Today is World Password Day, a day to reflect on just how vulnerable a poor password can leave you.
As more and more of the processes and tools we use in our everyday lives shift to the online world, the number of passwords we need to create and remember increases. Creating passwords for each and every online account you open can seem exhausting, but the consequences of opting for passwords that are easy-to-guess or are reused across many accounts can be dire. As data breaches and mass-scale thefts of personal data increase in frequency, it is vital now more than ever to be password savvy to help prevent your personal details from being compromised.
The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) analysed 100,000 of the most-commonly re-occurring breached passwords. Alarmingly, it found that over 23.2 million compromised accounts were using the password ‘123456’, closely followed by ‘123456789’ by 7.7 million users. Other common passwords included ‘qwerty’ and the classic ‘password’. Clearly, password safety is not at the forefront of everyone’s mind, and simply sticking a pound sign or number on the end of a password won’t suffice.
Over the past few years there have multiple security breaches resulting in compromised data. One of the most notable being the breach at Equifax in 2017 when attackers exfiltrated hundreds of millions of customer records from the credit reporting agency.
Once a security breach has occurred and data’s been compromised it is only a matter of time before that data appears on the dark web for sale.
When creating a password avoid using a single word, especially an English one. Instead, try using a phrase or series of words that are not easily guessable, or would not normally appear next to one another in a sentence. Some of your passwords may feature special characters or symbols at the end, perhaps because a website has prompted you to make your password stronger. Instead of placing a special character at the end and thus making it easier for cybercriminals to break into your account, intersperse special characters at different places, along with normal characters throughout your password.
The problem is you still have lots of passwords and short of keeping them in a spreadsheet your unlikely to remember them. This means you’ll spend a lot of time pressing that FORGOTTEN PASSWORD button, remembering that first pets name that you never had and then generally getting very frustrated.
Business owners should therefore implement managed safe, robust and unique passwords along with two-factor authentication.
Your personnel and business data is valuable and having it stolen or compromised can open up a whole new set of problems. This World Password Day, take a moment to review your defenses. Implement a managed safe, robust and unique password / two-factor authentication solution.
If you need assistance then The Cloud Consultancy can help with a world class Password Manager & 2FA solution from our partner MYKI.
Implementing MYKI’s Password Manager & 2FA solution helps you with regulatory challenges and ensures compliance for your next audit including HIPAA, PCI-DSS, CIJS, FFIECC, SOC, GLBA, SOX and GDPR.
For more information take a look in the Cyber Security area of our website.