Data breaches and account hacks are on the rise, and you must protect your business. Two out of every five people have had their personal information compromised in the last year alone. They not only had their account hacked, but their password was stolen, compromising their entire digital life.
Things have gotten so bad that eight out of every ten people admit to being concerned about their online security—And, seven out of every ten people no longer trust passwords to protect their accounts.
The fact is that, in most cases, the users themselves are their own worst enemies. So much digital damage could be mitigated (if not eliminated entirely) by simply understanding the difference between a weak password and a good one.
The number of people who use weak passwords (and who then reuse those passwords across multiple sites) may be higher than previously thought. And, the statistics are alarming—Only 1% actually care enough to come up with a strong enough password that can’t be easily tracked or broken.
Almost 35% of online users have passwords that would be considered “weak.” The other 65% use passwords that can be effortlessly cracked by someone who knows what they’re doing.
In addition to weak passwords, a large part of the problem is that people reuse them on multiple sites. This means that if one site is compromised (along with a critical piece of information like an email address), a hacker has what they need to try accounts with other popular sites until they get a secondary “match.”
Think about it—When your online banking info is compromised because of a weak password, that’s one thing. If you use the same password to log into your business’ private intranet, you’re suddenly looking at a major issue that’s only going to get worse as time goes on.
Everyone knows that strong passwords are considered to be exactly that for a reason. They’re not simple words or phrases and are long codes (with 10 distinct characters or more) that also contain symbols and other special characters to increase complexity. Unfortunately, these are also difficult for people to remember, which means they reuse them often.
However, the good news is that coming up with a good password isn’t necessarily the world’s most difficult task—It is, however, something that you must actively work at.
A number of organizations have taken steps to address these challenges. The NIST Special Publication Digital Identity Guidelines is an example. It recommends that organizations limit the authentication attempts an attacker can make—And that second and third tier authenticators be used (like tokens), in addition to standard passwords that allow easy access to accounts for employees but ward off potential intrusion attempts.
It’s clear that something has to be done in terms of passwords. As with most things, this requires you to keep key factors in mind. Here are a few that I recommend:
Cyber security is one of the most important topics of the modern era, particularly as more businesses move their daily operations into the digital realm. Using your common sense and staying up-to-date on the latest challenges will help you stay protected—But at the end of the day, your defense efforts must begin with quality passwords across the board.
If you’re in San Francisco and are interested in finding out more about this or other essential cyber security topics, please don’t hesitate to contact intivix at (415) 543 1033 , or by sending us an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org