Your MSP company has an opportunity to build its reputation by alerting clients about the dark web, which is the underground internet where illegal activity takes place. From hacking and disguising identities to outright stealing or selling illegal drugs or weapons, the dark web is a vast network of cybercriminals, testers and federal investigators looking for crooks to bust. Here are ways you can expose and fight the dark web for clients:
Dark Web Background
Perhaps the darkest part of the internet is the dark web, which requires special software to access. The dark web is a small subset of the deep web, which comprises online resources that search engines don’t index. Various darknets exist within the dark web, consisting of both small and larger networks, including Tor (aka Onionland) and Freenet. Only a small percentage of Tor’s traffic, however, is found on the dark web.
The infamous Silk Road was the first darknet to gain widespread attention when it launched in 2011. The FBI and Europol shut it down in 2013 then permanently in 2014. Site leader Ross Ulbricht was arrested, convicted and sentenced to life in prison.
How MSPs Should Treat the Dark Web
Any legitimate MSP company will frown upon the destructive and disruptive elements of the dark web. Part of your job as a computer consultant should be to educate your clients on cybercrime so that they don’t become victims of it. The dark web is only part of a bigger problem of cyber threats. It’s important for anyone entering business to not learn about cybercrime the hard way. That’s where you can serve as mentors on cybersecurity.
Techniques used by hackers and hacking software must be exposed so that managers and employees know how to spot nefarious online activity. But the one thing that darknets do well that legitimate businesses can learn from is encryption. You should offer this reliable form of jumbled code as well as:
- Infrastructure audits and risk assessments
- Policy oversight on restricted applications and websites
- Management and employee cybersecurity training sessions
What Hackers May Not Know
Ultimately, cybercriminals are not as anonymous as they imagine. The internet was invented by the government (ARPANET then DARPA). Federal officials are very aware of darknets and the black markets they facilitate. Even though hackers continue to become more sophisticated, the biggest ones often end up in prison. Still, enough get away with havoc that you should make sure clients are aware of vulnerabilities.
Many cybercriminals are wasting their time trying to penetrate companies that have taken the time to surround themselves with tech experts and build several security layers such as firewalls, virtualization, and encryption around their networks.
The key to a successful MSP company in the age of cybercrime is to demonstrate knowledge of attacks, how they happen and how to prevent them. The more you learn about cybercrime and share it with clients, the more you’ll build trust and credibility as an MSP.