With multiple threats coming from multiple directions, it’s more important now than ever to have a strong, secure platform surrounding your most sensitive data to protect from dark web scanning. 

However, it’s just as important to keep a watchful eye on the dark web and to make certain your own employees understand the importance of security.

Be Structured is the leading managed service provider in Los Angeles that will help you develop a robust cybersecurity platform around your operations.

What Is Dark Web Scanning?

The dark web is a term for a network of hidden websites that require a special browser (called a Tor or Onion browser) to access. As such, you can’t find them using Google or any other popular search engine. 

You can’t even accidentally stumble on them; you have to go out of your way to find them. They are ideal for anonymous browsing because the tools used to access dark web sites make it difficult to track the locations of users and servers.

While there are beneficial uses for the dark web, it has unsurprisingly become a hotbed for illicit online activities due to its anonymous nature. 

According to studies, a large number of these websites contain information that could be used to harm individuals or businesses. 

One such nefarious use is the selling, trading, and sharing of private data. That data can include anything from email addresses and passwords to credit cards and Social Security numbers. 

Of course, the people selling this information don’t own it. 

They stole it via hacking, malware, and other means from businesses and individuals. But how do you know if any of your data has been compromised and floating around on the dark web without going out there and browsing it yourself, something that could leave you open to attack if you’re not careful?

When you partner with a local IT support company like Be Structured, we continually monitor the latest dark web data dumps and security breaches to ensure your critical data hasn’t been compromised. 

In the event that we find any of your organization’s data has been revealed or shared via the dark web, we’ll pinpoint what was revealed and immediately deploy a solution to ensure no further data is compromised. You will know as soon as we do if your security has been violated, and that can make all the difference in how you respond and in how others, including your clients, respond to their data being exposed.

Having any sensitive data on the dark web, no matter how minor it is, can do more damage than you might assume. Your company’s reputation with your clients depends on you keeping any information about them safe. 

Clients don’t want to know that your company was responsible for any information being leaked, even something as simple as their names or email addresses. If this data is discovered on the dark web and traced back to you, your reputation will greatly suffer. 

In some industries, you may also find yourself facing fines and other regulatory penalties if you fail to protect that data in accordance with regulations.

While there may not be much you can do to recover or delete this information from the dark web once it’s out there, you can take steps to improve your security and to let your clients know that their information has been compromised. 

It’s never too late to protect new data or the data that hasn’t been published to the dark web, but you can only do so if you know that your network has been attacked. Without constantly scanning the dark web 24/7, you can’t know if your data has been compromised.

What Are You Doing To Protect Your Network?

Be Structured helps you formulate concrete answers to questions like this. Many companies are under the impression that a simple antivirus program and a firewall are all they need, especially small businesses that don’t believe they have anything worth stealing. 

However, that’s rarely the case—every company has data they don’t want exposed on the dark web, no matter how minor it may seem. Even companies with strong IT departments that make use of various security programs may be in danger of being hacked if they don’t keep up with new forms of hacking.

That’s why it’s important to back up your security measures with dark web scanning. You want to know as soon as possible if there’s been a breach, and sometimes, the only way to find out is by seeing your data for sale on the dark web. 

It’s also important to remember that what you’re doing to protect your network today may not be much protection at all tomorrow. Hackers are constantly changing their methods of attack, and new malware and viruses are always being developed. This is another reason why dark web scanning is so important. 

If you’ve been attacked by a new way of hacking, you may not even realize that your security has been subverted because the attack comes from a completely different vector than expected. It can be a wakeup call that your current protections are simply no longer enough.

Empower Your Team With Awareness Training

Ninety-five percent of network security breaches are due to human error. 

This means that the biggest risk to your company’s vital data isn’t coming from hackers who are actively attacking your network. It comes from your own employees who fall for scams. Empowering your team with the knowledge and skills to identify cybersecurity threats is essential to keeping your network protected. 

After all, a team of cybersecurity experts can only protect your network so much; at a certain point, it’s up to your everyday users to sidestep threats before they cripple your network. 

That’s where cybersecurity awareness training, such as phishing email training from Be Structured, comes into play.

Even companies that are using the latest in security software may even be vulnerable due to this lack of employee training. All it takes is for one employee to open an attachment with a virus or fall for a phishing scam and the doors to your company’s data are wide open. 

This is one of the reasons why it takes some time for large companies to find out that their data has been compromised. 

They believe their security is completely safe, but an employee accidentally gave hackers the keys to the vault weeks or months ago. 

