When someone experiences a data breach, a number of questions arise: How did this happen? What was compromised? What is the impact? Those are questions that a forensic investigation may be able to answer.
But there are also questions that cannot be answered no matter how thorough the investigation.
When data is taken from a company, what happens next is up to the cybercriminal. Depending on their motivation, the data may be used for financial gain by the criminal, whether through a ransom, utilizing the information for fraudulent or other criminal purposes, or publishing and selling the information on the Deep and Dark web. Once it gets there, it is available for an unquantifiable number of people who have the same options. And, the longer it stays there, the more trouble could be created for the individuals or organizations impacted by the compromised data.
That’s the million dollar question to which there is no good answer other than “as long as it is allowed to be available.” Unfortunately, as we mentioned already, once data is leaked or compromised, the criminal dictates what happens next and when. But there are a few things we do know.
Data left on the Deep and Dark Web will be accessible to more and more bad actors, increasing the risk of further criminal activity. That data can be used by cybercriminals who piece together information about an individual’s identity – their name, address, social security number, address, phone number, health records, banking information and more – to conduct more sophisticated criminal activity.
When it comes to corporations, remember that personal information can often include employer information and email addresses. And, if these details are left out in the open for long enough, they pose serious threat of an unauthorized actor gaining access to your systems by simply pairing the right username and password for your company’s system.
Unfortunately, though a criminal can find data on the Deep and Dark web with ease, data owners don’t always have that ability. We will dig into this deeper in our next blog.
Top takeaways for companies: The more time that your company’s data stays on the Deep and Dark web, the greater potential damage it could have. In order to ensure that you are notified the instant that your data is on the Deep and Dark web, you need to have a partner who is capable of finding that information. Contact 4iQ to learn more.
Top takeaways for individuals: Even after a company has discovered that your information is on the Deep and Dark web, they may not notify you immediately–but that doesn’t mean you have to be in the dark. There are a number of personal identity protection services that you can use to be alerted as soon as your information is found, potentially even before the compromised entity knows. Contact 4iQ to learn more.