The Dark Web: What is it and why should SMBs be keeping an eye on it?

In recent years, the term “Dark Web” has gained a lot of attention and notoriety in the media. While it may sound like something out of a sci-fi movie, the Dark Web is a very real and potentially dangerous place that businesses should be aware of, especially those that rely on digital technology to conduct their daily operations.

So, what exactly is the Dark Web? It is a part of the internet that is not indexed by traditional search engines. This means that websites and content on the Dark Web are not easily accessible through standard internet browsers like Chrome or Firefox. Instead, users need to use specialized software to access it. Because of this, it has become a haven for cybercriminals who use it to sell and exchange stolen data, malware, and hacking tools. Cybercriminals also use the Dark Web to communicate with each other anonymously, making it difficult for law enforcement agencies to track down and prosecute them.

SMBs At Highest Risk

For small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), the Dark Web presents a significant threat. Cybercriminals are constantly on the lookout for vulnerabilities in IT systems, and the Dark Web provides them with a marketplace to sell the tools they need to exploit these vulnerabilities. SMBs are often seen as low-hanging fruit by cybercriminals, as they may not have the same level of IT and cybersecurity resources as larger organizations.

Tracking Stolen Data

One of the most significant risks posed by the Dark Web is the sale of stolen data. Cybercriminals can obtain sensitive information such as credit card numbers, passwords, and personal identification information (PII) through various means, such as phishing attacks, malware, or social engineering. This information is then sold on the Dark Web to other cybercriminals who can use it for identity theft, financial fraud, or other illegal activities. SMB IT and cybersecurity teams can proactively monitor the Dark Web for any signs of stolen data being sold. They can then take steps to mitigate the risk, such as informing affected customers, resetting passwords, and implementing stronger security measures.

Staying Up To Date On Evolving Malware Threats

Another risk posed by the Dark Web is the sale of hacking services. Cybercriminals with skills in malware development can offer their services to other hackers with their eyes on potential SMB targets. These services can range from simple DDoS attacks to more complex network intrusions. SMB IT and cybersecurity teams can proactively monitor the Dark Web for any signs of hacking services being offered. They can then take steps to strengthen their network defenses and prevent these attacks from occurring.

Seeking Assistance

One way for SMBs with less internal IT expertise to still remain on top of cyber threats posed by the Dark Web is to engage a cybersecurity firm offering the necessary monitoring services. The best firms should offer not only monitoring, but also the ability to engage and resolve any issues found. This way, SMBs can be sure that they are actively addressing any security risks and protecting their data from malicious actors. Additionally, engaging a cybersecurity firm to monitor the Dark Web can also help SMBs stay ahead of the competition by taking proactive measures instead of reacting to threats as they arise. With the right partner, businesses can be sure that their data and assets are safe from malicious actors lurking in the shadows.


Altourage is a client-obsessed managed service provider, offering IT and Cybersecurity services to clients in ‘high-trust’ sectors, including Financial Services, Professional Services and Nonprofit Organizations.  

We offer both fully managed and co-managed services – customizing our services or integrating with our clients’ existing teams to build successful long-term partnerships.