New Darknet Index Report Shows Fortune 500 Companies Continue to Expose Vast Amount of Data

The latest Darknet Index report from DarkOwl re-ranks the Fortune 500 by calculating the size of each organization’s darknet footprint.

DarkOwl today announced the release of the The 2019 Darknet Index: Reranking the Fortune 500 using Darknet Intelligence. This publication marks the 3rd annual release of the series, in which DarkOwl re-ranks the Fortune 500 using DARKINT (darknet, deep web and surface net) data.
 
The darknet is a collection of networks on the internet that are purposefully hidden and are designed specifically to protect the privacy of users and traffic. As a result, the darknet has become the primary destination for the exchange of stolen and hacked data. 
 
To compile their Darknet Index, DarkOwl ran each member of this year’s Fortune 500 list through the their proprietary DarkOwl Vision database, calculating a DARKINT Score for each company. Their scoring methodology adjusts for Hackishness – or the propensity that the information could be used for criminal activity – as well as the recency and quantity of the results. The final score is ultimately representative of the organization’s overall exposure on the darknet.
 
“Using DARKINT Scores, we have come up with a way to comprehensively measure a company’s presence on the darknet and thereby analyze how a company’s darknet exposure affects their overall cybersecurity posture.” said Mark Turnage, CEO of DarkOwl.
 
The study revealed several insights, including:
 

  • The average Fortune 500 company is still exposed on the darknet, and to a greater degree than ever. Average scores show that there is over three times more information on the darknet for the typical firm as compared to a year ago.

  • Frontier Communications has the largest darknet footprint. For the second year in a row, Frontier Communications is the top scoring company in the index.

  • Stock price declines might be correlated with higher DARKINT scores. Of note, while the broader stock market lost 2% since our last analysis, the top 50 DARKINT ranked firms lost an average of 8.1%.

  • Technology and telecommunications companies account for all 5 of the highest scoring firms, indicating that they are the most attractive sectors to threat actors.

  • Financial firms are now just average in their darknet profile. Last year 3 of the top 10 scores were financial. This year, their worst performer is Wells Fargo which comes in at #12.

  • Hacked valuable data = Increased risk. The highest scoring companies all had credentials and/or intellectual property exposed on the darknet, which can be monetized by others.

 
“Over the years we have found that these scores correlate very well with risk, and as a result we recently launched our DARKINT Score product, which allows cyber insurance industry to retrieve scores for organizations with whom they are doing business, providing a unique insight into ongoing darknet exposure,” Turnage added.
 
To read the full study, visit https://scores.darkowl.com/2019-fortune-500-darknet-index.