Is Your Data on the Dark Web?

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As the world’s attention remains focused on the COVID-19 pandemic, data breaches continue to quietly impact businesses of all sizes. From small businesses to the Small Business Administration, from Marriott International to Nintendo, stay-at-home orders and economic downturns haven’t stopped cyberthieves from stealing credentials and stealing information.

But what do hackers actually do with this stolen data to compromise businesses? Much of this is exposed on the Dark Web, a network of online communities often used for criminal activity. Digital credentials — usernames, passwords, and other information used to log into email accounts, social media platforms, and banking services — are among the hottest items on the dark web.

They are often traded, sold, or disclosed at dizzying speeds, making a cracked password a gold mine for bad actors. And when a computer user relies on the same password to log into multiple accounts, those digital credentials can be traded, sold, and shared over and over again from one cyber thief to another. This puts any information accessed by that computer user at increased risk.

Unfortunately, at this point, it’s more of a question of when as if a violation affects you. In 2019 alone, security experts estimated that nearly 8 billion pieces of information — login passwords, phone numbers, email addresses, financial accounts — were stolen. In the first quarter of 2020, the number of healthcare data breaches doubled as the coronavirus pandemic swept the world.

More than 5 million guest records were compromised when Marriott suffered a hack in January. Nearly 8,000 small businesses’ information was exposed when the Small Business Administration was attacked in the early days of the Emergency Injury Disaster Loan Program. And yes, hackers even targeted Nintendo, which saw a surge in user numbers during the quarantine, and stole login credentials for 160,000 accounts.

Part of this is because hackers are so relentless. But part of that is also because computer users can be carefree with their information. Cyber ​​criminals can use brute force hacking tools to crack passwords in seconds, while phishing emails, keylogging embeds, and credential stuffing provide other entry points to critical information.

Using the same password for multiple accounts is also a major security concern. Cyber ​​criminals can easily employ automated logs that reveal userX@thiswebsite.com uses the same password for userX@anotherwebsite.com. Password spraying tools then test lists of stolen credentials across multiple sites, allowing hackers to quickly compromise new accounts, even on sites with strong cybersecurity measures.

Most companies do not have the tools to monitor the dark web for stolen credentials. Fortunately, CMIT Solutions employs intelligent services that combine human verification and automated scanning to identify, analyze, and proactively analyze dark web traffic to look for stolen credentials related to your organization.

When passwords are hacked, our network of engineers across North America goes to work to protect your business. We track every use of stolen credentials and mitigate access to other accounts associated with it. We monitor dark web chat rooms, broadcast networks and botnets 24/7, looking for compromised data. We closely monitor cybersecurity trends and track updates on new phishing scams and malware twists. We review changes to data breaches and compliance with privacy laws to ensure our customers are safe.

To protect your company and employees from the dangers of cyber attacks and the dark web. CMIT Solutions understands how dangerous data breaches can be during these unprecedented times – and we are working hard to prevent them from impacting small and medium-sized businesses across North America. Do you want to protect your data before it’s too late? Contact us today.

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