The Dark Web: Where Your Stolen Data is a Commodity

Your Data and The Dark Web At this point daily, you and your team are most likely getting emails, texts and direct messages from people claiming everything from needing a verification on a bank account, that you won a million dollars in a contest you didn’t enter, or HR needs your login credentials, from accounts that aren’t what they seem. These social engineering attacks serve one purpose, to get access to your network and grab your and your client’s information. This could be anything from logins to bank accounts, to social security numbers. While at times these are being used directly by the hackers themselves, for the most part, they serve another purpose. These are sold as goods and services on

the dark web.


Think of the web like the earth. What we deal with every day, is akin to the part of the planet we live on and walk on. This is called the clear web, as it is the part that is the most visual to us. Beneath that,the crust into the core, is known as the deep web. In there are things that require access to enter, from files for corporations, data, and media to

streaming services, and everything in between. Inside the Deep Web, is the Dark Web. The Dark Web is a cloaked subsection that requires a special browser and a

VPN to access and is full of marketplaces where the illicit is traded, as well as housing sites for federal organizations, news, and social media accessible to

those in countries with blocked access to the internet. It is for better or worse, the unregulated version of the world wide web.

One of the main things for sale on the dark web is data. This data comes in the form of consumer records such as credit card information, bank information, passwords from everything to business networks to Netflix logins. These are often sold by hackers in the form of dumps. Dumps are when large troves of information are sold, oftentimes for under 100 dollars, to be perused through by malicious actors to gain access to useable accounts. While a dump may contain over 10000 credit card names and numbers, not all of

them will work. From there, hackers and scammers go through these to find the ones that will work and exploit these opportunities. Some of these scammers can even clone cards, creating usable physical cards that can be disposed of as needed.

The other thing that is sold is access to accounts. This goes past just providing the logins and letting the criminals figure it out for themselves. This is taking compromised accounts, be it Western Union, PayPal, Venmo or bank accounts, and making transfers directly from said accounts and into the hands of the would-be thieves. These are also sold on the dark web for pennies on the dollar, making the attractive for criminals looking to make a quick buck.

RaaS and The Rise of Cyber Attacks Cyber attacks have become lucrative business for this reason. Not only can they offer direct payment in the form of ransom, but also

a secondary source of income in the form of selling access and data to whoever can pay for it. For this reason, hackers are selling their malware, spyware, and ransomware in the same way Microsoft offers it’s Office365 service. Malicious actors from disgruntled former employees to amateur hackers can purchase this software ready made and ready to be unleashed on unsuspecting people and organizations. While these methods are highly illegal and can land someone years in jail for getting caught, unfortunately they are to prevalent to stop, and are a worldwide problem, many times originating from countries without extradition and without the want to prosecute these crimes themselves.

Therefore it is imperative that you be vigilant in protecting your data and your customers data, as well as checking your network for flaws that will allow malicious actors to access your network. Encryption within your network is key. You should have your files encrypted to anyone who isn’t supposed to have access to your network. This way if there is a breach, they won’t be able to discern anything important from the illegally gained information.

Passwords should be changed regularly. Use a random password generator in order to ensure that your team doesn’t use the easily hackable passwords such as pets names, birthdays, and other personal information. How your team carries themselves on social media is also very important. Oftentimes we feel the need to overshare on social media, which leaves us vulnerable to cyber attackers. Make sure they set their pages to private, so that only the people they want to access their pages can. Avoid posting things that are to personal, making it harder for malicious viewers to wean passwords based off of the photos given. Also keep in mind that access to social media accounts is also available on the dark web, often for under $40, so things that you think are only accessible to you, may not be.

The best thing you can do is have a great partner on your side. An MSP like Delval Technology Solutions has many approaches they can take. They can scour the dark web for your data, which would save you time, money and even save your security as even surfing the dark web can leave you open to malware and ransomware attacks. From there, they can fortify your network through testing to find the vulnerabilities, and patches to shore them up. Your endpoints, which is tech for entrances and exits, will be monitored, and

protected, ensuring that only the people you want to get in, can get in. Finally, they will monitor your network in real time to keep it as airtight as possible.

