Report Finds Over 400% Increase In Rate Of Data Breaches Year Over Year

Cybercrime is a big part of the news these days.

You hear about data breaches, identity theft and more on a seemingly daily basis. Don’t make the mistake of assuming it’s all being exaggerated to get your attention. If anything, there are too many data breaches for the news to keep up with.

4IQ published a report this year that lists a number of alarming statistics about how cybercrime is becoming more and more common:

  • There were 12,499 confirmed data breaches in 2018 – a 424% increase when compared to 2017.
  • The average breach compromised 216,884 records.
  • 14.9 billion stolen identity records were exchanged by cybercriminals online.

“As our personal data continues to get exposed and circulated in underground markets, the problem of identity-based attacks is only growing,” said Monica Pal, CEO of 4IQ.

Is Your Data For Sale Online?

If you haven’t experienced a data breach, you’re probably confident that your data isn’t in anyone’s possession other than your own. But are you sure?

After all, did you know it takes most businesses up to 6 months to find out that they’ve experienced a data breach?

What if you were hit a few months ago and didn’t realize it? How long might your data have been online without you knowing it? If it is, where would it even be?

Is Your Data On The Dark Web?

When cybercriminals want to buy or sell private data, they go to the Dark Web.

The Dark Web is a small part of the much larger “deep web” – the common name for an extensive collection of websites that aren’t accessible through normal Internet browsers. These websites are hidden from the everyday Internet — or Clearnet — users through the use of overlay networks.

They’re built on the framework of networks that already exist, and there are a lot of them. In fact, the Deep Web makes up the majority of the information online. Which, when you consider how vast the corner of the Internet you frequent is, is nothing short of terrifying.

How Does Your Information Get On The Dark Web?

Cybercriminals employ a range of tactics to steal your information and then sell it online. Before they can start advertising on the Dark Web, they have to get their hands on your info first.

A few strategies they might use include…

  • Phishing: Phishing emails are sent to large numbers of users simultaneously in an attempt to “fish” sensitive information by posing as reputable sources; often with legitimate-looking logos attached.
  • Spear Phishing: This is a much more focused form of phishing. The cybercriminal has either studied up on the group or has gleaned data from social media sites to con users.
  • Social Engineering: LinkedIn, Facebook and other venues provide a wealth of information about organizational personnel. This can include their contact information, connections, friends, ongoing business deals and more.

What If Your Data Is On The Dark Web Right Now?

It can be difficult for the average user to access the Dark Web and find the right sites to see if their info is for sale. After all, there’s no Google for that part of the Internet.

There’s only so much you can do on your own – but there are now more direct ways of checking whether your data has been compromised on the Dark Web. Many security vendors now offer cyber-surveillance monitoring solutions that can scan the dark web for your credentials.

Allow Network Heroes to help – our dark web scanning solution will keep tabs on the shadiest corners of the online world 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – no exceptions.

Remember, you can’t make this go away by ignoring it. If there’s a chance your personal data could be on the Dark Web right now, you owe it to yourself to make sure it isn’t and to take additional steps to protect your data from future theft and sale.

Like this article? Check out the following blogs to learn more:

LabCorp Data Breach: What We Know

Watch Out: File Hijacking and Malware Possible Through Slack Bug

How to Cyber Secure Your Company in 60 Minutes or Less