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Dark Web: How to Measure Cybersecurity Risks

Last updated: 12 Apr 2023

Bad news. Cybercrime continues to rise and is becoming more costly to organizations. The “bad guys” are continuously working to find new ways to access your network and data. It isn’t a coincidence that at a time when companies are harnessing more digital technologies, more organizations are falling victim to attacks.

New technologies offer potential openings that hackers are more than willing to exploit. At the same time, social engineering attacks are increasingly used to garner a foothold into the organization.

How to Measure Cybersecurity Risks

Measuring cybersecurity risks requires serious planning and effort. It involves gathering intel and finding out which threats are most likely going to affect your organization. Depending on the type of business you run, you may be more susceptible to certain types of cybersecurity threats.

Identify Risks and Risk Appetite

To figure out how to measure cybersecurity risks, you need information about Indicators of Compromise (IoC), event data, and data sets. This info will help you identify what types of cybersecurity risks you’ll run into. It’ll also help you ascertain your risk appetite, which indicates the potential risk level and how severely it could damage your business.

The findings need to be granular and compiled into an extensive, actionable report. Even when the information collected does paint a clearer picture of what’s required, the next challenge is being able to respond with a timely plan to prevent a potential attack.


After you’ve identified potential risks, prioritize them based on their likelihood and level of impact. With an overview of the top cyberthreats you’re likely to encounter, you can develop a strategy to mitigate them.


Once the cybersecurity risks have been identified and treated, your systems, network, and strategies need to be carefully monitored. Taking a disciplined approach to watch over them will keep employees and management informed, and help maintain an open conversation about cyber risk management.

It’s a tremendous amount of work, and thanks to the deep web and dark web, it is easier than ever for hackers to change their strategy and launch further attacks from unknown servers. This is why vigilant monitoring is important, as it helps you stay informed and adapt to the latest cybersecurity developments.

What Are the Surface Web and Deep Web?

The overall web can be thought of as three separate groups: surface web, deep web, and dark web:

  • The surface web is anything that search engines can index. In other words, it’s everything you can find from searching on Google.
  • The deep web is everything else that isn’t indexed by search engines. It exists on the internet, but you can’t find it in any search results.
  • Then there’s the dark web, which is a small subset of the deep web. People often conflate the deep web vs. dark web, but there are some key differences.

The Deep Web vs. Dark Web

The deep web is the content of all the databases and web services that aren’t indexed by the search engines most people use. Think of your Netflix account, online email, or login credentials for your bank account. This online data is still part of the “web,” but you don’t want someone to be able to use a search engine and discover your bank account.

The dark web is a small percentage of the deep web and represents an encrypted network between Tor servers and clients. The dark web uses Tor servers derived from “The Onion Router” hidden service protocol, making users completely anonymous while surfing the web.

Is the Dark Web Real?

Nobody knows when the dark web first emerged, but the term has been around for at least a decade. Most internet users will discover surface-level web content via search engines like Google. Since the dark web is hidden within the deep web, it’s not likely that a typical internet user will stumble into the dark web or even know about it.

But the dark web is real. It’s only accessible through specialized software and networks such as Tor servers. These browsers are specifically designed to access the dark web. This puts up a strong barrier to entry, making the number of darknet users relatively small.

Is the Dark Web Safe?

When you enter the dark web, you aren’t accessing servers you would typically access via Google. All information that is routed through this network stays within it, providing additional security and privacy.

Publishers and users remain anonymous on the dark web, which makes it unregulated. It gives criminals a terrific platform to share information and exploit stolen data. It also provides new ways to get past anti-fraud controls and catch you where you’re most vulnerable.

What Is Dark Web Monitoring?

Some cybersecurity services offer dark web monitoring, which scans thousands of websites looking for personal information that cybercriminals may be using. Dark web monitoring services will look for unauthorized use and distribution of sensitive information like:

  • Email addresses
  • Social security numbers
  • Medical information
  • Drivers licenses
  • Login information
  • Passwords

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Bypassing Anti-Fraud Measures

One of the more costly crimes today is called business email compromise, or BEC. This is a tactic where employees are tricked into transferring funds into the criminal’s account. These attacks don’t contain malware, which is how they can get by the anti-fraud protocols. The employee sees it as an honest request and goes along with it.

Staying Safe

Not all cyberattacks are on major corporations. Small- to medium-sized businesses and even local governments are attacked more and more often. A culture of security awareness is crucial for any organization. Companies that place a high priority on this are the most successful at avoiding cyberattacks.

It’s crucial to look for ways to gain more visibility into threats and vulnerabilities, and bring in all the intelligence you can access for your cybersecurity teams and other business functions.

At BlackPoint IT Services, we understand that threats are becoming more advanced and more dangerous. That is why we’ve taken steps to ensure our clients are equipped with the best strategies for battling cybercriminals. We also offer a free cybersecurity assessment. The best way to avoid becoming tomorrow’s headline for the latest cyberattack is to have a strong offense. Get ready with BlackPoint IT.