For more information, be sure to check out our whitepaper The Dark Web and Your Small Business, available at It is free and filled with facts, infographics, pictures and everything else you need to understand the dangers of the dark web. From there, contact us for your free Dark Web report, so you can see firsthand if you have been compromised.

it consulting

3 Ways Your Business Could Benefit from an IT Consulting Service

To be sure that your business is productive, efficient and capable of growth, it’s important to prioritize the health and functionality of your IT infrastructure. This will allow you to keep your critical data safe and your business operations up and running. Even in the event of disaster, IT consulting increases the productivity and value of your business. That being said, it’s not always easy to prioritize your technology obligations in addition to managing the other day-to-day demands of regular business operations.

That's why you need to invest in IT consulting services with <a href="">Delval Technology </a>, which has a strong and reliable IT support team that can empower your business with the ability to thrive and sustain future growth. This blog highlights the three ways to benefit from professional IT support services.


While your organization may be the best in your line of business, your in-house IT staff may be shortchanging your efforts. The IT staff may not have the professional expertise needed to advise you on how to implement the best IT solutions for your business. An IT consultant on the other hand will have the industry-specific knowledge plus years of experience to make sure your company is optimizing its usage of IT technologies. The goal is to continually streamline the procurement and integration of IT solutions to ensure any issues with your technology can be alleviated quickly and efficiently.

Recognizing bottlenecks is the first step to determine if you need expert IT consulting. An expert helps your business spot potential IT-related issues before they get the chance to greatly affect your workflow. This proves invaluable if your current IT department is only capable of patching up IT problems, instead of preventing or mitigating them. Recognizing bottlenecks is the first step to determine if you need expert IT consulting.


While buying new software, hardware and equipment can save you money, purchasing unnecessary upgrades or updates can easily waste it. For example, some companies may choose to buy multiple moderately priced servers to run web services instead of incorporating one or two powerful machines with virtualization technologies. Other companies may make the mistake of purchasing expensive equipment for a project that requires intensive computing resources for a limited amount of time rather than using scalable, cloud-based services and paying only for the resources they actually use.

When you partner with <a href="">Delval Technology </a>, we’ll set you up with an affordable technology solution that covers all your current support needs. This way, you can seamlessly scale up or down depending on the evolving needs of your business. This is often the best service model for businesses looking to accommodate periodic, seasonal or other unexpected fluctuations in their workload without paying for underutilized capability year-round.


If left unaddressed, technology issues can become more than a severe bottleneck in your business’s day-to-day operations. They can also lead to serious problems, such as cyberattacks and lost revenue. If you rely on backup drives to save your files, you may be exposing sensitive information to potential hackers and leaving your business open to serious losses in the event of a data breach. Do you have a plan in place to detect and halt an attempted breach before it occurs? How about a backend disaster recovery plan in the event your sensitive data does get leaked?

If not, it’s time to patch up the security vulnerabilities of your company and hire an IT consultant. Not only will they be able to identify any areas that put your business at risk, but also provide the best mixture of IT support solutions for your unique needs. A managed service partner can help prevent extended downtime that could result in your company losing thousands of dollars in potential revenue.


If your business is suffering from any of the problems described above or any other IT concerns, it’s time to partner with a professional in IT consulting that can provide your business with tools, resources and expertise your business needs to succeed. Don’t wait until the problems are overwhelming to bring in the support you need.

Why The Broke/Fix Method is Broken

We have all heard the phrase “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. While that is sound advice on certain things that we do in our lives, it also points to a problem many face when it comes to the modern business world. Many of us work on the thought process that the only time you need to concern yourself with issues is when something is broken, but that is an antiquated thought process in many aspects of enterprise. Your business IT, computer system and network fall into this category. You need to be proactive when dealing with

your tech, but unfortunately, many companies still rely on the old “broke/fix” method of waiting for something to go wrong before addressing it. This approach can lose many businesses productivity, and money.


The broke fix model makes sense for so many things that we use in our day-to-day life. Something in your house breaks, well, call someone to fix it. Your car breaks down, then head to a mechanic. Even some medical issues are better treated with broke/fix, after all you are not going to treat a leg that isn’t already broken.