Without dark web monitoring, company leadership may have no idea that they’ve been compromised by a phishing scam for quite some time. 

The first step to cultivating a culture of cybersecurity awareness is simply to inform your team about the reality of cyber threats. As new threats emerge, it’s critical to provide ongoing training that helps employees spot threats and avoid them. 

Most people know not to open strange attachments from email addresses they don’t know, but how many people know how to recognize a carefully created email forgery? 

How many know to hold their mouse over a link to see what address pops up before clicking on it? Some people might simply click and see a website that appears very authentic. Even if they later realize they may have made a mistake, if they’ve entered information on that fake site, it’s too late.

Phishing email training is one of the most straightforward ways of accomplishing this goal. 

When you partner with Be Structured, it’s easy to ensure your team stays one step ahead of cybercriminals by automating ongoing phishing attacks. You can set up how often these phishing tests are sent out and even use templates to create your own text. This lets you truly test your team by changing up your fake phishing emails every time you send them.

Phishing email training automatically sends team members simulated phishing attacks on an ongoing basis. 

Your team will be able to report the email as phishing or, if caught unaware, click on one of the links. If they report the email, they’re congratulated and notified that it was a simulated attack. 

If, however, they fall victim to the simulated attack, they’re required to complete an additional security awareness training course online to bolster their awareness. 

Even the most diligent employees may find themselves failing a phishing test every now and then, which only goes to highlight the fact that people must always be on guard.

These tests are also sent out in staggered waves. 

This means one employee won’t be able to share the time or other specifics about the fake email. Your employees can be sent different emails that come from different fake email addresses, and these emails will all be sent out over a period of a week or so. 

This helps to make sure the test is fair and that all of your employees get the chance to demonstrate that they understand how to recognize phishing emails.

For employees who balk at these tests and the follow-up training, remind them that learning about phishing scams do more than protect you, they also protect the employee. 

Phishing emails do more than target large businesses—they also target individuals. By teaching them how to identify phishing scams, you’re helping your employees protect their own information and financial data just as much as you’re protecting the company’s.

While you may not want to have these fake phishing emails sent out on a regular basis, testing your employees several times a year is not a bad idea. You can even have these tests sent out more regularly if your company has discovered employees are still falling for phishing emails. 

New employees may also need to go through testing several times just to make certain they understand what phishing emails are. Remember, all it takes is for one employee to fall for a phishing scam to leave your business open to attack, so you can’t be too careful.

business IT services and security

It’s important to perform ongoing IT security checks

Comprehensive IT Support & Cybersecurity Solutions

When you partner with Be Structured on a MSSP plan, we secure your network with a comprehensive cybersecurity platform that protects every level of your operations. 

Our approach includes the latest network security strategies like dark web scanning and phishing email training, all for one fixed monthly price. 

You don’t have to worry about finding out that your information was sold on the dark web weeks or months after the fact. We scan regularly for your information and will let you know the instant we discover anything that could have been stolen from you.

Teaching employees about phishing scams and how to avoid them is like a first line of defense for your network. 

This will stop upwards of 95% of security breaches, and it helps your employees see the overall need for security and the role they plan in securing your network. 

If this line fails, you have your network’s security programs, antivirus scanners, firewalls, and other tools. This level exists to stop hackers and catch any malicious programs that may have slipped in due to phishing or other scams. 

Finally, you have dark web scanning. 

This may seem like “too little, too late,” and it is true in the sense that you can’t protect data that has already been stolen. However, it does let you know what was taken and that you need to improve your security.

With a Los Angeles IT services company like Be Structured overseeing your larger cybersecurity needs and threats, you can be confident you’re staying ahead of the latest developments in the industry while preparing for the challenges of tomorrow. 

As part of our cybersecurity package, we protect you from external threats such as data breaches and unauthorized access to your network, while also guarding against internal threats with disaster recovery solutions and employee security training. We cover all the bases of security, from internal accidents to external threats, so your data remains safe and sound.

Los Angeles IT Support

If you’re ready to take a more proactive approach to cybersecurity, you need a team of experts developing and overseeing your overarching security roadmap. 

Be Structured has the experience and skills to develop customized cybersecurity strategies around your unique operations. 

We’ll work with you to assess your team’s workflows from the inside out and keep you protected from internal and external threats. Get in touch with our team today to start exploring how much your cybersecurity platform can be doing to protect your bottom line and mission-critical data.