BlindHash Technology, password security, private clubs

Private Club Advisor - October 2018

October 5, 2018

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We were honored to be included in the October issue of The Private Club Advisor. You can review the summary of our interview with editor Jackie Carpenter, CCM below. To get a copy of the entire Private Club Advisor, click here to subscribe.

ADDED PROTECTION… A security breach is a significant inconvenience to members, poses a serious
threat to valuable club and member information, and can cause irreparable damage to the club’s reputation
and credibility. Clubs are increasingly targeted by cyber criminals so an attack is likely for all clubs at some
point. The affluent nature of club members means their passwords have a higher value and makes private
clubs a very attractive target for hackers. If a security breach involves member password information, then
members will be forced to reset their passwords. Once this happens, a good portion of members might just
stop using the club website altogether.

Perhaps there is a layer of protection clubs could incorporate to mitigate password breaches. According to
Ray McDonald of BlindHash Cyber, the real problem is not that hackers have access to your club website.
“Most clubs do not store any kind of financial information on the club website. But many club members use
the same passwords repeatedly so if members used the same password for the club website and their bank
account, hackers could potentially gain access to their banking information.” McDonald says hackers take
stolen passwords along with any other personally identifiable information and use it to impersonate the user
on other websites.

When a person initially signs into a website, a password is entered and confirmed and the site authenticates
the user. When the password is confirmed, the site “hashes” it by assigning a random string of numbers (the
hash) and that is what is stored on the server. The vulnerability that all websites in the club industry have is
that they store the hashes in the database. This means that all club websites have a vulnerability to the off line
cyber attack. When a breach involving passwords happens the club has to assume that all passwords could be
compromised and mandate all passwords be reset.

BlindHash Cyber is a patented technology that takes part of the hash and entangles it in a very large offsite data
pool, so the hash is effectively blinded. A key is then sent back to the club website to perform the authentication.
This process makes the site immune to the off line attack vector. “They (the criminals) can’t solve the
puzzle because they don’t have all of the pieces,” McDonald explained.

Some website providers or platform vendors have this security as an upgrade option available to their clubs.
Others may set up this security option for an affordable fee. See the resources box below for more information.