Your network, however, is none of these things. The broke fix method worked fine thirty plus years ago, when your network was only interconnected within your office, and your computers were not always online. Back then, you had a problem, you needed a technician, but you really did not have to have one in house or on contract. Your phone lines were traditional copper wire phone lines. Most of your files and bookkeeping was done with massive piles of papers, filing cabinets, and ink. Your PC’s were mainly used for emails, word processing, and web surfing purposes, and were all attached to an in house server.

Just as with everything else in our world, your network, and therefore your network needs have evolved. High speed internet isn’t merely for giant corporations and institutions and are now part of daily life for most people and businesses. Those old, clunky servers have been left in the past in favor of the cloud. Filing cabinets are basically relics of the past, as basically everything is done on computers at this point. In addition, the notion of team members and employees only having access to the network and the data on it while at the office is an obsolete way to work at this point. Fluid workforces with multiple devices, working from everywhere has become the new norm, and for good reason.

However, it is not all a bed of roses so to speak. These new techniques and solutions come with new problems all their own. Think of your network as your office. In the past, there was only one door, which made it harder for people to come and go as they please, and easier to track who is there and who isn’t. As your office space grew, you added more doors. Now, while it’s far easier for your employees to get in, for your deliveries to be dropped off, it’s also easier for unwanted, unauthorized people to come in. It’s harder to track who is in the office, who just left, and where people are coming from. It’s necessary, but you should probably throw some cameras and keypads up to keep the office secure, right?

When you add new pathways for access into your network, and new software that requires access, you need more protection. When everything is online, and interconnected, you need more monitoring, and more expertise. Technology changes by the day, and business technology is ever evolving with new updates, new products, and new innovations that can propel your business even further. With all that comes new threats, new ways in, and requires you as a business owner to adjust your course. You can go broke by hanging on to the

broke fix model, or worse.


The importance of having experts watching your network and therefore watching your back is one that cannot be overstated. In your business, each department is headed and staffed by people who specialize in their field, be it accounting, human resources, logistics, etc. Your IT needs are no different than your needs of these departments. These are full time departments, gears in the machine that is your business that need to constantly be in motion. This allows for proactive management of these functions. Having a

proactive approach to technology will keep your business better protected and more productive as it is far easier to be at the cutting edge with expert guidance.

What’s the best method to employ to find these experts? That can be dependent on a few things. Employing a full time IT professional can be costly, often times in the six-figure range. However, this does give you some piece of mind when it comes to having someone who is familiar with the ins and outs of your business, whose sole job it is to stay on top of your network. However, unless you are employing multiple IT professionals there are some drawbacks to this approach. One person can only house and execute so much information. This can mean gaps that need to be filled. Say Lyle is your IT guy, and Lyle is great when it comes to troubleshooting, but not as strong when it comes to

security. Then you need to hire a security expert as well. Well lets say both of them are lacking when it comes to advisement on trends, well then you need what is known as a CIO, or Chief Information Officer, whose job it is to specialize in what’s on the horizon and what is best for the company. This is all necessary, however I just named about 300 to 400 thousand dollars’ worth of personnel.

For most small to mid-size businesses the best approach they can take is partnering with an MSP such as Delval Technology Solutions. With an MSP you get all of the expertise, guidance, and technology that comes with employing a full time IT staff at a fraction of the cost. An MSP can serve as a guide through things such as what is the right tech for the right situation, cyber security, cloud migration and everything in between. You get a whole team of experts in different facets of the IT world, watching your back and helping you

move forward. Once more, many company such as Delval Technology Solutions offer Co-Managed IT. This means if you have an in-house tech, you are now giving them

crucial backing and bolstering their confidence and their performance, which at the end of the day helps your business and your bottom line.

Don’t wait for something to break that can possibly break you or your bank. Get proactive, have a plan, and most importantly have the tools needed to execute this plan.

2 Factor Authentication: Can You Afford NOT to Have It?

Fluidity has become a hot button issue for business owners. More and more, you need fluid streams of capital, fluid business models, and a fluid workforce, able to work from anywhere they need to, on any device they need to. This past year we as a populace have witnessed drastic changes occur to our day-to-day work lives, and more importantly, many of us have seen how much more productive this form of working can be for everyone involved. However, with new advances you end up with new issues, which is why we are

going to talk about a system that comes in a couple of forms, 2FA or two factor authentications, or it’s cousin MFA or multi-factor authentication. With the rise in cybercrime in the United States, a trend that is showing no signs of slowing down, it’s not an issue of whether you can afford to implement 2FA, it’s becoming evident that you can’t afford not to if you have a mobile or semi-mobile work force.


