Cybersecurity Awareness Month – Credential Value

Credential Value

Dark Web Credential Values

The dark web contains marketplaces in which hackers buy and sell a variety of information.  There are markets for credentials where hackers can buy data dumps from other hackers for $2.00 for each set of credentials.  Healthcare records are worth even more since they can be used for identity theft.  Tax information may be the most valuable as hackers can file our taxes on us and receive a tax refund from government tax authorities.  

CyberHoot recommends that each business understand the value of the data they have collected on clients and employees within your business.  That will help you understand the likelihood of attack that you face.  The more non-public personal information you have, the larger the target.  Pay particular attention to data stores that contain credentials, financial information, or other NPPI as it is coveted by hackers.

CyberHoot recommends that you salt and hash all your credentials recursively to prevent their theft in the case of a breach of systems.  You should also encrypt all your critical data at rest and in motion within your environment.

For everyone, including the company industries mentioned above, CyberHoot recommends the following protective measures: 

CyberHoot Best practices:
  1. Train your employees on the common attacks that are out there.  From weak passwords and password managers, to the importance of multi-factor authentication and how to spot phishing attacks.  Awareness is the key to defending your business.
  2. Govern you employees with cybersecurity policies including Acceptable Use, Password, Information Handling and a Written Information Security Policy.
  3. Establish cybersecurity best practice processes such as a Vulnerability Alert Management Process (VAMP) and a Cybersecurity Incident Management Process (CIMP) to guide and require action in the face of an emergency.  Then move on onboarding and offboarding processes, SaaS management processes, and 3rd party risk management.
  4. Establish strong technical protections including: a Firewall, antivirus, anti-malware, anti-spam, multi-factor authentication on all critical accounts,  Enable full disk encryption, manage the keys carefully, and most importantly, adopt, train on and require all employees to use a Password Manager.
  5. Test employees on how to spot and avoid phishing attacks.  CyberHoot has released a disruptive method of Phish Testing the fills in gaps in your employees knowledge without punishing them for failure.  Instead we reward them for success.  More info is available here.
  6. Backup your data by following our 3-2-1 Backup methodology to ensure you can recover your business from a cybersecurity event.
  7. In the modern Work-from-Home era, make sure you’re managing personal devices connecting to your network by validating their security (patching, antivirus, DNS protections) or prohibiting their use entirely.
  8. If you haven’t had a risk assessment by a 3rd party in the last 2 years, you should have one now. Establishing a risk management framework in your organization is critical to addressing your most egregious risks with your finite time and money.
  9. Buy Cyber-Insurance to protect you in a catastrophic failure situation. Cyber-Insurance is no different than Car, Fire, Flood, or Life insurance. It’s there when you need it most.

CyberHoot believes that for many small to medium sized businesses and MSPs, you can greatly improve your defenses and chances of not becoming another victim of cyberattack if you follow the advice above.

We hope you’re enjoying Cybersecurity Awareness Month (CAM).  Visit or subscribe to CyberHoot’s Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter pages to get daily updates throughout the month.

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