Password Security in the Media and Advertising Industry

Lukas Grigas
Cybersecurity Content Writer
women in a photo frame

Passwords are the core authentication layer on all of our accounts. However, bad password habits are more common than we’d like to admit. According to Verizon’s Data Breach Investigations Report, 80% of hacking-related breaches in 2020 were linked to passwords.

In the business world, bad password habits can pose an existential threat to any organization, regardless of its size. Today, we’re looking at password habits of the media and advertising industry and exploring ways to effectively improve corporate password management.

Poor password hygiene is a big problem

Poor password security has been plaguing the business world ever since we had to start remembering more than one password. The recent rise of remote work and the increase of e-commerce due to the COVID-19 pandemic have added new risks. A recent study found that one in four people reuse work-related passwords for dating apps, food delivery services, and much more. Unfortunately, those reused passwords are often weak ones too.

When an employee chooses to reuse a password — whether for another business account or a personal one — it opens a door for a potential data breach. Imagine that someone uses the same password for their business and personal social media account, and the social media site in question experiences a data breach. Now, the password that was used for both accounts is likely in the hands of a dubious third party, which puts the business account protected by that password in jeopardy.

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Passwords in the media and advertising industry

Reports show that people working in media and advertising tend to juggle the most passwords at once. On average, an employee in that industry has to deal with around 97 passwords. Unfortunately, it is more than likely that a significant part of them are reused. This is a clear sign that, despite the fact that we live in the so-called digital age, we still struggle to grasp the importance of cybersecurity.

Our recent study of Fortune 500 companies and their security practices shows that the media and advertising industry has a unique password percentile of 27%, which is not great. Here are the top passwords in media and advertising:

  1. password

  2. aaron431

  3. myspace1

  4. jesus1

  5. unwantedx1

  6. 123456

  7. default

  8. password1

  9. 4eVer22

Admittingly, some of them are quite humorous. However, the simplicity of these passwords is alarming, as most of them could be cracked in less than a few minutes, and some in under a second.

Such poor security habits are a real problem that could — and often does — lead to disastrous outcomes. According to a recent IBM report, data breach costs rose from $3.86 million to $4.24 million. Improving corporate password security is essential if businesses want to thrive in the modern-day digital economy.

Boosting password security in the media and advertising industry

In a perfect world, nobody would reuse passwords. Everybody would also use a strong and unique one for each online account. They would update passwords regularly and would never share them via unsecure online channels. Oh, and everyone would use password managers to securely store their login credentials. Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world. We’re all human, and we can be messy. However, password security is a problem that must be addressed.

NordPass has already helped a few media and advertising companies boost their password security.

Trigger Media, a Dublin-based media agency, faced a variety of password management issues prior to adopting NordPass. The company’s employees stored their passwords in a password-protected file in Google Docs and shared them via messaging apps or emails. What posed the biggest risk was the fact that the company used a single password for quite a few of its accounts. However, ever since Trigger Media adopted NordPass Business, all of those issues were solved. Additionally, a password manager improved the company’s efficiency as all the passwords were organized in a single place where everyone could find them on demand.

The onboarding was perfect. It was smooth and quick. Password Health and Activity Log are my favorite features. They allow us to check for weak spots in our security and see how our staff uses NordPass.

Krysta Roe

Director, Trigger Media

A password manager is one of the best ways you can boost your company’s cybersecurity as a whole, regardless of the industry your business operates in. A professional business password manager such as NordPass not only provides a single secure place to store passwords but also makes it easy to do so thanks to its intuitive user interface. Once your employees see how easy it is to manage passwords securely, it will become a habit.

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