Expanded Definition: Dark Web Scan + Dark Web Risk Assessment

Dark web scan definition

A dark web scan is a service that searches databases of information resulting from breaches that leave users’ personal information exposed.

Following a data breach, sensitive user information is stolen and shared on hidden internet pages, known as the “dark web.” By proactively searching for exposed information, a dark web scan can help individuals prevent further damage by changing their passwords or other sensitive information.

Since content on the dark web is not accessible to search engines, this process may be the only way for a user to be alerted that their information has been compromised.

Dark web risk assessment definition

A dark web risk assessment, or dark web assessment, searches hidden databases and internet pages for sensitive information pertaining to an entire organization.

Organizations can become targets for cybercriminals, who may buy or sell their sensitive data. Being aware of the presence of their information on the deep web can help organizations avoid exploitation.

What is the difference between a dark web scan and a dark web risk assessment?

A dark web scan is an element within a dark web risk assessment. Both processes pertain to searching for private or sensitive information that has been leaked or sold.

A dark web risk assessment incorporates several techniques and tools, with the dark web scan being only one of them. Information on the dark web is not indexed by search engines, and cannot be discovered without an intentional pursuit. Since the dark web can only be accessed using VPNs or browser extensions, this process is usually handled by a cybersecurity team or partner.

The MSP role in Dark Web Risk Assessments

As the frontline of IT for their clients, an MSP must be prepared to guard against many types of cyberthreats. Proactive dark web risk assessments allow MSPs to alert their clients to any leaked or compromised data before an issue arises.

The type of information stolen and shared on the dark web varies, but could include:

  • Usernames and passwords (resulting from credential theft)
  • Credit card or other payment information
  • Personal information, such as mailing addresses
  • Intellectual property

Accessing information on the dark web is not illegal, but it does require a careful approach. When completing a dark web risk assessment, professionals use anonymous browsers and VPNs to avoid exposing their own data.

Given the knowledge required to remain safe while completing a dark web scan or risk assessment, it’s a good idea for non-technical users to rely on a partner to complete these processes. That’s where the MSP can step in, providing a dark web risk report to their client.

Did you know?

$155.73: The average cost of credentials for a hacked Gmail account on the dark web.

Privacy Affairs

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