Too many people are still not taking password security seriously enough
The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has just published the results of its first survey analysing public databases of breached accounts to see which words, phrases and strings people used.
One of its most alarming findings was that millions of users were still using easily-guessed passwords.
The most frequently found was 123456 followed by 123456789 and then 1111111.
Names were another favourite with Ashley, Michael, Jessica and Daniel top of the list.
It is astonishing given the steadily rising numbers of personal and business accounts that have been hacked and been defrauded of money that cyber security, particularly passwords, are still not taken seriously enough.
Security experts say that picking a good password is the “single biggest control” people had over their online security.
Keeping your business safe from cyber attack
Clearly password security is crucial to protect a business as hackers become ever more sophisticated.
There are some basic good habits that bear repeating and that businesses can adopt:
- Use a combination of numbers and letters that is not easy to guess.
- Change passwords regularly
- Restrict the information on passwords to only the key people who need access to those accounts, especially if they involve finances and payments.
- Ensure that all staff receive proper cyber-security training
- Ensure that they report suspected breaches, such as email requests for payment supposedly authorised by a named senior manager are checked and that NO links in emails are ever opened without checking with the “supposedly” authorising person.
No business can afford the financial losses associated with cyber fraud, which has been estimated to cost each victim in the region of £1,000 per case in 2018 and resulted in the loss of an estimated 50,000 jobs.