Let me tell you a story. Sylvia has a company that runs logistics for major trucking companies in the state. These companies rely on her business, at all hours of the day to make sure they are staying on the proper course, and the right materials are going to the right places. Sylvia knows she can’t afford to keep her office space open 24/7, but she needs her

agents to be working at the schedules of the truckers, so she has a large part of her workforce working from home. Unfortunately, her system got breached one day. While she was able to minimize her downtime due to her partnership with an amazing MSP, which let’s just call Delval Technology Solutions, some of her employee login information is still out there. Thankfully, she also opted into endpoint security for her business, including 2FA. Someone tried to login to one of her employee’s accounts, and they were notified when they got a notification from their 2FA system to authenticate the login. They called Sylvia to report the suspicious activity to her and were able to thwart the malicious actor in

their tracks. Her small investment into a 2FA system for her business just saved her thousands of dollars and the trust of her clients. It basically just paid for itself.


When users are remotely logging into your network, 2FA gives your business an extra layer of protection to ensure that the authorized person is the one entering the network. There are different tools to use when it comes to 2FA. Some send SMS texts, others use emails, and some use apps that require a push. Either way, the system works as such. An authorized user enters their credentials to log into the network. From there, a message is sent to them via one of the above-mentioned methods, that the user must complete the process, usually entering a code that has been sent, to get into the network. This ensures that no one can get into the network that isn’t supposed to. Best case scenario,

the person trying to access the system is the one who gets in. Worst case scenario, an intrusion can be thwarted by the authorized party receiving a 2FA message

saying someone is trying to get into their network using their credentials.


The most common type of 2FA uses the authorized users SMS in order to authenticate them. Once a user inputs their login credentials, username and password, a code will be text to their device that they have to enter. The user then has a certain period (usually five to ten minutes) before the code expires in order to get into their network.

Email authentication is another form of 2FA. Similar to the SMS version, an email will be sent to your address. From there, you may have to click an authentication link, be given a code to input, or even use a QR code on a secondary device. While this is a more versatile form than the SMS based 2FA, it isn’t as widely used because of things like device lag time, and people’s ability to turn email notifications off, which many do if they are usually inundated with spam.

App based 2FA is becoming increasingly more prevalent, and also may be the best for overall security. First the user needs to download an app such as DUO Mobile, or Google Authenticator. From there, when they attempt to login to the network from a new device, or to get in certain parts of the network, they will receive a push notification to an app. From there they will have to enter a matching code to let the administrator and the app know that they are in fact the user. Apps have more features they can use to aid your

security. One aspect that is great for aiding in security is their ability to track the location of the user on both ends. This could be used to stop phishing attacks as the perpetrator is not usually anywhere near the IP of the person assigned to the login. While this may take some additional monitoring, it can be a great way to further protect your network.

Having the ability to be fluid with your work force can be a game changer for many business owners. However, you never want to compromise security for the sake of functionality. Utilizing a 2FA plan for your system is something that is a cost effective way to ensure that you know the person trying to get in is the person you want to get in.  While there is a cost to 2FA, it is far less than the cost of the consequences to your business. Contact Delval Technology Solutions and ask about 2FA today, because you never know what tomorrow will

bring to your network.

VPN’s and Your Business

Ralph is a small business owner with a team of 10, most of which are in the field. They work off their phones, tablets and personal laptops from wherever they may be. Ralph has seen that more and more hacking attacking on small businesses are taking place, and knows that by his team using public wifi, they are more exposed to these malicious actors. Due to the nature of their work, everything from where they browse, to their write ups, and the files they send to each other are proprietary information that he wants

to keep safe for the sake of his business and his customers. Ralph talked to his MSP partner and they recommended he get a VPN.


