The dark web’s underbelly is a gold mine for cyber crime. Such crimes range from sophisticated nationwide hacking to compromised account takeovers and phishing scams.
As an unregulated, unlisted part of the internet, the dark web is only accessible via anonymous networks such as Tor (the onion router). Opposed to governed Google searches, onion sites offer hidden services masked from the average surfer.
Although going full-incognito can be somewhat beneficial for those in need of a digital detox (to enable social or political change), its encryption can be seen to provide the perfect platform for cyber criminals.
As the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted the widespread demand for goods and services online, we have seen a surge of dark web users selling encryption-enabling technologies, intrusion software and exploitable code. In just a year, the Action Fraud team has reported £34.5m stolen in the UK alone. With more than 6,000 cyber crime cases, including fake tech support, phishing attacks, and bank loan scams, the pandemic has proven to be a golden opportunity for cyber criminals.
What is Cyber Resilience?
Due to the rapid digitalisation of our everyday lives, it is increasingly important for organisations to become cyber resilient. Cyber resilience focuses on an organisation’s ability to handle the unknown; this can be achieved by detecting and categorising threats before they hit the network. Although no business is bullet-proof, no matter what technology is in place, it’s essential to ensure they can withstand any storm and thrive regardless of the threatening landscape.
How Businesses Become Cyber Resilient
To be well-prepared with an effective response, and recover quickly, here are nine top tips to cyber-resilience:
1. Train employees
Phishing scams are the most prevalent way for malware to spread. It’s important to ensure employees are trained and vigilant when receiving deceptive emails, attachments, and web links.
2. Install reputable antivirus and malware software
Antivirus and malware software is designed to detect, prevent, and act against malicious software on your computer. It’s an essential component of cyber hygiene as it protects against security breaches and viruses.
3. Update software regularly
Update your apps, web browsers, and operating systems regularly to ensure you’re working with the latest programmes that have eliminated all known security flaws. Updating your software will help ensure you have the latest protection.
4. Set strong passwords
Passwords provide the first line of defence against unauthorised access to your personal data. Your passwords should be strong, containing at least 12 characters along with numbers, symbols, and capital letters. Enforce the use of multi-factor authentication (MFA) by everyone. This protects you against weak and exposed passwords.
5. Avoid using public Wi-Fi
Part of your training should be to advise your employees to avoid using public Wi-Fi, which is the perfect hunting ground for hackers. By avoiding public Wi-Fi, you will eliminate insecurities associated with poor network configurations and weak passwords.
6. Use network firewalls
A firewall is software or firmware which helps protect your data through managing your network traffic. Adopt pre-configured rules to distinguish between benign and malicious packets, firewalls identify and block any unsolicited incoming activity.
7. Deploy deception technology
Deception technology is a cybersecurity defence practice that aims to deceive hackers by mimicking legitimate technology assets across a system’s infrastructure. For instance, if an intruder triggers a decoy, the server will log and monitor the attack vectors employed throughout the duration of the engagement. Essentially, it’s designed to trick cybercriminals, report attempted attacks and prevent future occurrences.
8. Make back-ups
In the worst-case scenario, businesses must assume their infrastructure can be compromised. In this case, it’s important to have backup systems to safeguard the business’ functionality. These systems should be set up with detached protection.
9. Regularly review your security processes
Your security processes must advance with the prevailing threats. Cyber security and resilience strategies require reviewing on a regular basis to resolve any identified weaknesses. Routine updates and employee training schemes can achieve this.
The changing landscape of digitalisation, together with the sheer complexity of the dark web, suggests it’s unlikely hacktivist groups will be regulated any time soon. In the meantime, it’s important to identify threats before they hit the network. As with most things, prevention is better than a cure. By implementing basic cyber hygiene to increase your resilience now, your team can start their day knowing that you’ve built the strongest possible defence against cyber criminals.
To discuss cyber resilience for your business, call us on 0330 002 1148 or book a chat.