Fortune 500 Companies Use Passwords That Can Be Hacked in Less than a Second
When you think of Fortune 500 companies, what comes to mind? Wealth and prestige, most likely. But rarely do we think of them as ordinary or average. However, when it comes to password hygiene, it seems that the prestigious Fortune 500 companies are just that – average at best. This is not to undermine those enterprises, but to highlight that password security remains a prominent problem even among the world’s most powerful businesses.
Today, we’re delving into the password habits of Fortune 500 companies and offering a way to freshen up on password hygiene for businesses and individuals alike.
Password habits of Fortune 500 companies
NordPass, in partnership with a third-party company specializing in data breach research, has recently taken on the challenge of analyzing data from public third-party breaches that affected Fortune 500 companies. The analyzed data included 15,603,438 breaches and was categorized into 17 different industries, which provided us with a well-rounded look at how the world’s largest companies manage their passwords.
Some quick facts from the research:
20% of passwords were the exact name of the company or its variation
“Password” remains one of the most popular passwords across all industries
Weak passwords are among the top causes of data breaches in business
“Vacation” was one of the most popular passwords in the healthcare industry
Overall, the analyzed data reveals that bad personal password habits seep into businesses too. The fact that companies of such stature fail to implement company-wide policies might be a contributing factor that further incentivizes poor personal password hygiene. This in turn creates a bad feedback loop, which puts companies as well as individuals at risk. Breaking that bad loop is essential if businesses are looking to get a better handle on cybersecurity.
How to improve your company’s password security
Passwords are our first line of defense. While most companies and users are aware of that, many still struggle with password security. But it’s not that complicated if you take the time to understand it, and taking a few simple steps could prove to be a game changer. Here are a few tips on how your business can improve.
Educate your employees on cybersecurity
Education and knowledge of potential risks are vital. Set up a cybersecurity training session. Think of setting company-wide password policies. Raise awareness about why mingling personal and work passwords is dangerous for both parties involved.
Use complex passwords
The term “complex password” is vague. But security experts agree that a strong complex password should contain at least 12 characters and include uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, as well as special symbols.
While you can always come up with a password yourself, consider using a Password Generator. It’s a simple and quick way to create complex and strong passwords for all your accounts.
Deploy a password manager
Businesses that employ password managers such as NordPass usually have a better handle on cybersecurity as a whole. A password management solution provides a secure way to store, share, and manage passwords in a single place.