If you were to ask one of your employees right now what the dark web was, how do you think they’d answer? The average person likely knows very little about the dark web—only that its title sounds ominous and there have been reports of crime on the dark web. The fact is, the dark web is a real threat to individuals and businesses, so educating employees on its dangers is nothing less than essential.
Let’s take a closer look at how the dark web can impact business and personal lives, what you need to do to help your employees understand the risks, and why it’s so important now.
It’s A Real Threat
The “dark web” almost sounds like something out of a science-fiction novel. You probably picture a dark and ominous web page where illegal drugs are sold and you can buy pretty much anything. While there have certainly been some illegal substances and other less-than-desirable things sold on the dark web, perhaps its most dangerous item for sale is information. On the dark web, hackers sell login credentials, bank account and credit card information, and yes—even business data.
The problem with the dark web is that it’s far easier to remain anonymous there, and most transactions are completed with untraceable currency like bitcoin. This means that criminals can sometimes operate for years without ever getting caught, and there are billions of login credentials alone stolen annually. The way information moves through the dark webs means that sometimes, it’s recycled and resold several times. That could mean that a bank account number has been bought and sold to different people and taken advantage of several times over.
You can’t access the dark web without a special internet browser, but that doesn’t mean it’s difficult to do so with the right equipment. Much of the world’s cybercrime originates or operates on the dark web, so it’s a real threat to businesses and people everywhere.
Having the right tools at your employees’ disposal can potentially save your information from ending up on the dark web. A strong cybersecurity infrastructure and even a password manager for companies can make your protection that much stronger.
Education Makes Employees More Thoughtful Workers
Aside from the obvious, educating employees about the dangers of the dark web also has another effect: it can make them more conscious workers. When the dark web is just a mysterious thing that might cause harm, your employees will be far less likely to take it seriously. When you present it in a different light, it becomes something different entirely.
That consciousness will likely spill over into their personal life as well, which is something we need as a society. Unfortunately, not enough people take their own cybersecurity seriously, which is why these cybercriminals have such unprecedented access to our most personal data. Just the fact that about two-thirds of people reuse passwords tells you everything you need to know about how we value cybersecurity.
Individual Data Can Be A Pathway To Business Data
Why does it matter that your employees are more conscious about personal data as well? Because as an employee of your business, their personal data is inextricably connected to the business. If someone steals your employee’s personal data, they might just gain access to your business—especially if the employee is a password recycler. Identity theft can mean someone posing as your employee enters the business’s servers and steals information or sabotages operations.
The bottom line is that education goes a long way, and can make your employees far more conscious overall. This is simply another layer of protection for your business from the dangers of the dark web and cybercrime.
Cybercrime Has Risen Since The Pandemic Began
Is there really any reason to panic? Cybercrime is rare anyway, right? Cybercrime is far from rare, and, from the start of the pandemic back in 2020, cybercrime has risen by over 63%. The FBI has reported around 4,000 cyberattacks per day since then. So, to say cybercrime is rare is not only false, but also delusional. Cybercrime can occur anywhere, at any time, and your business is not immune to it.
It’s important to come to terms with the barebone facts of the situation and make sure your employees are well-trained and informed. And most of all, don’t neglect those passwords!
Today’s businesses have an extra responsibility to protect their data and the data of their customers. Data breaches can cost thousands of dollars in damages, and sometimes, hackers aren’t looking for anything except an opportunity to cause chaos and sabotage. Keeping your business secure is a group effort, but it’s up to you to educate your employees on the dangers of these kinds of people and of the dark web itself.