During the pandemic, the risk of cybercrime rose quite dramatically. The FBI received thousands of reports of Covid-related scams, as cybercriminals took full advantage of the virus and all of its concerns.
The average home user is subject to many threats, as are businesses. Ransomware, man-in-the-middle attacks, phishing, and malware, are all common threats today when using the internet.
With ecommerce growing at an exponential rate, and companies conducting international business transactions, the most sensitive financial data is traveling back and forth across the net constantly. Understanding how to protect your business from ever-evolving cybercrime is critical to avoiding data breaches.
One of the most regular types of breach though involves passwords that have been compromised. A few years ago, testers found that the majority of new Pentagon weapons were vulnerable to attack. Why? Because the password used on these systems was either too simple or left at the default factory settings.
How real a threat is a cybercrime?
Cybercrime is a very genuine threat to anyone who goes online. Mobile devices, laptops, business networks. These are all targets for cybercriminals looking to steal sensitive data, and ultimately make money.
One report by Forbes shows that the number of cyber attacks has risen year on year. The report goes on to say that cybercrime will cost the world around $10,5 trillion by 2025.
Another study by a Clark School suggested that there was a cyberattack as often as every 39 seconds. If true, then this means that there is an almost continuous, relentless, bombardment of attempted attacks on businesses and individuals every day.
And the golden ticket for hackers is passwords and usernames. With these, they can access all manner of business systems and accounts, transfer money, and steal important data including intellectual property.
How many passwords does a typical individual have?
Studies and reports do vary, but it is generally agreed that in general, a person may have 70 to 100 passwords. This would obviously cover accounts that were no longer used and a large variety of areas.
The obvious accounts that most people have will be online banking, credit cards, email accounts, social networking sites, and Google, but there are more. If you are signed up for Adobe, or Google Play, then you will have a password. Your DesignCrowd account needs a password. And then there are your work accounts and your business too.
PCMag reports that around 65% of people will write down their passwords, and an alarming 57% will forget their newly reset passwords almost instantly.
With stats like these, it is no wonder then that many people choose to use simplistic passwords, and then reuse them across different platforms and accounts. This is why neglected and defunct accounts can cause problems. You may not use your Yahoo! email anymore, but if a hacker obtains the password and username they may find it easy to access your new Gmail account with the same details.
What is enterprise password management?
Clearly, individuals should be trying to protect their passwords far better than they currently do. Ideally, a person would have a unique password for every account, and it would be extremely strong.
The same is true in business. Cybersecurity is absolutely crucial to business today. Data breaches can damage reputations, wipe money from shares, and cause mergers to fail. Therefore, many businesses use an enterprise password management solution to increase security around their passwords and networks.
Enterprise password management is the practice of securing all users’ authentication details. In short, it is a way to manage and secure all the passwords used within a business’s networks and systems.
How do password managers help?
It can be difficult to think up new passwords that are unique and strong. A password manager can do exactly this. Not only will the tool generate new passwords, but it will also make them unique to every account. This means that unlike your old Yahoo! login details, this new password won’t access any other accounts you hold.
A password manager is a tool that can be used by businesses, or home users, to store all their unique passwords and credentials safely away from prying eyes. The data is all held in a kind of vault which is secured by one very strong password.
How secure are password vaults?
Of course, the risk of putting all your eggs, or in this case log-in details, in one basket is potentially a poor idea.
Password managers aren’t completely infallible so it is important to find one that is highly rated and uses the best encryption. There have been instances of password managers and vaults being hacked, however, the alternative is far riskier.
Any system in the world can potentially be hacked, nevertheless, password managers still offer a much more secure way to keep credentials and log-in details secure.
Writing down passwords, leaving systems logged in, or reusing passwords across multiple platforms and accounts, is a cybercriminal’s dream.
Why is password management important for businesses?
It isn’t easy to remember long and complicated passwords, and yet short memorable ones are easy to break. Enterprise password managers offer a way for employees to keep all their credentials and passwords in one safe space, and encrypt and protect them.
They can be used to store other credentials and data such as PINs too. Any authorized person need only know the master password to the management software to access the encrypted passwords.
Businesses need high-grade password managers to generate unique passwords that are uncrackable. Many small to large businesses will have highly sensitive data on their networks which includes employee information, financial records, and research and development details. In the wrong hands, all of these files and data can be leveraged.
How can you increase your business’s online security?
Cybercrime isn’t something that you just see in movies, it is a genuine threat to business today. There are some critical cyber security measures to take to secure your website, and there are more you can take to ensure your network and servers are protected.
Multi-factor authentication is being used more and more. Indeed, password managers can come in useful here by storing recovery codes for this type of authentication. Virtual data rooms also play a big part in keeping information safe and secure. These allow companies to store IP, financial records, and other sensitive data securely. They are often used in IPOs or M&A transactions.
SSL certificates, VPNs, firewalls, and network audits, are all useful ways to help make a business more secure. Bringing in outside cyber security experts to test and probe your network for weaknesses is also an effective way to improve systems. These people often employ white-hat hacker techniques and will try to gain access just as a cybercriminal would.
Enterprise password management solutions play an equally important part in this area. Protecting passwords is crucial to maintaining that only authorized people can peruse sensitive, private information.
While passwords aren’t the most effective security measure, they can be tightened up. Passwords themselves are a great way to lock out unauthorized individuals. The main problem with them is that users can be lazy and use ineffective passwords.
Therefore, an enterprise or business-grade password manager can help. They will produce unique passwords, encrypt them, and lock them away where they cannot be seen.
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