When you think of the dark web, what images conjure in your mind? Hooded cybercriminals and shady chat rooms? A nefarious eBay-like marketplace where cryptocurrency can buy you drugs, guns, explosives and body organs?
What about your customers’ payments data for sale at a bargain price of less than £10 per card? Because after your business suffers a data breach, the dark web is the most likely place that data will end up, says Jason Thomas, who leads Innovation at Thomson Reuters Special Services.
And the consequences of that breach and subsequent fire sale can be more than just financial – it can forever tarnish your business’ name.
“Reputation is everything. A cyber strike brings businesses to their knees,” says Jason.
The end-of-life of Magento 1, an eCommerce platform, in June 2020 has left a lot of online businesses vulnerable to cyberattacks.
Having a secure eCommerce platform and ensuring regular patching is essential to protect both yourself and your customers.
“Awareness is key,” says Jason. “How you store data matters.”
“We’re never going to defeat technology threats but the idea is to reduce the threat surface.”
If your business has been breached, “understand if your data is on the dark web. What are you going to do for your customers, your company, your employees?”
Jason’s warnings do not come lightly, having tracked hackers and worked on internet security throughout his career.
He says we take technology and how it impacts on us culturally and socially, as well as on businesses, for granted.
“We’ve lost understanding of its influence, and how it has shaped the way we live our lives,” he says.
“We build technology and technology builds us. We are impacted by it unconsciously in a way that it becomes a normal course of life.”
Jason points to examples such as dating apps, and the power of data within them. The data is not always used for monetary gain, but for but pain and leverage, influence on foreign policy, and capacity to commit identity fraud.
With a rise in cyberattacks since the outbreak of the pandemic, now is the time to look at what measures you have in place to be data secure.