The cost of accessing corporate networks in the Middle East has seen a significant drop over the past year, according to research conducted by Positive Technologies. Dark Web forums and Telegram chats have become hubs for individuals seeking access to these networks, with prices as low as $35 being offered in some cases. This signifies a steep decline from the average cost of access credentials, which typically ranged between $100 to $1,000 in 49% of the analyzed cases.
A report released by Privacy Affairs in June 2022 had previously highlighted the cost of access to corporate networks on the Dark Web to be between $2,000 and $4,000. However, the recent findings by Positive Technologies demonstrate a significant decrease in these prices. Sellers on the Dark Web have the autonomy to set their own prices, considering various factors such as the type and rights of the access being sold, the size and revenue of the targeted company, the country and industry it operates in, and the presence of protective measures within the company.
The report also reveals that 22% of all sales on the Dark Web offer access to the infrastructure of organizations across different sectors. It is worth noting that government and financial institutions are the most commonly mentioned verticals in these transactions. Anastasiya Chursina, an analyst at Positive Technologies, highlighted the prevalence of discussions related to oil production and wealth management within Dark Web circles. The petrochemical industry, particularly discussions surrounding Oman and the United Arab Emirates, appeared to be the most popular topics among cybercriminals.
When analyzing the region, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia emerged as the most discussed nations, followed by Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Oman. Chursina advises companies in the Middle East to prioritize building protection against cyberattacks by considering all possible threats and attack scenarios. Implementing modern protections such as Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) in combination with extended detection and response (XDR) can fortify a company’s cybersecurity defenses.
As the cost of accessing corporate networks continues to decrease, businesses in the Middle East must remain vigilant in safeguarding their valuable data and systems. The prevalence of cybercrime on the Dark Web emphasizes the importance of implementing robust security measures to counteract these threats. By staying informed about emerging trends, newly discovered vulnerabilities, and cybersecurity threats, companies can proactively protect their networks from potential intrusions.
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