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The State of the Password Problem

March 27, 20245 min read

Cybersecurity

The Covid-19 pandemic forced many business leaders and organizations to develop new strategies to accomplish daily tasks and achieve future goals efficiently. One of the most prominent factors contributing to the need for change is the transition of most of the workforce moving to a home or hybrid office. However, one thing that didn't change much is password problems.

In fact, with a largely remote workforce, password problems have grown exponentially. The reason for this is twofold.

One: Hundreds of thousands of remote workers are contributing to password insecurity by not using strong passwords on their home office computers.

Two: Hackers and cybercriminals have increased their efforts on this new crop of targets, successfully breaching a system or network utilizing everything from sophisticated malware to basic phishing emails.

Passkey technology trivializes the fundamental flaw with passwords: namely, that the necessary habits for passwords to work as a secure authentication method (never reuse passwords, always use the longest random password possible) are unenforceable and inconvenient without additional software. 

But passkeys are not without their detractors, and new technology means new policies and handbooks before corporations adopt it in the workplace.

Machine learning is all the rage - at least, according to companies with a vested interest in it - and while it has its applications in cybersecurity, machine learning is going to create as many cybersecurity problems as it solves.

 

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Password Insecurity In and Out of The Office

Password insecurity was a significant problem even before the pandemic. As much as business leaders knew that cybersecurity was important, they failed to engage proper cybersecurity protocols or educate employees on the importance of strong passwords. In recent years, according to data breach investigations, over 80% of data breaches occur due to poor passwords.

Password problems have persisted at home; according to a Google survey from 2019, 65% of people continue to reuse the same password for multiple online accounts. Many do so simply because they don't want to waste time trying to come up with and remember multiple passwords. Others do it simply because they don't believe they will fall victim to a hacker or cybercriminal. This blatant password insecurity is exactly what cybercriminals are counting on.

Why Password Problems Continue

Many business leaders and employers, working both in the office and/or remotely, feel that spending too much time managing passwords for multiple accounts is a waste of time. In an age where speed and ease of use is a top priority for many, spending a few extra seconds to log into an account using 2FA can seem like a frustrating inconvenience.

Yet IT professionals providing services to companies of all sizes, in all industries, know firsthand why a strong password for each account is not only essential but also a critical factor in reducing security risks and preventing data breaches. Despite this knowledge and despite IT professionals' efforts to alert business leaders to the risks associated with password insecurity, weak, easy-to-guess passwords are still in use and mishandled often.

A lack of education about phishing emails or risky downloads from untrusted sources is also a primary factor leading to data breaches, as is email and social media account hacking or signing in to sensitive accounts while on a public Wi-Fi network.

A Solution to Password Problems

While 2FA is undoubtedly a major deterrent to hackers and cybercriminals, many individuals opt not to use it. It still doesn't solve the problem of weak passwords being utilized for multiple accounts. The solution, therefore, is a password manager — a secure way to store and share logins and passwords for both work and personal use.

A good password manager will eliminate the frustration in having to create and remember multiple passwords, as well as save time logging in to different sites. Users need remember only one login and password combination, and the password manager will do the rest, ensuring smooth operations and advanced security.

Using a password manager also significantly reduces the amount of password use by team members and remote workers, leaving little chance for mishandling of passwords and keeping data protected from those who are unauthorized to access it.

Companies and organizations that have already understood and responded to the need for stronger cybersecurity action are utilizing TeamPassword, a password manager that offers a variety of plan options to suit the needs of any business. A password generator also enables team leaders to create strong passwords with ease quickly. Additional tools serve to increase productivity, speed up onboarding, and help employees avoid setting up duplicate accounts.

See how easy it is up your password security. Try a no-strings-attached free trial today!

Conclusion

Like 2FA, many other things can be done to decrease the risk of a data breach or the accidental download of malware. But the first line of defense is still a strong password. A company's network should never be put at risk simply because of a few seconds of inconvenience.

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