understand threats and prepare for future attacks.
  • Employee Data Security: Understanding data breaches allows companies to identify sensitive information that’s being shared and leaked, adding security features to prevent future cyber incidents.

Snap Tech IT, dark web monitoring is a core element of our cybersecurity service offering. We consider it a must for all clients, no matter the size. To learn more about our approach to cybersecurity and our Proven Process, schedule a meeting today.