Massive IT transformation has been happening to the enterprise significantly since the advent of machine virtualization in the mid 2000’s. This set the wheels in motion for Cloud Computing. We are at the precipice with Cloud and mobile computing. Through all of this innovation and mass disruption in our business realms, we are starting to see the impact on this for consumers and their awareness of how these technologies function. Many of my friends and family are starting to get the basic concepts of Cloud and, “There is an App for that” mobile marketing that’s in our face quite extensively. However, with great love and total respect, I would say there is less than 10% on the planet that have the awareness of the security of these ecosystems. Even fewer have an understanding of the Dark Web and what goes on there. The ideology most prevalent in my business and social circles is privacy. Some are looking for privacy from the government or simply keeping their business and personal data sacred from cybercriminals, which unfortunately are winning at an alarming rate. These dangerous threat actors are looking for the same privacy protections but for vastly different reasons. The big attraction of the Dark Web is to leverage privacy for ill intentions. Privacy is looking to be leveraged on the Dark Web to establish anonymity and perform vulgar activities.
CBS and 60 minutes put together a brilliant piece last night profiling the commerce behind data brokers selling our personal information and web activity. This took direct aim at the companies creating business models behind the acquisition and selling of our sensitive data. This acquisition is often done without the end user’s knowledge. What I will tell you is this; cybercriminals are also using the Dark Web to do the same exact thing but anonymously. So in essence, our privacy on the web is getting taxed twice. Information exchanges and cyber arms bazaars flourish in the Dark Web and it is being navigated and facilitated through clandestine tools such as TOR (The Onion Router). Cyber weapons, cash and other criminal mechanisms are exchanged in a dangerous cocktail alongside other nefarious activities such as drug dealing and murder services. The recent shutdown of Silk Road is a glaring example of the cyberhoods that populate the “Dark Web.” However, security research is showing that these bad neighborhoods evolve like a Hydra. For every head cut off or bad neighborhood detonated, at least two more grow in its place.
Protection against the demons that take harbor within the Dark Web is not impossible. Often a modicum of prevention goes a long way of shining a light on their behaviors and keeping them at bay. However, not taking action with proper IT and security hygiene has severe and possible long-term consequences.
You have heard about this dark side of the web from us in the past. We will continue the conversation in a series blog posts that will be forthcoming. We hope that this will allow you to gain an understanding on what happens “in the dark” and what we all need to be cognizant of to protect our business and personal data.
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