The darknet emerged as a hub for illegal activities, including the buying and selling of drugs, weapons, and stolen data. The anonymity and encryption provided by the darknet make it an attractive platform for criminals to conduct their operations, making it difficult for law enforcement agencies and cybersecurity professionals to track and mitigate these activities.
In this article, we will explore the importance of darkweb monitoring and the tools and techniques used to monitor and analyze darknet activities. We will also discuss the benefits of darkweb monitoring for organizations and individuals concerned about the risks posed by the darknet.
The “Dark Web” Is Expanding Into Our Everyday Lives
Technological development has it’s multitude of benefits, but it also brings security risks. Hackers have the opportunity to trade valuable information, making security risks even more dangerous than ever. As a result, It is not unusual for confidential company data to end up being traded on the dark web.
Sensitive personal information and company data end up on the Darknet Markets every day. Luckily, the process of “dark web monitoring” can detect data breaches early. This helps you take countermeasures before cybercriminals cause further harm.
Digital transformation and cloud services are leading to more storage of personal data. This trend is making companies store sensitive information online more often. Through this approach, you achieve improved work processes and cross-team integration. Additionally, it can save costs by avoiding the need for on-site servers.
Organizations must take proactive steps to reduce the impact of data breaches. Secure data encryption and frequent backups are important. Monitoring the dark web is part of a larger strategy that includes encryption and backups.
What Is “Dark Web Monitoring”?
You can subdivide the internet into three main parts.
- Normal searches and regular websites are on the “clear web.”
- Password-protected information is the “deep web.”
- The final part is the dark web, which is everything else that is not searchable or indexed.
Darknet monitoring involves scanning and monitoring information throughout the known dark web. Normal search engines cannot find websites on the dark web. To access most darknet websites, you need a special browser, like The Onion Router (TOR), or I2P.
What makes the Darknet so valuable is that you encrypt communication on the darknet. You remain anonymous at all stages (if you do your OpSec right). Individuals hide their IP addresses for security reasons. Unsurprisingly, this anonymity leads to illegal activities and information sharing. This makes the darknet a place that is both safe and very dangerous.
What Dark Web Threats Can You Identify?
Without darknet monitoring, a company or person may be vulnerable to a data breach. Just a few weeks ago, we spoke about how Rio Tinto was hacked by Russian hacking group “Clop.” Using Darknet monitoring tools, you can now scan dark web pages for your company data. There are notification systems to help detect potential data breaches before they occur. Identifying stolen information such as data, passwords, bank details, and other sensitive data.
NB: Increasing your security prior to a breach is a top priority always.
However, having advanced detection of this data’s availability outside of normal parameters is valuable. It enables a company or individual to take valuable precautionary countermeasures. Stopping a much larger cyber attack or breach.
Unfortunately, Dark Web monitoring does not enable you to remove compromised data. But the knowledge that your information is not safe can reduce further exploitation. Preventing further financial loss, damage, or a serious blow to your reputation. Now one can make the necessary password changes, take measures like blocking bank accounts, and inform affected individuals and stakeholders.
Another application of this is the surveillance of illicit activities. This provides enterprises with crucial intelligence about possible attack vectors. It enables them to outmaneuver cybercriminals. By examining marketplaces and forums, you can gain knowledge about current hacking patterns. This helps you adapt your cybersecurity approach to the ever-changing threat environment.
One can optimize Darknet monitoring by gaining valuable insights. These insights could be about new and upcoming phishing and smear campaigns. They could also be about new malware sold on the dark web. This can alert you to fake websites, better known as “cybersquatting” or “URL hijacking,” and with this information, you can warn relevant parties in advance. This proactive approach can help prevent fraudulent activities and reduce damage.
How Does Darknet Monitoring Work?
Darknet Monitoring software uses various algorithms, artificial intelligence (such as neural networks), and years of threat intelligence to read and detect hundreds of thousands of darknet websites. Monitoring relies on hash values from the source or destination of transmitted data. It also relies on deception technologies. You get hash values from end devices on the network.
Tools for Darknet Monitoring allow you to search specific places on the Darknet for your website. It looks for information that is being traded or sold. The goal is to find company-related data. Monitoring allows users to subscribe to a threat data “feed” or “forum.” This eliminates the need to hire an expert to search, compile, and analyze data. Instead, users can receive real-time updates on potential threats.
Many cybersecurity providers offer dark web monitoring services. These services include a diverse range of open-source intelligence (OSINT) tools. Modern solutions not only track the dark web but also provide other capabilities, like searching for fake company accounts, finding URL hijacking, and detecting phishing websites. Additionally, these solutions can also identify fraudulent mobile applications.
