The Darknet. It sounds like something out of a technothriller, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, it’s a very real concern for today’s businesses. It’s important to understand what the darknet is, why you should care, and how you can protect yourself from the dangers lurking there.
When you and I surf the internet, we’re on what’s known as the surface web. This layer is made up of all the sites that are searchable with a standard browser. Below that layer is the deep web, which contains roughly 90 percent of the data on the internet. This is still legitimate data, such as medical records, legal documents and financial data, but it is not available to just anyone using a browser.
What is the Darknet?
At the subterranean level of the internet lies an area called the dark web or darknet. This layer is made up of private, encrypted networks that require specific tools and knowledge to access, and they provide cybercriminals a haven to illegally trade information and services. Data sold on the dark web can command meaningful prices. For instance, patient health care information can be sold for $500 to $1,800 per instance. Hackers who are skilled at stealing this information can generate significant illegal income.
Also, increasingly available on the darknet are distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. Through these attacks, hackers intentionally paralyze a network by flooding it with data. Traditionally, these attacks required some technical knowledge to implement. No longer; if criminals can access the darknet, they can purchase and launch a DDoS attack against virtually any target.
ZDNet reports that the average cost of a single DDoS attack has risen to $2.5 million in 2017. Worse, DDoS attacks are increasingly used as smokescreens to distract IT resources, while hackers creep through virtual back doors and steal sensitive, often mission-critical data.
5 Tips to Help Protect Against DDoS Attacks
Here are five tips to help you protect your business against DDoS attacks and other threats from the darknet.
1. Don’t assume your company is not a target.
According to research from Symantec, 43 percent of cyberattacks are lodged against small businesses. In 2016, 77 percent of U.S. respondents to a Kaspersky Lab survey admitted that they had suffered between one and five separate incidents of data loss, leakage or exposure in the last year. Cybersecurity needs to be a priority, with all executives on board.
2. Focus your efforts but think holistically.
Over half of U.S. companies use six or more people to mitigate DDoS attacks. Putting this many resources into the fight against DDoS attacks sounds great on the surface, but the more people focused on DDoS, the fewer resources you have to devote to other mission-critical activities.
For the remaining 3 tips and to see the published article in its entirety, click here.
As regional vice president for TierPoint’s Midwest Region, including Missouri, Kansas and Kentucky, Dan Capra leads the regional team’s efforts to identify ways organizations can use TierPoint’s cloud, colocation, security and managed services. Capra has more than 25 years of technical and consultative leadership experience.