Most people have heard of the dark web, but you may be a bit fuzzy about what actually goes on in this mysterious underworld. The short answer is nothing good.
The dark web operates as a substratum of the internet and can only be accessed with specialized software. It’s estimated to be over 500 times larger than the regular web and growing daily. Criminals sell entry software across a vast network that spans the globe, and once they are inside, they can play havoc with your personal information. Identify thieves, scam artists and hackers all buy and sell your data across the dark web, and you rarely have any idea of what’s happening until calamity strikes.
Digital credentials like usernames and passwords are among the most valuable commodities traded on the dark web. Ironically, the easiest point of entry for hackers to steal your personal information is through an application you use every day – your email.
Barracuda Essentials provides multi-layer cloud-based security to protect your email from unauthorized access and data theft. The following are just a few threats that Barracuda Essentials is purpose-built to block.
It’s the oldest way to spread malware and still the most popular. Up to 85% of spam attachments spread ransomware, which deletes files at random until you pay the attacker a specified fee. By clicking on a link in a spam email, the user is directed to a malicious site that drops a payload onto their computer. Payloads can continue to deposit malware, collect sensitive information with spyware, or encrypt files to make them essentially unusable.
Emails which contain viruses threaten not only your own security but that of every individual or organization on your contact list. The malware uses your contact list to replicate itself, spreading the infection to all of your clients and associates. Even if someone in your organization innocently clicked on an attachment that appeared to come from a reputable source, your name and reputation can be attached to the spam that’s spread through your contacts.
These emails copy information from legitimate sites and pretend to come from your bank, utility or your credit card company. They can even mirror the types of internal emails that circulate within your business. They will ask for sensitive information like account numbers or passwords, which are then traded on the dark web.
Advertisements and Scams
Even though most people know better, there’s always a danger that someone on your network will open an email that offers a special deal on a product or service. Clicking on the link it inevitably contains will start the spread of malware.
Emails relay information between servers using a Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP). That means any message you send or receive passes through various servers along the way. Unsecured emails are those that aren’t protected while in transit and can pick up viruses and malware at any point in the process. With an unsecured server, login information isn’t encrypted which allows anyone else to enter the user’s account and steal or manipulate sensitive data. In short, unsecured emails are perfect delivery vehicles for bugs, viruses and trojan horses.
Barracuda Essentials for Office 365 does more than protect your personal information. It also blocks Denial-of-Service attacks, which can cripple your network by flooding it with traffic or triggering a crash. For as long as the dark web thrives, you can rest easy if Barracuda Essentials is guarding your mail.