The tech industry is one of the most breached sectors, according to the latest study by NordPass. The findings suggest high-level executives worldwide are still practicing poor password hygiene, as the most popular password remains “123456.”
NordPass, in partnership with independent researchers analyzing cyber incidents, compiled a list of top passwords used by top-level executives.
The most used password, “123456,” was used over 1.1 million times. The password, “password” came in second place with over 700,000 uses amongst high-level executives.
Also, on the easily hacked password lists among executives were “1q2w3e,” “12345,” “11111,” and “qwerty.” “Michael,” “Jordan” were also common.
Using easily guessed passwords significantly increases the risk of cyberattacks at both the person and company level, according to NordPass.
“Everyone from gamer teenagers to company owners are targets of cybercrimes, and the only difference is that business entities, as a rule, pay a higher price for their unawareness,” said Jonas Karklys, the CEO of NordPass, in a statement.
An IBM report reveals that in 2021, the average global cost of a data breach reached 4.24 million USD, which is 10% more compared to 2020. The attacks that happen due to compromised credentials cost even more at 4.37 million USD and account for 20% of all breaches.
How to Keep Passwords Safe
According to NordPass, organizations can avoid data breaches by following these simple steps to improve password security:
- Deploy a password manager. Password managers allow end-to-end encrypted digital storage locked with a single keyword for the most convenience. Most password managers have additional features to check passwords’ strength and automatically generate unique passwords. For organizations, they can come in handy when sharing passwords with employees or managing their access.
- Introduce cybersecurity training. Since simple human mistakes remain the leading cause of data breaches, it is worth investing in cybersecurity training sessions for employees. Starting from the basics might be a good idea given that people have different technology background levels.
- Enable multi-factor authentication. MFA serves as an extra layer of security. The authentication method uses two or more mechanisms to validate the user’s identity – these can be separate apps, security keys, devices, or biometric data.