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Tales from the Dark Web

Dark Web

Last week we had the pleasure of joining more than 400 clients at the 35th annual Vision Conference — connecting business leaders to ideas and solutions. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing some insights from our fraud and identity dedicated session track.

I had the pleasure of presenting alongside the U.S. Secret Service, and we had a packed session to discuss the Dark Web — what it is, how it’s accessed, how criminals are exploiting it to commit fraud and the human impact of the massive global cybercrime problem. According to McAfee®, cybercrime represents a $500 billion cost to the global economy — and that’s projected to rise to $600 billion this year, outpacing any other form of crime. With the Internet economy generating between $2 trillion and $3 trillion annually, that means cybercrime is extracting roughly 15 to 20 percent of the entire value created by the Internet. This is a massive problem, and it’s not going away.

Unfortunately, there are countless tools and services to commit fraud available on the Web, providing attackers with the cloak of anonymity they need to compromise accounts, mimic legitimate users and submit fraudulent transactions. Device intelligence helps unmask these activities. It is a critical component to defend against the threat, and it provides insight into every interaction throughout a typical customer journey (from account setup to login and account maintenance to transactions). Without this visibility into users’ historical behavior and typical population patterns, organizations often have limited options to target attackers and identify anomalous behaviors. This is key to a successful cybercrime detection and mitigation strategy.

Another important point in the session regarded recent law enforcement and private industry successes in identifying, tracking, apprehending and prosecuting online attackers. We thankfully have made significant strides in this area, as evidenced by the work of the Secret Service and other law enforcement organizations, but the collaboration must continue — and intensify. As mentioned in a CNBC story published on the same day as our presentation, the Dark Web is an increasingly mainstream source for everything from financial crime to drug trade and human trafficking. Unfortunately, most businesses are in the dark about the growing criminal underground, but Experian can help. With proper fraud expertise and innovative tools to defend against these ever-evolving threats, organizations can uncloak the attackers and safeguard the business.