Password security is something not enough people take seriously. With a large percentage of people adhering to old (and harmful) password habits like recycling passwords, it’s a wonder that there aren’t more credentials stolen or compromised every year. Billions of logins, passwords, and other credentials are stolen, uploaded, bought, sold, and exploited on the dark web and other areas of the internet. Sometimes, the only thing standing between the hacker and his prize is a good password.
Password security matters in business and in our personal lives. If you’re running a business, starting the password security journey during the onboarding process can ensure you’re training a highly-conscious and security-oriented employee; and that can take your business further than ever.
Why Password Security Is (Arguably) The Most Important Link In The Cybersecurity Chain
We can all agree that password security is a crucial part of the cybersecurity chain, but I would argue that it’s the most important link in the whole system. Why? Because a good password can save you (or your organization) so many problems. A compromised password can grant an unauthorized user access to all manner of personal or business files and information. There’s no telling what the extent of the damage is until it’s well and over, and that’s when the cost starts adding up.
Good passwords can take thousands of years to crack, even for the best computers. Brute force attacks, like dictionary attacks, depend on the negligence of users to get through the security protocols. If your employees aren’t practicing good password habits, you’re essentially giving hackers a hand-written invitation to steal your company data.
The Earlier You Start, The Better
Good habits take time and determination, which means embedding those habits needs to occur as soon as possible. During the onboarding process, you need to start training new employees about good password habits and the potential dangers of poor password habits. The earlier you start the process, the more likely it is to actually stick in their minds and follow them into their work. But, even if you start early, sometimes, that’s not enough. You also have to keep updating them, training them, and making them better.
Start by explaining the do’s and don’ts of passwords.
- Use a combination of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols
- Store passwords properly (with the best business password manager you can afford)
- Keep passwords private to each employee
- Continue education and training on password and general cybersecurity
- Reuse passwords…ever!
- Share passwords among employees or with friends/family
- Use self-identifying or company information in your passwords
- Use simple phrases or dictionary words
- Use passwords that are shorter than 11-13 characters
By reinforcing these good habits throughout your employees’ tenure, you’re creating a more conscious workforce. That can pay dividends in the future when your information comes under attack, but your employees have been diligent in their part in the cybersecurity chain.
Disturbing Work Password Statistics
If you’re unaware, bad password habits at work are a serious problem. It’s estimated that at least half of people are reusing their passwords at work, and sharing them as well. Here are some statistics to consider:
- 81% of data breaches occur because of password compromise
- 54% of small businesses don’t know if their employees are practicing good password habits
- 69% of employees share passwords
- 71% of companies considered “high-performing” use strong passwords and password habits
All Of Us Need To Take Passwords More Seriously
Collectively, as a society, we’re not taking our privacy and security seriously enough. With so many people heedlessly sharing passwords and practicing poor password habits, it’s no surprise that stolen passwords and other credentials are some of the hottest items for sale on the dark web.
All of us need to take passwords more seriously. We’re all either employees or employers, and by securing our own data, we’re securing the people we work around’s data as well. It’s like a domino effect; when one person does it, it affects everyone else around them. One employee practicing good password habits can literally mean the difference between a failed cyber-attack and a successful one.
Using The Tools Available
Today’s modern cybersecurity tools are more accessible than ever, and something as simple as a password manager can take your business to the next level. Password managers help generate, store, and manage more secure passwords, and you can get one for just a few dollars a month in most cases. It’s time to move forward into a more secure future where everyone takes their personal and company data seriously, and where passwords are viewed as the all-important cybersecurity feature they are. Try a password manager for business today and start taking back control of your company’s security measures and teaching employees good habits!