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How Much Is Access to Your Network Worth to a Hacker?

How Much Is Access to Your Network Worth to a Hacker?

What would you say if we told you that someone could buy access to your organization’s network for a measly $1,000? Well, this is the unfortunate reality that we live in, where hackers have commoditized the hard work you have invested in your organization. A study from KELA shows that the average cost to buy access to a compromised network infrastructure is insignificant at best, which is why it’s more important than ever to protect your business as best you can.

This report, published by KELA, followed Initial Access Brokers, an umbrella term used to describe threat actors that sell access to compromised network infrastructures. As you can imagine, these threats play a major role in online cybersecurity, as they are what facilitates many of the most dangerous threats out there that require access to a network, such as ransomware and other remote access threats. This report looked at one full year of listings by Initial Access Brokers to determine just what this type of network access is worth to other threats out there.

The results might shock you when you see how little value might be placed on access to your network. Out of 1,000 listings, KELA found that the average price of network access credentials was roughly $5,400, while the median price was about $1,000. There are other trends here aside from the average prices of credentials, including information on affected industries and countries. Among the top countries affected were the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada, and the top industries affected included manufacturing, education, IT, banking/financial, government, and healthcare.

Just imagine—a disgruntled former employee or a competitor could potentially cause a lot of expensive harm by simply throwing away a small chunk of cash.

With such a low dollar amount placed on the value of your organization’s credentials, including VPN access, you need to start taking your security seriously before someone decides to purchase access to your network. There are a plethora of things you can do today to improve your organization’s security, including the following:

  • Implement comprehensive security measures: We recommend unified threat management, or UTM for short, to deal with the majority of threats your business could run into. This all-in-one solution includes a firewall, antivirus, content filter, and spam blocker to minimize opportunities for your staff to encounter potential threats.
  • Monitor your network traffic: If you are tracking who logs into your network and from where, you will have a greater chance of identifying sketchy traffic patterns and address them accordingly.
  • Implement multi-factor authentication: Password security is important, but it’s not enough. Multi-factor authentication can ensure that anyone logging into your network is actually who they say they are.
  • Take regular backups of your infrastructure: While you certainly don’t want it to come to this, you will want to make sure that you are prepared for the nuclear option on the off-chance that you are unable to regain access to your network.

Don’t get caught unaware by security threats. Preferred can help you implement all of the appropriate measures to ensure that your network is as best protected as it can possibly be. Take proactive action now to prevent them from becoming major problems in the future. To learn more about network security, reach out to us at 708-781-7110.

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