VPN stands for virtual private network. This is a network that while accessible from anywhere with an internet connection, is a more secure connection for a user to access the internet. A VPN is encrypted, meaning that a key is needed in order to be able to actually see the information. It serves as a cloaked portal between the user and the internet. Many people use VPN’s at home to do things such as change their location to watch foreign streaming services, or access Tor browsers to reach the dark web. While these benefits

can help your enterprise if you have remote workers abroad who can’t otherwise access your network, there are a few key benefits to a VPN for your business.


Public wifi servers are just that, public. This means that anyone can sign onto them regardless of the credentials. Once in, hackers can use this to access and mirror other users computers, allowing them to view your data as well as steal data and other credentials. A VPN stops these actors from being able to do so. A VPN is a cloaked portal, which means that it is encrypted. This encryption makes it impossible to view the data without a proper key to unlock the encryption. This means anyone trying to spy on yourself or your employees’ devices will only see illegible chunks. A VPN is akin to an invisiblity cloak, making it a more secure way for your teammates to enter your network from anywhere, any time with any devices. This is also the case for Peer-to-Peer file sharing amongst teammates. While services such as Dropbox, Google Drive etc do offer some security measures, often times those alone are not enough and files can be intercepted. However, with a VPN service, your employees and your customers are cloaked and protected, with these files being protected by the same encryption as the traffic.


When the pandemic hit, many had to migrate their workforce from the traditional in house model to a remote, work from home model. While many companies had already migrated data to the cloud, they didn’t always have an easy way for their employees to access this data. This is where a VPN comes in. It doesn’t matter if the employee is down the street, two states away or in a country that doesn’t even allow free internet access, with a VPN, anyone with the proper credentials can get into their network and get their projects

accomplished. What’s more, VPN’s allow companies to segment data, so only specific users can access specific data if necessary. Everything from usernames to passwords to even IP addresses can be used as identifiers of who should be in, and who should be in, your network.


This is a tricky one but depending on your business can be one of those great “hacks” that could be helpful to your bottom line. Businesses offer different pricing in different countries. This goes for everything from consumer goods to flights and hotels, to equipment for your business. VPN’s allow you to disguise your country. By doing this it enables

you to access these discounts for your business. This could mean cheaper hotels and flights for traveling representatives, cheaper equipment for your company

and other great savings that you would never be able to access otherwise.


VPN’s are not all created equal. Just like many other subscription tech services, VPN companies offer a variety of add-ons and other tools for your business. The need for these obviously vary based on the nature of your enterprise. With that said, there are four main things that you should look for when choosing your VPN provider. Speed is crucial to how your business runs. You want to ensure that you at least get the same connection speed as you do from using an uncloaked network. VPN providers offer an array of different

pricing, so be sure to choose the right one for your business. Just like anything else, you never want to pay for features you do not need. Reliability is key. A reliable VPN will ensure that you don’t deal with costly and frustrating downtime issues. The final thing is ease of use. Not everyone who works for you is a tech expert. Regardless of the level of expertise, you want them to be able to access your network and be productive team members. Look at things such as the interface and how to access the VPN and ask yourself “Can my IT team and my janitorial staff both understand how to use this?"

Ralph listened and did his research. He knew that he could work with a trusted MSP, such as Delval Technology Solutions, to find the right VPN with the right features for his business. Now he knows that be it the field or the office, his team can access his network safely and securely, ensuring that the work keeps flowing and unwanted downtime is avoided.

Top Tech Trends for 2021


What a difference a year makes. When it comes to the technology we use for business, innovations come quickly and trends change rapidly. Knowing what’s on the horizon and what to look for can be the difference between being ahead of the curve or being left in the dust to play catch up. In 2020 we dealt with a world changing event. As we come out of it in

the second half of 2021, what should you be looking for when it comes to tech? What are some trends that can help your business?


Now, this may sound a little RISE OF THE MACHINES to you, but automation is a powerful tool that can help you both run your business and manage your data. In the field of analytics and finance, many are turning to automation that is capable of what is known as machine learning to do the more arduous tasks that can bog down employees. Take Google for example, who has implemented a machine learning system into their award-winning Google Analytics software, which gives businesses not only insight, but helpful tips on how to maximize their adspend, and their websites in the future. Many factories and shipping facilities have also begun to use automation for more dangerous tasks, as well as tracking

both inbound and outbound shipments. Major institutions such as hospitals as well as other medical companies can use AI to predict the needs of the populace, from beds to medication. What can this mean for you and your employees? Well, while it may seem that the machines would take the place of the employees, it’s been found that that isn’t really the case. In fact, what many see is this allows the employees who would have to focus on the mundane, tedious tasks, more time and creative energy to strategize and implement new ways to grow the business, market, sell, ship and take better care of their customers!


