infoTECH Feature

December 20, 2016

IP Monitoring: How Deep Should You Go in Protecting Your Digital Assets?

Digital piracy is continually rising, and bootlegged TV shows, songs and movies are only scratching the surface. For businesses, the bigger threat is the risk of their confidential data and assets falling into the wrong hands. Think Sony. Think State Department. Think Ashley Madison (and a whole lot of others).

There are a handful of potential attack vectors that can get malicious hackers inside systems and databases, and businesses will need to become more proactive in dealing with these threats. So, the question is, what level of protection do we need depending on our business size? This article will look into IP monitoring and cyber threat analysis, with focus on solutions that leverage real-time tracking and monitoring across clearnet and deep and dark Webs.

Clearnet Threats

As we’ve seen over the past several years, websites without proper IP monitoring have fallen victim to breaches in security. When a company is fairly small and has fewer assets, the threat is obviously smaller. But, without the proper safeguards in place, even the smallest amount of data can be accessed and exposed fairly easily. Especially as your company grows and your data becomes more complex, it can be very challenging to gather and monitor important insights about potential threats to your precious resources.

Since it’s increasingly common for organizations to rely on multiple disparate data sources, threats can go by undetected if they’re not consolidated into one clear language and system. This lack of monitoring can have detrimental consequences. In fact, these undetected threats can end up costing enterprises up to $400 billion a year.

If your enterprise lacks well-structured IT resources with a combination of proper security platforms and experts, you are risking a great deal. Ultimately, a heavy-duty and secure external threat monitoring platform is necessary, regardless of business size. Otherwise, your brand and reputation can be destroyed, sensitive information can be exposed and abused, and the business can even go under.

Apart from protecting corporate data, you will also need to protect your intellectual property, such as custom applications, trade secrets and other information. To prevent any leaks or theft, it’s important to deploy an intellectual property monitoring solution that can detect whether someone is actively distributing or selling your content illegally. With the right tools in place, clearnet threats can typically be detected and prevented. The problem, however, is that hackers are becoming more advanced with their strategies and are creating ways of getting around these security systems.

Deep and Dark Web Threats

While clearnet threats are certainly dangerous, problems deriving from the deep and dark Web are much more severe. Today, these hackers are capable of accessing and exploiting confidential data on multiple levels, from using customer credit card information, to creating fake citizenship documents and passports with stolen identities, to blackmailing customers with their private information. There are no limits to what they’ll do. These breaches in security and threat to personal information can do an incredible amount of damage and can destroy an enterprise if not prevented.

Attacks are also becoming more complex. According to Verizon’s (News - Alert) 2015 Data Breach Investigations Report, “as much as 70 percent of cyberattacks use a combination of phishing and hacking techniques and involve a secondary victim.” These complex hacking strategies are even more difficult to detect, and can spread like wildfire since it’s now common for them to sell their techniques for as low as $5 online. It’s not surprising that these attacks are extremely difficult to identify and prevent, regardless of organization size.


The answer then seems obvious. Why wouldn’t enterprises simply improve their IT team structure and systems, then? Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. These heavy-duty, powerful data-crunchers that offer intense monitoring often cost millions of dollars a year, and require specialized IT professionals to implement and monitor them on a regular basis. It can be very costly and time-intensive for most companies, regardless of size. This prevents enterprises from investing in these tools.

An emerging trend today involves cloud-based IP monitoring tools that are now built to offer maximum security for your company’s assets without the traditional complexities attached. This includes products for each type of security issue, such as copyright and trademark infringement, identify theft, and cybersquatting. It’s essential for enterprises to be capable of monitoring the deep and dark Web, identifying potential violations that may be happening within your internal network, and discovering reputation threats with error-free algorithms. It’s an all-in-one, manageable solution to every Web security threat, big and small.

Ultimately, enterprises today require a fool-proof system that has the ability to monitor activity 24/7 and detect threats before they occur. Otherwise, you can fall victim to these threats, no matter the size of your organization.

Edited by Alicia Young

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