AI-based threat intelligence is crucial for assessing the risk of unprotected assets. When choosing software, companies should focus on a systemic approach to the service. They should also consider the experience of the provider in this area. This will ensure effective monitoring and reduce the risk of cyberattacks.
Is Dark Web Monitoring Legal?
While the darknet has a lot of illegal content and activity, Darknet Monitoring, as its own aspect, is not against the law. That being said, we still recommend that users exercise extra caution when browsing the dark web. You should only trust reliable sources.
Monitoring tools are recommended, but only if they are legal. Illegal activities or misuse of information are not permitted.
Why You Should Consider Keeping A Close Eye On The Dark Web
Dark Web monitoring helps organizations detect cyber threats early. Then they can take the necessary steps to defuse them. These monitoring tools cannot remove already leaked information from the darkweb. But they can help identify compromised data and fix leaks fast. Using these tools makes organizations better at protecting customers and reducing reputational damage. Additionally, they can prevent bigger data privacy breaches.
Prevention Is Better Than Finding A Cure
Before becoming a victim of a cybercrime, manage your risks by following “best practices.” Then you can strengthen your security by using the following advice: To keep your account secure, use a password that is difficult to guess and includes a mix of characters. Also, change your password regularly to further enhance your security.
Know who has access to your data and exercise strict and careful control over it. Avoid visiting dangerous websites. Invest in a reliable internet security program and put in place strong security measures for servers and other IT infrastructure.
Protecting your company from online security threats involves implementing key procedures. These procedures should be part of a larger strategy.
Choosing Your Darknet Monitoring Solution.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to darknet monitoring. While some need a panel of professionals to run, most Monitoring Solutions use machine learning and AI to provide precise and useful insights. This guide explores some solutions, listing features and what they are likely to do.
A great monitoring solution provides visibility without exposing you to its dangers. This monitoring solution should flag keywords relevant to your specific search criteria. It should track the threat as it develops, thus ensuring you can respond.
Here are a list of solid Darknet Monitoring solutions we suggest you take a look into.
ACID Intelligence is a threat intelligence and detection service that monitors the surface, deep, and darknet to identify early signs of hostile activity and attacks. The platform sends real-time alerts and has a centralized dashboard for tracking threats. ACID Intelligence is fully automated, customizable, and recommended for mid-sized to enterprise organizations across all sectors.
The robust web intelligence solution from Cobwebs Technologies makes it possible to search online data while extracting and analyzing information from a variety of digital sources, including the surface, deep, and dark web. Their proprietary deep and darknet monitoring technology automatically generates crucial insights by extracting intelligence from the web’s big data using the most recent machine learning algorithms.
CrowdStrike’s Falcon X Recon is a cloud-based solution that monitors the surface, deep, and darknet websites for breached data and threat intelligence in real-time. It provides a customizable dashboard and real-time alerts for security teams. Falcon X Recon is priced by endpoints or company size and integrates with third-party tools. Recommended for businesses of all sizes looking for powerful Darknet Monitoring capabilities.
DarkOwl provides a searchable darknet database that helps businesses monitor activity in real-time. The platform is updated daily with data from thousands of darknet sites, collected via AI and manual processes. DarkOwl Vision UI is a widely used research tool recommended for mid-sized organizations and enterprises with available resources.
Digital Shadows is a digital risk protection vendor with darknet scanning capabilities that monitor multiple sources and send alerts to affected organizations. The platform offers three packages and customizable reporting templates. We recommend Digital Shadows SearchLight for SMBs that need dark web monitoring, threat intelligence, and risk protection services.
In conclusion, Darknet Monitoring has become increasingly necessary in today’s digital landscape due to the proliferation of illegal activities on the darknet. It allows law enforcement agencies, cybersecurity professionals, and other organizations to track and mitigate potential threats posed by criminal activities on the dark net.
By leveraging specialized tools and techniques, darkweb monitoring provides valuable insights into the networks and activities operating within the darknet, allowing organizations to identify potential risks and take proactive measures to protect themselves. It’s clear that Darknet Monitoring has become an essential component of any organization’s cybersecurity strategy and a critical tool for combating criminal activities on the darknet.
Hey there, I’m a dark web geek who’s been around for the last 8 years. More precisely, I’m livedarknet’s senior content writer who’s been writing about darknet marketplaces, tutorials, and cybersecurity stuff for educational purposes.