In what many are calling the evolution of the cloud, edge computing takes some of the processes used by the cloud and puts them back in the user’s space. This enables the cloud to process faster, as it reduces the amounts of long-distance transmissions needed to execute. The edge is where the device, be it the user’s computer, router, phone etc, communicates with the internet. By doing this, it cuts down on what is referred to as latency, or the delay as the user’s device communicates with the server that the cloud is hosted on, which in some cases is across the world. Latency issues can affect everything from your SEO to customers choosing your product or service. After all, we live in an era where 2-3 seconds of lag time is considered slow. Edge computing could be a game changer for everything from medical devices to self-driving cars, and even the office, with it aiding in video conferencing as well! What’s more, it’s also more cost effective, as it cuts down on bandwidth charges. 5G Leaps in technology are not merely limited to things such as robots and home computers. 5g, or the 5th generation of mobile wifi, presents a game changer for many businesses. In the past, while your phone or tablet may have been more powerful than your home PC, today, things are much different with the advent of 5G. It is the fastest mobile data has ever been able to be sent or received, which means that businesses can rely on a mobile customer base more and more. Your websites can be more robust to mobile users and tablet users. Your data will transmit faster. If you have employees who use

their mobile devices for work, or tablets for orders in the warehouse, these systems become as reliable, if not more that traditional wireless services. 5G has exponentially more connectivity than 4g and can relay much more bandwidth. In fact, research has shown the 5g can connect and support 1 million devices in a .38 mile radius, as opposed to only 2000 with 4G. Latency also has been shown to greatly decrease with the advent of 5g, making it easier for customers to reach your business, and your business to reach their customers. As we move from offices that merely work on pc’s to offices that are interconnected through a myriad of devices, 5G technology helps ensure that no matter what

device you are on, you are connected and supported at the highest speeds.


As we touched on earlier, cyber-crimes are getting costlier as each day passes and cyber criminals are getting craftier in their approach, and braver in the endevours. Of course, this means that those who wish to thwart these criminals also are constantly updating their approaches to minimize the risk to both everyday citizens and business owners. While many businesses are using VPN’s as a way to secure their networks for remote workers, a new approach known as ZTNA or Zero Trust Network Access, is beginning to emerge as an even more secure solution for networks. While a VPN merely cloaks the mobile users path into the network, a ZTNA checks everything from the user, to the content, to their network for malicious and suspicious activity, making it much more secure.

Leaps in Multi-Factor Authentication are also being made. Traditonally, an MFA system would employ a SMS text message or an email in order to authenticate the user. However, both SMS and email are accessible to hackers and other malicious actors. 3rd party applications such as Google Authenticator, Microsoft Authenticator and Duo, which is used at Delval Technology Solutions, offer a secure, encrypted 2FA platform, giving endusers and network operators a more trusted method of protection.

Data is both an invaluable commodity to a business, and a high profile target to a hacker. For this reason, data privacy is becoming less of a component of a greater cyber-security plan, and more of a separate entity to be protected. Attacks on personal data aren’t just problematic for identity theft, but are costly to business owners who can lose both customer trust, and thousands if not millions of dollars in regulatory fines.

Cyber security professionals, such as the folks here at Delval, are becoming less of a “luxury” item and more of a necessity for business owners. Attacks are becoming more frequent by the day, and targets are becoming even more broad. It is imperative to consult and work with cyber security professionals if you are not one yourself in order to protect yourself, your business and your customers. Oftentimes people have stated “it’s better to have one and not need it, then need it and not have one”,  when speaking about firearms. Think of a cyber security professional the same way. You have someone to watch your back and your network, and ensure that your enterprise is compliant and protected, and to be vigilant in protecting your company.

While these aren’t the only tech trends, they are the ones that you will be hearing more and more about.