October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month! With the number of data breaches growing every day, one has to wonder what hackers do with all of the information they steal. In some cases, the hackers go public with the information, as seen by the recent Ashley Madison and Sony hacks. Other times, however, hackers just want to use the information as a bargaining chip on the black market. The theft of passwords, usernames, Social Security numbers, and other sensitive information is a very lucrative market for hackers.
Hackers can’t just sell your credentials through traditional outlets, though. They have to use a special network designed for access across the anonymity network, Tor. It’s within this Dark Web that most information that’s stolen online is sold. The information that’s most-often stolen consists of personal identifiable information, as well as financial data. Hackers typically target healthcare, government, retail, and education industries, but they aren’t terribly picky about which industries they hack. Chances are that if you store sensitive information (and you do), you’re a potential target for hackers.
As a business owner, the responsibility of protecting your organization’s network from hackers and data theft falls on you. Even if you might not initially think your data is worth stealing, you’ll find that regardless, hackers will still try to take advantage of any organization that neglects their cybersecurity. If you don’t find your data valuable, hackers would be more than happy to steal it and make a profit off of it, putting you in a rather precarious situation. Here are some figures provided by ZDNet as to just how much specific credentials, accounts, and other sensitive information can go for on the Dark Web.
- Mobile accounts in the United States can be sold for as little as $14 apiece.
- PayPal and eBay accounts that have a significant amount of transaction history can be sold for around $300 each.
- Supposedly, Uber accounts are in high demand.
- Bank account credentials can sell for anywhere between $200 and $500 apiece, depending on how much cash is actually stored in them.
- As you might guess, credit card information is in high demand. In fact, it’s almost comical how much thought is put into the process of selling a credit card number. According to ZDNet, the price varies drastically depending on supply and demand, as well as whether or not they’ll actually work and how much the buyer can get out of the card before it’s reported and deactivated. Most credit card information is sold in bulk to reduce the unit price.
- Personally identifiable information is sold at $1 per line of information; in other words, someone could purchase your full legal name, Social Security number, address, date of birth, and more, for the price of a meal at a fast food joint. This is more than enough info to commit identity fraud.
- Full credit reports can be purchased for $25 apiece. Other documents, like passports and driver’s licenses, can be sold for anywhere between $10 and $35 per document.
As you can clearly see, hackers take their data theft very seriously, and so should you. Allowing hackers to infiltrate your network and steal sensitive records could result in severe legal ramifications. You need to integrate a security solution that helps to keep hackers out of your network and away from your data.
To protect your organization, you want to integrate a comprehensive security solution that’s designed to keep threats out and suspicious activity away from your network. A Unified Threat Management (UTM) solution is capable of providing a firewall, antivirus, spam blocking, and a content filtering solution that’s designed with the safety of your organization in mind. Give us a call at 832-910-9222 to learn more.