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Why Better Password Hygiene Should Be Part of Your New Year's Resolutions

Organizations Must Assume That Bad Actors Are Already in Their Networks

The world has been faced with numerous life lessons in 2020, but it’s clear that millions of people still haven’t learned one of the most basic when it comes to security. A new reportt from NordPass has revealed that millions of people still haven’t broken the habit of using easy-to-remember, but easy-to-hack passwords. Of the 200 most common passwords, ‘123456’ took the number one spot again, but unfortunately for the more than two million people using it, it can be broken in less than a second. Other popular passwords included ‘iloveyou’ and the ever-so-creative ‘password’. When it comes to breaches, all roads still lead to identity. Hackers don’t hack in anymore. They log in using stolen, weak, default, or otherwise compromised credentials. That’s why it’s critical that everyone put password hygiene at the top of their New Year’s resolutions list. 

Despite all the new technologies, strategies, and artificial intelligence being employed by security experts and threat actors alike, one thing remains constant: the human element. As humans we’re fallible — a fact that threat actors frequently exploit when launching phishing and social engineering campaigns to establish a foothold in their victim’s IT environment.

The reality is that many breaches can be prevented by some of the most basic cyber hygiene practices. Yet most organizations continue to invest the largest chunk of their security budget on protecting the network perimeter rather than focusing on establishing key identity-related security controls. In fact, a recent study by the Identity Defined Security Alliance (IDSA) reveals credential-based data breaches are both ubiquitous (94% of survey respondents experienced an identity-related attack) and highly preventable (99%).


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