Imagine the livelihood of hundreds, even thousands of employees in a company being entrusted to one person using the phrase ‘123456’ or ‘qwerty’ as a password?
It sounds a bit ridiculous, but it turns out to be true.
A study from the NordPass password manager determined in 2020 that the most commonly used passwords of the online community were consecutive numbers like ‘123456’, ‘picture1’ and the phrase ‘password’. . And a more recent sample of 290 million cybersecurity data breaches globally simultaneously represents the job levels of those affected.
And it turns out, even the CEOs and senior managers of many businesses have the same password choice habits as the general public. However, instead of numbers, they tend to choose passwords as names. “Tiffany” was found in 100,534 breaches; then “Charlie” with 33,699 times; “Michael” was found 10,647 times and “Jordan” 10,472 times.
The report also ranks mythical creatures and animals as the preferred password commonly cracked in data breaches. “Dragon” was detected in 11,926 cases and “monkey” was 11,675 times.
Ash Smith, an IT engineer, recommends that companies consider providing randomly generated passwords when new accounts are created. “The strongest password should be 3 random words, and you can create a story about them to help remember”, he shared.
This study is quite disturbing and makes it clear that most data breaches do not arise from an organized and large-scale cyber attack. Instead, about 80% are caused by people who create and use stupid and easy-to-guess passwords.
It also makes you wonder: Does my boss really go to the ‘mandatory’ cybersecurity training meetings we often see via email?