Every blink of an eye marks an advancement in technology in the current world.
Through the invention of the World Wide Web and search machines such as Google and Yahoo, we can easily access information anytime we need it.
The information that we easily access is contained in the surface web, which can be easily accessed by normal search engines such as the Google. This makes up only 4 percent of the content available on the surface web.
The other data is contained in the deep web, which makes up 96 percent of the information online.
The deep web is an undiscoverable portion of the World Wide Web which is not easily accessed by standard search engines.
The deep web contains the dark web, which is an intentionally hidden, completely ungoverned portion of the internet where communication occurs in full anonymity.
This writeup is meant to explore the impact of the dark web on cybersecurity and internet governance.
Cybersecurity and Internet Governance
The emergence of the dark web has led to increasingly malicious activities on the internet. This has impacted the effectiveness of cybersecurity and internet governance.
Cybersecurity aims to protect information systems and data for any organization, while internet governance comprises of the evolving policies and rules under which online users make decisions on internet use and development.
The above two bodies have been put in place so as to ensure that the integrity of the use of the internet is considered by any user and ensure that no illegal operations take place.
Impact of the Dark Web
The dark web uses the Tor network, which promotes anonymous communication by encrypting data to various portions and transmitting it to network nodes called onion routers.
The Tor network is used by political campaigners together with activists around the world to maintain the privacy of their communication so as to avoid counter attacks by the government.
But, some ill-intentioned entities can transmit false information and even plan unlawful attacks against the government, and this creates challenges to the internet governance and cybersecurity control centers.
The dark web also provides a favorable environment for hackers to conduct illegal businesses.
They conduct the trade of stolen goods and counterfeit items to the highest bidders while also hosting various forums related to money laundering using cryptocurrencies and other illegal activities. In addition to being a hub for cybercriminals, the dark web is also a venue for drug trafficking operations.
This has reduced trust to all forms of businesses conducted via the internet.
This is why many consumers and businesses people prefer to conduct only a few businesses which they can earn trust on them rather than engaging in multiple businesses and finally ending up with a total loss.
Relying on these internet law enforcement centers has become a non-solution in combating this crime as it continues to persist day in day out.
The dark web has also contributed to the rise of global cybercrime. This has been a concern since the early-2000s.
In 2005, a study by the United States Office of Cybercrime showed that this premise had out-numbered the cases of theft, record mishandling and other forms of data breaches.
The study showed that hacking and other forms of organized crimes contributed to 61 percent of threats in data protection, and about 76 percent of executives who dealt with the internet expressed their concern on cybercrime.
Cybercrime has been rapidly increasing in the U.S., prompting calls for everybody (not only the data protection agencies) to adopt ways of dealing with the threats.
The use of the dark web has also propelled child abuse, as much of its contents are comprised of child exploitation material.
Studies have shown that many predators and abusers use the Tor network so that they may hide their activities.
It takes approximately six months to analyze 2 percent of the content contained in the dark web, and hence becomes too difficult to control.
The rapid growth of dark web forums has led to the easy distribution of encrypted technologies and hacking codes, which makes it difficult for the internet protection agencies to control.
The number of hackers carrying out their activities on the dark web is rapidly rising and more people are employing the use of cyberattack services or even learning how to manage it for themselves without being tracked.
Solutions: Employee Training, System Updates & Building Awareness
In order to protect your business, firm or any other sector of the government from cybercrimes, management should not only rely on the internet security agency but ensure that they train their workers on ransomware protection.
Ransomware is a type of cyberattack wherein hackers use malicious software—which is often sourced from the dark web—to gain unauthorized access to computer systems and networks.
They then encrypt all the data in the targeted system and threaten to publish the information or even limit users to access the data unless payment is done.
Employee training will build up a culture of effective data security and prevention of data loss, so that staff members will always be alert in case anything mischievous is about to happen.
In conclusion, it is important for every organization with outdated technology to update its systems to the current standards.
An outdated system is always at a high risk of data breaches because its technology was never designed to cope with modern data attacks.
Effective security promotes an effective background in coping with security threats. It is also wise for IT experts to make regular preparations on the ways to conquer the threats associated with the various malicious activities that take place in the dark web.
This will enable easier working and coordination of both internet governance and cybersecurity—hence improving its effectiveness.