When companies like LifeLock originally came on the scene, not many people knew about the dark web. Times have changed. To protect a company, employees, and clients today, many businesses have taken the precaution of hiring IT services companies to do continuous monitoring for their identities on the dark web. In this article, we’ll answer the following essential questions.

  • Is identity theft and the dark web as much of a problem as the hype suggests?
  • What data are criminals trying to get, and why?
  • Does a business have ID?
  • What is Dark Web ID and What Does It Do?
  • What is Spotlight ID and What Does It Do?
  • What other options are out there? (Competition)

Is Dark Web Monitoring a Business Necessity?

It’s odd how we think about things sometimes. We have monitors for our babies. We have monitored alarms for our businesses and homes. We have cameras watching over our yards. They even sell monitors for pets!

But when it comes to monitoring our identities, we tend to “fly by the seat of our pants.”

Why?

It’s likely a combination of lack of information and a dash of denial.

“It won’t happen to me.”

Here’s the deal.

Identity theft is real, and because you own or manage a business, you’re a bigger target than the next guy.

Why?

Because your identifiers open the virtual doors to your business.

So here’s the question…

Is Identity Theft And The Dark Web As Much Of A Problem As The Hype Suggests?

Way back in 2015, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission released a report that said,

“small and midsize businesses (“SMBs”) are not just targets of cybercrime, they are its principal target. In fact, the majority of all targeted cyberattacks last year were directed at SMBs. Even more disconcerting is the fact that cybercrime represents an existential threat for SMBs. It has been estimated that half of the small businesses that suffer a cyberattack go out of business within six months as a result.”

Things have only escalated in the years since this warning.

What Data Are Criminals Trying To Get, And Why?

Cybercriminals utilize every tool at their disposal.

  • Phishing
  • Spyware
  • Data Breaches / Hacking
  • Pretexting
  • Social Engineering
  • Shoulder Surfing
  • Skimming Credit Cards
  • Credit Report Theft

What are they looking to steal?

  • Passwords
  • Credit Card Numbers
  • Date of Birth
  • Email Addresses
  • Social Security Numbers
  • Mother’s Maiden Name
  • First Pet
  • Name

Why do they want this information?

Usually, the criminal that steals your information is not the one that uses your information. Usually, criminals that steal identifiers such as those noted above bulk sell them on the dark web to those who will use them to impersonate you, steal your money, and ruin your credit.

Does A Business Have ID?

A business, like a person, has an identity – both legally and practically.

A credit card illegally opened under a business name is just as good – sometimes more so – to the criminal as one opened under the name of an individual.

Businesses have:

  • Legal Identification Numbers
  • Credit Cards
  • Social Media Accounts
  • Web Application Accounts
  • Corporate Email Addresses
  • Bank Accounts

These items make up the company’s financial and online “identity.”

What is Dark Web ID and What Does It Do?

Dark Web ID is a service offered by IT Services companies that monitor the dark web for instances of a company’s identifiers. When these identifiers are spotted on the dark web, they are then monitored and where possible removed.

Dark Web ID provides:

  • Proactive Protection
  • Real-Time Validated Data
  • Easy Deployment (by an IT Services team)
  • Industry-leading Support (through vendor and IT services team)
  • Alerts and Reports of Dark Web Activity

What Is Spotlight ID and What Does It Do?

While Dark Web ID is focused on monitoring the dark web for your company’s identifiers, Spotlight IT is a “comprehensive identity protection” solution for employees and their families. Spotlight ID is backed by a 1 million dollar identity theft restoration guarantee.

Some of the features of Spotlight ID are:

  • Secure – Use it without worry.
  • Easy Enrollment – No difficult hoops for your employees or their families to jump through.
  • 3 Plans – Your IT services team will explain your options.
  • Social Media Monitoring – A layer of protection for you and your kids on social media.
  • Email Credential Monitoring – To keep your company email credentials from becoming the access keys the bad guys use to get into the company network.

What Other Options Are Out There? (Competition)

We already talked a little bit about LifeLock. They were pretty much the first to hit the public eye. But since then a number of options have become available. Some are simply focused on the home user, but other, more sophisticated options have options for businesses as well. Here are a few for you to look up as you do your due diligence. One thing to note, however, is that not all of these options are supported by IT services companies. Ideally, you will have all of your technology managed and maintained by your IT support team – ensuring the best security possible.

  • IDShield
  • Identity Guard
  • LifeLock
  • IdentityForce
  • Equifax ID Patrol
  • Experian Identity Works
  • ProtectMyID

If you’d like some help sorting through the options, the TOTLCOM team of IT security professionals would be happy to assist. Just give us a call!

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