The popularity of the brand officer, whether through outsource, CMO office, or a dedicated hire, has become table stakes for today’s businesses.  Companies are adding capabilities and awareness to their growing online and media footprint as their priorities allow.  What started out as little more than search engine optimization (SEO) has been expanding at a rate proportional to the consumer adoption of social media outlets.  Customer service portals adopting social media staffing and app-based chatting tools are now the dominant connection for much of the world for seeking help.  So it’s not a stretch for the CEO and CIO in today’s global economy to want to pay attention to their brand awareness.  Modern machine learning and smart bots are continuously mining the nooks and crannies of the interwebs looking for keywords that can be leading indicators of good and bad.

This is intelligence gathering -- looking for sentiment analysis, opportunities to repair or correct public opinion -- using those areas of the Internet sometimes called the surface web, meaning, those common sites and places where most users spend their time.  The surface web is generally accessed through common API’s, search engines, queries, and log analysis; brand experts can accomplish amazing things with would be minimal teams.  But this is just the surface however, maybe less than 5% of what is out there.  Below the surface is the deep web, harder to access, locked down, protected, walled off from the public, accessible through credentialed (authorized) access.  But that is not the end of the story.  There is also something beyond the deep web called the dark web.  Many people today, have heard, maybe through Hollywood or the news of this thing called the Darknet.  The Darknet was created for privacy, anonymity, purposefully obscured, and yet built on top of the Internet.  Unlike the deep web, the Darknet is only accessible with special tools and software - browsers and other tools beyond direct links or credentials. You cannot access the Darknet by simply typing a dark web address into your web browser.   It should be noted that not all activity on the Darknet is with criminal intent, but those users who go there share a desire for privacy and secrecy.

One very real aspect of the Darknet is a dark social network, one that can and should be monitored with similar intensity as Facebook and Twitter. No company wants to deal with surprises, and no company wants to end up on the Darknet as a target or even topic of discussion.  There is one company that scans the Darknet with a mission to be the world’s leading Darknet content and tools provider and to empower clients to continually improve their cybersecurity defenses. DarkOwl developed a platform that works at the speed of the Internet to efficiently find leaked or otherwise compromised sensitive information By driving up a company’s Darknet internal (situational) awareness, DarkOwl can alert in real-time in cases of data integrity, data mitigation strategies, and breach analysis because informed decisions depend largely on the sensitivity of the lost data and even malicious intent. Whether as a target for scam or fraud, malware, or hacking, there are not many good reasons to have your company name show up on the Darknet. Just as the Marines own the night, so too does DarkOwl expose their dark vision capabilities on the growing Darknet.

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