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OWL Cybersecurity Announces Darknet Index Ranking Black Hat USA 2017 Exhibitors By Darknet Footprint and Security Threat Levels

The Black Hat USA 2017 Darknet Index measures the darknet presence of 283 companies in the cybersecurity industry, comparing them to the enterprises they protect


OWL Cybersecurity, a Denver-based cybersecurity company offering the world’s largest commercially available database of darknet data, today announced the upcoming release of the Black Hat USA 2017 Darknet Index, ranking all 283 exhibitors by exposed data on the darknet and security threat levels.

The complete Black Hat 2017 Darknet Index will be released for public download on Friday, July 27, but will be available to all Black Hat exhibitors and attendees at OWL Cybersecurity’s booth, 973 in the Business Hall, during the conference. To compile the index, OWL Cybersecurity ran each exhibiting company through its proprietary OWL Vision database, focusing on specific darknets for matches on each company’s website and email domains. OWL Cybersecurity then further adjusted the results based on computations of “hackishness"— a proprietary algorithmic rating system which delivers scores based on the likelihood that data could be used for nefarious intent and how recently the data was made available, with recent breaches or data leaks containing an organization’s proprietary information given the most weight.

Having recently reranked the Fortune 500 on this basis, OWL Cybersecurity examined the Black Hat USA 2017 exhibitors to see whether they have a markedly different darknet footprint than their other indices.

“We are seeing time and again in these indices that the majority of companies and organizations — even those in the cybersecurity space — have a presence on the darknet and therefore are at risk,” said Mark Turnage, CEO of OWL Cybersecurity. “It is critical for organizations to look at the darknet as a key component of a complete information security program.”

Preliminary insights from the index include:

  • The Black Hat exhibitors scored better than expected when compared to the largest U.S. companies.

  • The government isn’t scoring well. There are a few U.S. government agencies ranking highly in the Black Hat Darknet Index, indicating a larger presence of exposed data on the darknet. OWL Cybersecurity will be releasing a U.S. Government index next month.

  • Large organizations expanding into cybersecurity are top targets. Due to the significant amount of sensitive information or intellectual property these organizations possess, and the difficulty securing, cybercriminals increasingly turn to large organizations to commit cybercrime.

Based on the results of OWL Cybersecurity’s Black Hat Darknet Index, it is apparent that the company’s approach is a key factor in a complete information security approach. This tactic also offers a glimpse into the sheer volume of information available on the darknet, confirming that no company or organization is without risk on the darknet — not even cybersecurity organizations. Analyzing and monitoring darknet data is an integral part of a complete cybersecurity program, allowing organizations to quickly detect security gaps and mitigate damage prior to the misuse of their compromised data.

About OWL Cybersecurity

OWL Cybersecurity is based in Denver, Colorado and provides darknet threat intelligence data and services to allow companies and organizations to understand and mitigate their own digital risks. OWL Cybersecurity’s data platform allows companies to see in real-time the theft, breach, or other compromise of their proprietary data on the darknet, thus allowing them to both mitigate damage prior to the information being misused and to highlight gaps in their cybersecurity perimeter. This database is believed to be the largest database of darknet content available to commercial users. OWL Cybersecurity complements this with a full range of cybersecurity consulting services, including security assessments, penetration testing, application and code review, incident response, and digital forensics. For more information, visit



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