What Is Dark Web Monitoring?
The “dark web” refers to the section of the internet that requires additional privacy support from visitors that can be provided by services like Tor and I2P. Entities (including websites) within the “dark web” are known as hidden services, and due to the access requirements for these services, they are not indexed by commonly-used search engines like Google. Naturally, some criminals take advantage of this extra security and privacy to buy, sell, and trade all manner of contraband, including stolen credentials.
Unfortunately, not all criminal activity takes place solely via the dark web, which means dark web monitoring software offers insufficient protection. A large volume of criminal transactions, which can include the sale and trade of fresh breach and malware-exfiltrated data, happen through private exchange within trusted networks, encrypted chat, and closed groups.
SpyCloud goes beyond traditional dark web monitoring software by infiltrating criminal communities and gaining access to data before any other provider and at a scale topping 12 billion assets per month. This gives enterprises greater — and faster — visibility of exposed plaintext credentials, stolen cookies, and compromised PII that threatens the security of their users’ accounts.
Monitoring the Dark Web
Companies seeking to protect customer and employee data often invest in dark web monitoring tools to alert them if their compromised data is being advertised or sold on dark web forums, as this is something they cannot do alone. Most dark web monitoring software use automated scanners, crawlers, and scrapers to locate stolen credentials on public sites.
Unfortunately, by the time stolen credentials appear on the deep and dark web, the data has often been available for months or years within criminal private communities.
The key to monitoring the dark web is to identify breach exposures early — before criminals have had a chance to use them. SpyCloud researchers infiltrate criminal communities to gain access to data as soon as possible, empowering organizations to reset exposed credentials before they can be used – stopping account takeover before it harms individuals and businesses.
Only SpyCloud recaptures data from breaches, malware-infected devices, and other underground sources with the speed and scale necessary for cybercrime prevention. It’s the same data fraudsters use, but our proprietary technology cleanses, curates and transforms it into action. Our solutions enable enterprises to automatically remediate exposures, so there’s no heavy lifting – only fast, automated account protection.
Dark Web Data API
In addition to solutions for the enterprise, SpyCloud offers the ability to integrate our data — the most comprehensive compromised credential collection in the industry — to companies who are looking to offer their customers dark web monitoring or identity protection services.
Many digital banking platforms, mobile operators, and security solution providers make use of our data via a fast, easy-to-use, secure API.
How It Works:
SpyCloud recaptures data from the dark web, to the tune of 12+ billion assets per month. This data can be integrated into your application or website, enabling you to alert consumers when their credentials and other data have been found on the dark web and guiding them to take action to protect themselves.
Features of Dark Web Monitoring & Alerts
The dark web is chock full of data exposed in third-party breaches and exfiltrated from malware-infected devices that can be used to launch attacks on enterprises and consumers. Stolen data includes corporate and personal credentials to personally identifiable information (PII), financial data, phone numbers, credit card details, and even authentication cookies. So what does a dark web alert mean and what should you do if you receive one? These alerts suggest the need for remediation steps to mitigate the threat of criminals using this data for their own gain. If the dark web monitoring provider detected a person’s login credentials among a trove of stolen data, it would likely suggest changing the exposed password for added security.
Monitoring the dark web effectively requires:
While most dark web monitoring tools use scanners, SpyCloud goes beyond that to combine automated technology with security research. Our expert security research team has visibility into criminal communities and underground marketplaces where stolen data is traded and sold. SpyCloud’s team of researchers have been performing this tradecraft for years and are the most capable in identifying these communities and forums and recapturing high-value data early in the attack timeline before criminals can act on it.
Dark web monitoring should be continuous because breaches happen all the time; in fact, the average user in the SpyCloud dark web dataset appears 8-10 times. Users are often exposed in breaches through no fault of their own. The only way to keep them safe, whether they’re your consumers or your employees, is to constantly have access to stolen data that includes their credentials and other sensitive information so it can be remediated to stop threats.
The dark web is vast and complex, which is why it can be difficult for any one enterprise to tackle on its own. And while credentials are an easy target for criminals, other types of data on the dark web open up doors for more costly threats – such as ATO that can lead to ransomware, or PII that fuels online fraud from synthetic identities. And with infostealer malware’s ability to siphon not only credentials but also other forms of authentication data, including active web session cookies, criminals can now gain unprecedented access to accounts more easily than ever. With stolen session tokens, criminals are bypassing multi-factor authentication (MFA), hijacking sessions, and masquerading as a valid user. As the dark web continues to thrive with an abundance of stolen data beyond credentials that can be used against your users and your organization, monitoring the dark web for corporate and consumer data allows you to know what criminals know so you can take the proper steps to remediate exposures.
