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Even IT Professionals Struggle With Password Security

Lukas Grigas
Cybersecurity Content Writer

You’d think that, out of all the people in the world, the ones working in the IT & Technology sector would be the prime example of excellent password hygiene. Well, then you would be surprised to learn that even those most in touch with digital technology sometimes struggle with password security just like mere mortals. Today, we’re exploring the password habits in the IT & Technology industry.

Alarming numbers

No two IT & Technology companies are identical. The same can be said about professionals working in those industries. Some might excel at security while others not so much. Different strokes for different folks. However, a recent Ponemon Institute report sheds light on how the industry as a whole deals with password security.

One of the surprising revelations the report unveiled was that password reuse was quite common among IT professionals. The report indicates that 50% of the surveyed IT professionals have reused passwords on work-related accounts, and 49% of them have shared passwords with a colleague. This is an obvious red flag, but even more concerning is the fact that 42% of IT professionals reported that their organization relies on sticky notes to manage passwords.

Password habits among IT professionals

The NordPass Fortune 500 study delved deep into the password habits of the world’s top companies and revealed that, to this day, password security remains a challenge for many. One of the most disappointing findings was that “123456” and “password” remain the top choices to protect corporate accounts across all the 17 industries we have analyzed.

In the study, the IT & Technology industry was found to have a unique password percentile (UPP) of 28%, which is not ideal, especially knowing that the human resources industry had the highest UPP at 31%. Another interesting finding was that IT professionals have a tendency to use their company name or its variation to protect their corporate accounts, just like professionals in the Hospitality, Healthcare, and Retail & E-commerce industries. One of the most worrying things about the most popular passwords in the IT & Technology industry is that most of them could be guessed by bad actors and none could withstand a brute-force attack. Here are the top twenty:

Looking at the list alone, you would be hard-pressed to see that these passwords are frequently used by IT professionals. For the most part, they look like ones that an average user would use.

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A way to make password security simple and effective

According to the Ponemon Institute report, up to 55% of the surveyed IT professionals would prefer a method of protecting accounts that doesn't involve passwords. Wouldn’t we all? But the reality of the matter is that passwords are here to stay, and they are our very first line of defense. Sure, biometric authentication and multi-factor authentication can both be great ways to add an extra layer of security to online accounts.

You’ve heard us say it before, and you will hear us say it again: Password managers reign supreme when it comes to efficient and simple security. In today’s digital world, with cybercrime ramping up, a password manager should be a no-brainer for any self-respecting business.

A Business password manager such as NordPass makes everyone's life in the organization easier. It provides the security department with a complete look into employees’ password habits and helps standardize and enforce company-wide password policies. It also allows you to implement role-based access control and offers a way to safely share passwords in a team environment.

Some password managers come with built-in advanced security tools. With NordPass, you get a Data Breach Scanner, which is designed to help you detect whether any of your company's emails or domains have appeared in a data leak, and a Password Health Tool — a feature that helps companies assess the strength of their passwords.

If you are interested in how NordPass Business can improve your company’s security posture, don’t hesitate to book a demo and learn more about it today.

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