Monitoring Dark Web key to building secure networks

The Internet underworld known as the “Dark Web” could hold potential as a useful cybersecurity tool when it comes to protecting networks.

While it’s known as a marketplace for contraband and subculture activity, network defenders have found that movement in the Dark Web can help predict potential hacks and breaches.

Leo Taddeo, Chief Security Officer at Cryptzone and former FBI Special Agent in charge of the bureau’s Special Operations Cyber Division in New York, spoke on the Federal Drive with Tom Temin about what network defenders can do to help their agencies and companies.

Leo Taddeo
Leo Taddeo, Cryptzone

“We do see, for example, some hacktivist groups using dark and deep Web technologies to communicate, [and] post on certain sites,” Taddeo said. “This type of monitoring can give advanced notice of a denial of service attack or some other action against your organization.”

Taddeo said it’s important for network defenders to know that there are ways to safeguard their outfits, even without an intelligence section.

“There are services out there big and small that can monitor the Dark Web for you and give you advanced notice,” Taddeo said. “There are also forms you can draw in on information sharing platforms that can provide the same type of information sort of giving you that intelligence and threat-based approach to your defense that everybody’s looking for.”

Yet, CSOs still face challenges when it comes to safeguarding data.

As systems become more integrated, it also becomes more difficult to track where lost and stolen data goes because it’s harder to track who or what is on a network.

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“We have a distributed enterprise in most agencies, meaning that the network assets are all over the place, and we also have distributed data,” Taddeo said. “Its very difficult to figure out where our data is.”

While some trends are working against cybersecurity experts, monitoring networks overall is becoming easier. Taddeo said that switching to cloud-based operations will help keep track of who and what is on a network.

“The cloud platforms will allow us to use the machines to identify what assets are on our networks and more accurately, more completely visualize and monitor that traffic,” he said.

Overall, Taddeo said keeping up with trends in cybersecurity will be tough, but not impossible to adapt to.

“In the long run, we’re going to have a somewhat easier time consolidating all these assets and monitoring them.” he said. “It’s just going to take that investment, and that time and that work to build out these more robust platforms so that we can keep better track of it.”

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