Dark Web. We’ve heard the term bantered around a lot these days. It sounds so…nefarious. And to be quite honest, it can be. But what is the dark web? And is it really something to fear? In short, yes. It can be a very dangerous place.
To put it in context, think of the internet as an iceberg. We all know what we see on top of the water is just a small fraction of the iceberg – that’s the internet we use everyday. The majority of an iceberg is underwater and cannot be seen except by a select few with specialized tools. All that ice below the iceberg? That’s the dark web.
So what happens on the dark web and why do people use it? To be honest, there is a lot of nefarious activity on the dark web. It’s where assassinations are planned, human trafficking occurs and child pornography resides. But it’s also where a lot of stolen information goes.
Here’s an analogy for you – if your car gets stolen, it goes to a chop shop. It’s a shop that isn’t on Google Maps. It gets disassembled and the pieces are sold off. The dark web is where stolen data goes to get disassembled and sold off. The dark web is the digital black market. And it’s very possible that your information is out there. And the dealers selling that information use a tool called The Onion Router, or TOR, for short. It’s how they mask their IP addresses and access the dark web.
How do you know if your company or private data is out there? As an average internet user, you won’t know. We’re not just talking about personal data like credit card or social security numbers though. While a breach of that data is absolutely crippling, what about your company IP? You could have been developing code for a year that suddenly breached and now someone else has your idea. What about plans for a patented widget?
So going back to the analogy about your car. Now that your car (your data or IP) may have been stolen, how do you go about getting it back? And how do you prevent it from being stolen again? Using a solution by Sovereign Intelligence, that information can be located. That solution can uncover information you may not even know had been compromised. Sovereign Intelligence scours the dark web to get to the places the average internet user cannot. In addition, our solution from DarkTrace helps keep data safe by monitoring behavior inside your network (see our blog from last week) and to ward any potential threats.
The dark web is not for the average internet user. As its name implies, it’s dark. And nefarious. And full of illegal activity. But if your information or IP is out there, it can be recovered by the experts at Sovereign Intelligence.
~Donna Regan, Director of Marketing
~Andrew Trogden, CTO
~Stephen Clark, Director of Sales
Cyber ransom is not new; in fact, it’s been around for years. But we’re seeing more and more headlines around it lately.
After hospital ransomware attack, time for some blunt talk about cybersecurity
--Yahoo! News 4/16/2016
Big Paydays Force Hospitals to Prepare for Ransomware Attacks
--NBC News 4/23/2016
Michigan Power and Water Utility hit by Ransomware Attack
Cyber ransom traditionally has been done via viruses and spyware, but now there is a category called Ransomware which clandestinely installs itself on a system without the user’s knowledge. It then restricts access to this system and demands that the user pay a ransom to remove the malware. Some will even encrypt the users information making it nearly impossible to use.
Traditional methods like firewalls and virus scanning software are no longer enough. They are not always real-time in nature and usually identify the malware after it has traversed the network. The approach needs to be proactive, looking for changes in the patterns of users and/or their devices. This can be done in a number of ways and there are some products you can buy. One such product is Darktrace. Darktrace is an appliance that sits on the network and monitors the network traffic. It has an algorithm that it uses to define “what is normal” in the way of user and device behavior. If there is any deviation from normal it will alert the network administrator and can even take action to stop the offending user / device.
Even the best practices won’t work when an employee comes to work with a non-sanctioned device that contains the malware. Think about your laptop that your teenage child used without your knowledge to download a game from a pirated site? You bring it to work and unknowingly breach security by introducing malware to the network. Darktrace would alert you that either a new device is on the network or that a known device is now acting very differently than it usually does. This is the power of “behavioral analysis.”
As long as you have data on your network, you are at risk. And it’s just a matter of time before an attack happens and succeeds. Be prepared. Would you like to see it for yourself? Watch a demonstration on our website here.
If you’re interested in seeing even more please contact me at Andrew.firstname.lastname@example.org
~Andrew Trodden, CTO
Almost simultaneously this morning I received notifications from both Facebook and LinkedIn that I would be celebrating my 19th anniversary at work this month. I chuckled knowing 19 Years ago Facebook or LinkedIn weren’t even around. At the time, our only solution set was Sun Microsystems. And I chuckled again knowing they are no longer around. Oh my, how the world has changed.
Back then, it was all about integrating high performance computing platforms – Big Iron - into high end insurance and financial services organizations. But we’ve evolved over the last 19 years and reinvented ourselves nearly every year of our existence. We have shifted from a handful of large commercial customers to dozens of federal government entities which often struggle to keep up with leading edge (or even current) technologies.
We’ve started looking less at the large manufacturers and more at the small boutique companies. Innovators are now no longer the large organizations, they are the small businesses and startups that are only a few years, or months, old.
Our mission has changed. It is now not to deploy traditional, often commodity, hardware, software, and services – it is to introduce you to what’s coming next. If you are struggling to keep up with infrastructure to keep your business running smoothly you will soon be hit with the Internet of Things (IoT). Remember having a single Blackberry server? Well, it is no longer enough to have a single mobile device management platform – managing and securing the number of devices that are going to be introduced into your environment is going to be a nightmare if not planned for and designed today.
Every light bulb, every thermostat, every door, window, security system, surveillance camera, and things you can’t even imagine today are going to be connected. It’s not just your door bell, or your cell phone/tablet/laptop that you’ll have to secure but who connects to what and what connects and can create an enormous amount of chaos if not planned appropriately. And it’s these boutique solutions that we offer that take that chaos and make it manageable. We’re not walking away from Big Iron just yet but there are some finer details that these smaller solutions address.
Change is inevitable. Embrace it.
~Christopher Regan, CEO