Revealing the ‘dark web’ boogeyman

Written on Dec 06, 2018

By Jessica Salerno, OSCPA senior content manager

If the term “the dark web” seems mysterious, that’s because for most people it is.

“It’s starting to enter popular conversation,” said Bob Coppedge, owner, Simplex-IT. He said it’s important that business leaders understand the risks the dark web can create.

Coppedge will speak at the Dec. 19 Fraud and Forensic Accounting Conference in Columbus to give accountants a better understanding of the dark web and how it might impact the profession.

“We’re going to take all of the hype and the hyperbole out of what the dark web is and talk about the risks,” Coppedge said. “We’ll talk about how the bad guys and gals have found a way to use anonymity to their benefit and broker in nefarious data.”

Coppedge said very few people actually have experience on the dark web, and it’s trickier to access than most people realize. And rather than assuming it won’t affect you, it’s important accountants know what the dark web could mean for business.

Because the grim reality is that eventually, someone will try to access your system for sinister means.

“No matter how much protection and how many tools and how many layers of cyber security you implement, there’s still a chance that somebody or something will get through and cause damage,” Coppedge said.

It’s up to the organization how prepared to be for that likelihood. A point not often discussed enough, Coppedge said, is the importance of training staff on the right procedures. Because all it could take is a click on a suspicious link in an email that impacts the entire company.

“Even if you have the best, most secure door lock on your front door, if people forget to lock the door, it isn’t doing to do you much good,” Coppedge said.

Coppedge said proper security when it comes to the dark web will require more proactive measures from the IT industry and management. IT needs to stress the importance of end user training while management needs to implement and take the training seriously.

“Cyber security is a serious challenge for all companies large and small,” Coppedge said. “You need to deal with it. And you can’t abdicate the solution to your IT people. Management has to take an active role and have some level of training for their employees.”

Register for the Fraud & Forensic Conference today.

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