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Dark web monitoring helps organisations increase their cyber maturity by keeping a close eye on the dark web to identify potential exposures.

A robust dark web monitoring programme ensures organisations have the ability to keep track of hidden risks and prevent any data losses from escalating into major events.

In this blog post, we outline how dark web monitoring works, how to maximise its value and what to look for in an outsourced dark web monitoring service.


How does dark web monitoring work?

Dark web monitoring involves searching through unindexed sites, chat rooms and P2P networks which are often hidden behind anonymised browsers. The process is non-invasive and requires no integration with computer networks or client data.

Dark web monitoring tools ingest large volumes of data and correlate it with a list of keywords which should be continually monitored. This list should be optimised over time to support specific monitoring objectives or risk profiles.


Dark web activity on the rise

Dark web monitoring is increasingly important for organisations. Activity on the dark web spiked 300% between 2017 and 2020 while a 2019 study showed that the number of listings on the dark web with the potential to harm an enterprise has increased by 20% since 2016.

Recently, data sets from several high-profile breaches have found their way onto the dark web, including personal data of customers, stolen intellectual property, video game engines and diplomatic documents.


The value of dark web monitoring

Dark web monitoring benefits companies in a number of important ways:

  • Protects sensitive employee and customer data, company information and IP
  • Provides valuable insight into adversary tradecraft and intelligence to defend against future attacks
  • Paints a fuller picture of system security to augment security surveys and testing
  • Supports better tailoring of cyber security strategies and resources
  • Provides an invaluable early warning mechanism for network breaches
  • Enables the identification of stolen credentials
  • Manages and mitigates third-party risks


What to look for in a dark web monitoring solution

In order to reap all the benefits of dark web monitoring, organisations must ensure they select a partner capable of providing a comprehensive service that covers the following key areas:

Process clarity

Dark web monitoring is a complex and time-consuming process. Organisations need to have a clear and accessible way for their teams to monitor what’s happening, from the number of files in which keywords were found to the threat type and source.


Ensure that the dark web monitoring solution you choose capable of analysing large volumes of data, but also flexible enough to adapt to meet your changing needs. Look for a dark web monitoring service with the versatility to support your organisation’s wider cyber security priorities.

Easily actionable alerts

To be able to act quickly in response to new threats on the dark web, actionable alerts are essential. Ensure that your dark web monitoring service provides credible alerts which are accompanied by tailored, strategic advice on the next steps your security team should take to protect your data or thwart a cyber-attack.

Combined technology and expertise

The sophistication of threats on the dark web means that technology alone is not enough. Working with a partner that combines AI with expert human analysis helps cut through the noise to eliminate false positives, ensuring that you receive only credible threats and saving your time to focus on real risks.

Comprehensive coverage

Monitoring the dark web without tracking other areas of concern undermines the value of dark web monitoring. Ensure that the dark web monitoring services you choose incorporate file sharing networks, IRC channels and other forums to deliver an extensive view of your organisation’s exposure.

Continual evolution

With cyber risks both within and beyond the dark web continually evolving, it’s important to select monitoring services which can adapt. This should include active research to refine and grow models and methodologies.


How Kroll and Redscan can help

Redscan and Kroll provide flexible dark web monitoring services to meet a range of needs. We provide tangible assessments of exposures and actionable mitigation guidance from acknowledged experts. This is achieved through analyst curation of relevant dark web threats and unique data collected from the 3000+ engagements we complete annually. We have 150 years of combined experience in threat intelligence and investigations in industry and government, so you can be confident that we are well placed to meet your needs.


Learn more about our dark web monitoring services