According to the Global Password Security Report, 80% of recent data breaches took place because of stolen or reused passwords. Businesses fail to educate their employees and provide password management guidelines. So they end up being exposed to far more security risks compared to companies that follow strict password policies.
Lousy Password Habits Weaken the Security of Your Company
Here’s why poor password management can bring serious trouble to your business.
Common Password Management Mistakes
Poor password habits are the major obstacles to business security worldwide. Nowadays, most companies focus on securing their networks. But they forget the little things that can mean a lot in case of a security threat. For instance, few businesses pay attention to the use of passwords within their corporation.
Regardless of how much money you invest in a sophisticated security system, it takes only one weak password to bring it all down. In most cases, businesses suffer security attacks because employees mismanage passwords and credentials. Poor password management, above everything else, can lead to an increase in data breaches.
The most common reasons for password theft include:
- careless use of passwords, for example, logging into business platforms over public WiFi networks.
- reusing old passwords / using the same password for all accounts.
- saving passwords in plain text, for example, on a (digital) sticky note.
- sharing passwords with colleagues or other parties.
Cyber methods have become so advanced that hackers can get their hands on passwords, even if they’re not old or reused. A lousy password that consists of ordinary words can cause an unstoppable data breach. That is why it is crucial to use complicated passwords that have no logical meaning.
Effective Password Management to Secure Your Company
Taking care of the passwords within the corporate network is essential. It can reduce the risk of data breaches and other cyber attacks. Especially for businesses that use identity and access management tools.
They can further secure their network by controlling which employees have access to crucial parts of the system. That is, introducing access restrictions to reduce potential risk.
Here are three more steps you can take to improve password management in your company
1. Raise Awareness
- Start by raising awareness about the potential security risks that weak passwords can bring to the entire company. This step includes training your employees to be more aware of their actions, both online and offline.
- Cybersecurity training can include an analysis of possible security threats. Don’t forget to emphasize the consequences of such incidents. And make sure the employees are familiar with the most common types of online security risks. They should know about the safety measures they can take to stay protected.
2. Encourage Employees to Use Password Managers
It is also crucial to directly address the topic of password management. Again, provide information on password-related risks. But also make sure to introduce some practical solutions that your employees can rely on.
For example, explain why keeping passwords on a sticky note can lead to data breach and suggest using password managers instead. Better yet, if you provide password management accounts for everyone in the company. Depending on the devices you’re using, you can get both Windows and macOS password managers. Don’t forget that some employees also access business platforms on phones. Find a solution that enables credential syncing both to Android and iOS password manager apps.
These tools will prevent employees from reusing passwords because they will need to remember only one password instead of many. And password managers also help you create stronger passwords to lower the security risks further.
3. Create a Company Policy
Finally, make cybersecurity and proper password management company policy. It should list strict rules and guidelines on how employees should manage passwords. It will give the issue a more significant meaning and thus show the employees how vital password management really is.
Make sure the company policy provides clear instructions and restrictions on the use of corporate accounts and passwords. Also, set some rules and restrictions for remote access to the networks or platforms.
4. Make Use of Multi-Factor Authentication
You should always encourage your employees to start implementing safety measures. But don’t forget that you can do a lot on your part too. For example, consider investing in Multi-factor authentication (MFA) solutions. They can serve as another safety point for your business. They can even reduce the consequences of poor password management.
To login to business platforms, employees would need to confirm their identity also by means other than credentials. It can be enough to set up Google Authenticator. Employees would need to download the app and enter a one-time PIN every time they log in.
Start Implementing Security Measures Today
Over 4 billion data records suffered in a data breach in 2019. And the reason behind many data breaches were poor password management habits of employees worldwide.
You should take steps to prevent your business from becoming the next target. Introduce a strict company policy that enforces following proper password management habits. Everyone should create strong passwords and never use them anywhere else. Also, changing passwords every few months can do your company some good. Finally, using password managers and multi-factor authentication should be the security standard. And it applies when securing both corporate and personal data.