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The Value of Data on the Dark Web

Thursday 28 September 2017


Personal data is to the internet what oil has been to the industrialised era. Many organisations will provide digital services to consumers for free in exchange for personal data. This data becomes valuable to brands as they can then understand more about customers to target them with more relevant services, thereby increasing sales. It is also becoming more valuable to cyber-criminals as well.

So how much is your personal data worth?

There have been attempts to value personal data for organisations. But it is not an exact science as it depends on so many variables. However to give you an idea, a Daily Telegraph article suggested that personal data in the UK could be worth an average of £3,241 per person.

But what value to put on the personal data that is available on the dark web – typically bought and sold by criminals? The deep internet is not indexed by search engines, is only accessible with specialist software and is highly anonymised, as typically IP addresses are hidden there. It is often used as portal and marketplace for criminals, for the selling of financial data, purchase of illicit goods such as drugs or weapons.

It is also where personal data can be bought and sold. Often sensitive personal data such as names, addresses, date of births and credit card details are sold through the dark web. The cost depends on how many people’s data is being sold, by whom and to whom. The cost can range typically from up to $1,000 for bank account details with a credit limit of at least $2,000, to around $30 for a scanned driver’s license to as little as $28 for your credit card details or just a few dollars for a social media account password.

This brings into sharp focus the importance of protecting your personal data and ensuring you don’t become a victim of identity theft. Once your details are on the dark web, it’s very difficult to remove and time consuming to then make safe. Far better to prevent it happening in the first place and avoid the inconvenience, hassle and worry.

To learn more about the latest developments in cyber security and how to better protect your business register now for Cyber Security Europe and IP EXPO Europe. 

Author: Bradley Maule-ffinch, Director of Strategy for Cyber Security Europe 2017

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