The top 5 surprising password stats that are putting your business at risk

Cyber threats are a daily problem for businesses everywhere. Hackers don’t care how big you are, or what you do. They just care about whether the information you collect is important to you, because when people care about their data, chances are someone else will find it interesting too.

These days everyone knows the risks about cyber crime, but even though hardly a week goes by without a major hack hitting the national headlines, the number of successful cyber attacks still continues to rise.

Criminals are still catching people out every day, for several reasons. Firstly, they’re becoming better at what they do and constantly coming up with sneaky ways to get people to click on dodgy links. Secondly, because despite the warnings, countless IT users still tend to think that cyber attacks only ever happen to other people, so they continue to take risks. And thirdly, because investing in security software and new procedures sometimes just feels like a waste of time and money.

Even with the GDPR now in full swing, bosses all around the UK are continuing to bury their heads in the sand and hoping the cyber baddies focus their efforts on someone else.

But it’s not just cyber criminals you have to worry about. There’s also the risk of employees leaving on bad terms and taking your valuable data with them. Or well meaning staff members leaving their mobiles on the train after a long work meeting. Without the correct policies and procedures in place, it’s easy for your data to end up in the wrong hands.

Even when companies do write new password policies, they’re often not enforced. According to a 2019 report from Yubico, good password behaviour is still few and far between despite an increased awareness about cyber crime. This report and a UK Cyber Survey by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) demonstrated lots of gaps in knowledge and password hygiene.

Here are five of the most shocking ones:

  • 69% of users still share passwords with their work colleagues
  • 51% of people use the same passwords for work and personal accounts
  • 57% of people who have already been victims of phishing attacks still forget to change their passwords
  • 23 million users are still using 123456 as their password, even though it’s widely known to be one of the easiest to guess – and absolutely pointless
  • 57% said they found password management too annoying and stops them doing their jobs, so they don’t bother using it.

Even more worrying, the UK Cyber Survey discovered that 42% of British people actually expect to lose money to online fraud, but don’t take measures to prevent it.

The bottom line is that without a thorough password policy, robust security and a healthy attitude towards password management being promoted throughout your organisation, your business is at a major risk of attack.

The good news is that it doesn’t have to be a huge headache or cost a fortune to get everything in order and create an environment where people understand the importance of security.

We’ve written a brand new guide on the top rules for password hygiene, including a 12 point plan for your business. Fill in your details below to get it emailed to you immediately.

moving to the cloud, The top 5 surprising password stats that are putting your business at risk

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