The dark web consists of hidden pages that can only be accessed through specialist technologies and web browsers. The dark web can be used by journalists or activists who need to maintain anonymity for their safety. It can, however, also be used to protect the anonymity of individuals wishing to commit dangerous and illegal activities. In common perception, the dark web is a place where drugs, weapons, and exploitation are rife.
What does this have to do with your organization? Provided that your employees don’t have anything to do with the dark web, there shouldn’t be any problems. Right? Not exactly.
One of the commodities traded on the dark web is data. This includes compromised account credentials, credit card details, addresses, and social security numbers. You might not even know that you’ve been hacked, but your company and employee details could end up for sale.
Dark web monitoring solutions continually scan the dark web to find leaked data, fraud and impersonation attempts, planned attacks, and known exploits. By identifying this content whilst on the dark web, you can prevent it being used in an attack against your organization.
A good dark web monitoring solution should allow you wide visibility into the dark web, without venturing into it. This prevents admin users from putting themselves at risk or having to be exposed to elicit content. The solutions should flag keywords relevant to your organization. You are then able to monitor the threat as it evolves, to ensure you can respond appropriately.
There is not one single dark web monitoring solution for all use cases – some are fully automated, some require a team of experts to run, and some utilize ML and AI to provide accurate and relevant insights. In this guide, we explore some of the top dark web monitoring solutions and focus on key features, subscription options, and who they’re best suited for.
What Is Dark Web Monitoring?
Dark web monitoring is a security tool that monitors and tracks the dark web. Dark web monitoring solutions will search to see if any information belonging to a company has been stolen and leaked there, such as passwords, credentials, and other sensitive data. Sensitive information, data, and login credentials are valuable as they can be sold on the dark web, then used in an attack. Dark web monitoring solutions can detect when credentials are up for sale, then alert teams so preventative measures can be put in place.
Dark web monitoring tools are also used for general threat hunting. By analysing information from the dark web, attack trends can be identified, enabling organizations to match their security settings with the latest threat intelligence.
How Do Dark Web Monitoring Tools Work?
Dark web monitoring tools work by continuously scanning the dark web for your company’s information and data. They will scan millions of sites in real-time to give you deep and valuable insight into dark web activity. Once this information has been discovered, the tool will send an alert to the company’s IT team so plans for remediation can be made.
Features that make up a dark web monitoring solution include:
- Threat intelligence: The solution pulls and analyzes large amounts of data which can be sent to a threat intelligence systems for data enrichment and contextual analysis.
- Threat hunting: Dark web monitoring tools can be used to improve detection and analysis capability.
- Investigation and response workflows: Due to a higher quantity of accurate information, workflows can be tailored to result in improved incident response times, thereby reducing the impact of a threat.
What Are The Key Features To Look For In A Dark Web Monitoring Solution?
- Wide range of visibility – You need to gather information from all the sources you can on the dark web. These include forums, chatrooms, marketplaces, and messaging apps. Remember, people who are trying to sell credentials won’t make themselves easy to find.
- Continuous Monitoring And Analysis – With breaches and attacks happening all the time, and across the globe – ensuring that your solution is constantly searching is the best way to protect yourself. Your solution should have crawlers, scrapers, and scanners to identify risk and analyze content in real time.
- Alerting – Your dark web monitoring solution should have an efficient way of alerting admin users to any relevant updates. The alerts should convey as much information as possible, whilst enabling you to react quickly.
- Reports – If your dark web monitoring solution can calculate a risk score associated with your organization, you are in a good position to monitor specific assets and implement more stringent security tools where relevant.
- Facilitated Response – While not all dark web monitoring solutions will have the capability to remediate threats from withing the platform – they should integrate with your security stack to facilitate this response. Some solutions might be able to remove harmful content, but this is not the case for all products.