Time is of the essence when it comes to preventing ATO and other cyber threats. Criminals engage trusted associates to help parse the data they steal and crack passwords. To beat them at their own game, the good guys have to be faster. Relying on a dark web data provider who specializes in parsing the data and cracking passwords faster than criminals is necessary for enterprises to negate the value of the stolen data before criminals can use it to cause harm.
Integration with existing security stacks
Effective dark web monitoring tools work in conjunction with other security tools and platforms like a Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) system. This enables you to streamline alerts and take action when a user’s credentials have been found in a breached dataset.
Dark web monitoring tools should also play an active role in an organization’s overall security program. When a user’s password has been exposed on the dark web, forcing a password reset, deploying step-up authentication, or locking the account are necessary depending on the organization’s appetite for friction. Swift action is necessary to prevent account takeover (ATO) attacks and fraud attempts.
Why Do You Need Dark Web Monitoring for Business?
So what is dark web monitoring used for in a business context? As the saying goes, “prevention is better than cure.” For businesses of all sizes, continuously monitoring the dark web is the best way to prevent breaches and other forms of cybercrime like ransomware and fraud before they happen.
As the dark web evolves, it’s simply not enough to have basic cybersecurity protection like endpoint security. Criminals are becoming more sophisticated than ever, outsmarting security protocols faster than they are updated.
Monitoring the dark web allows you to take a more proactive approach by actively identifying compromised credentials and other valuable data assets as a result of data breaches and infostealer malware infections. And, knowing what criminals know about your users allows you to stay ahead of attacks like account takeover, ransomware, and online fraud that rely on stolen identity information.
Finally, there’s compliance. Monitoring the dark web can help you comply with data privacy laws and regulations related to personal data, such as the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS). This enables you to avoid hefty fines and penalties that could hamper your business operations.
Should You Offer Dark Web Monitoring as Part of Your Security Solution?
Simply put: yes. If you’re a solution provider, you can’t offer comprehensive cybersecurity protection without including dark web monitoring.
The dark web is where a large portion of cyberattacks originate. Criminals often use it to sell stolen data, including guaranteed access to corporate and personal accounts.
By offering a service that monitors the dark web, MSSPs and MDR providers are doing clients a great service. It allows them to proactively identify threats to their security and take action to mitigate them before they cause damage.
Dark web monitoring is a strong complement to other cybersecurity solutions like endpoint protection. It allows you to be proactive in identifying malware that is missed by anti-virus solutions (such as dissolvable malware that executes, steals data, and deletes itself in seconds) and even catch infections on personal devices that are outside the scope of traditional security controls.
Monitoring the dark web on behalf of clients helps define you as a trusted security partner. It shows that you care about the overall security of your clients and results in deeper trust in your brand. When you prove a reduction in account takeovers and successful ransomware attacks, it will reflect well on your reputation and allow you to attract more clients.
Offering dark web monitoring solutions also makes you much more competitive. It gives you a solid advantage over other providers who haven’t offered it to their clients yet. It’s a great way to attract these clients to your business over your competitors.
Detect Exposures Early with SpyCloud
Account takeover attempts may be highly targeted, particularly early in the breach timeline, making early detection of stolen identity data critical. The earlier username and password exposures are flagged, the sooner action can be taken to trigger a password reset. The sooner the password is changed to a stronger, uncompromised one, the shorter the window attackers have to take advantage of vulnerable accounts.
SpyCloud’s dark web monitoring for business enables you to protect your users from both advanced types of account takeover attacks and automated credential stuffing attacks with fast, automated remediation of compromised credentials.
Features of Dark Web Monitoring & Alerts
Our award-winning products enable you to proactively protect your users’ accounts and thwart online fraud.
Consumer Fraud Prevention
Protect your users from account takeover fraud and unauthorized purchases.
Enterprise Cyberattack Prevention
Protect your organization from ransomware, data breaches,
Integrate our data with your SIEM, custom app, or security offering.
Enhance your solution with SpyCloud’s data.
Need Dark Web Monitoring?
The dark web is becoming increasingly sophisticated and remains a threat to organizations everywhere. That’s why dark web monitoring should be a part of every business’s cybersecurity protection suite. And it should also be one of the core offerings of any business providing cybersecurity solutions to clients.
Whether you’re looking for comprehensive dark web monitoring services for your organization or your clients, SpyCloud does it best. With solutions based on advanced Cybercrime Analytics, SpyCloud provides the protection businesses and users need to combat dark web threats effectively.
Contact us today to learn more, or request a demo to see SpyCloud in action.
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