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Password Reuse Problems Persist Despite Known Risks

Everyone is aware of the fact that digital security is becoming a bigger concern and a more expensive mistake with every passing day. Whether you are an individual or a business, cybercriminals are out to get whatever they can get and they don't mind stealing information and money from anyone. While cyber security was already a concern even before the pandemic, after the covid-19 situation it has become an even larger issue to deal with.

The State of The Internet

As businesses have gone online, employees have gone remote and many individuals have started looking towards online mediums to generate a livelihood, our dependence on the internet has grown many folds. According to a recent study, the average internet user now has well over 2 dozen accounts that he or she uses on a regular basis, and nearly all of them share either the same or very similar passwords.

While individuals are taking their security casually by having the same passwords everywhere, businesses are not helping the situation either as they are doing nothing to motivate users to employ more secure digital practices.

Organizations And Cyber Security

In the past companies focused on training and education of employees and individual internet users and also marketed just how dangerous the internet has become, but this did little to motivate them to improve their security. To get an understanding of just how much criminal activity is taking place on the internet the research firm Akamai found that in just 2020 alone there were over 190 billion digital attacks that tried to steal credentials from online users. One of the big reasons for this rapid increase in credential-stealing attacks is the fact that the way hackers operate is also changing. Where in the past hackers used brute force techniques and phishing scams to get money, today they use authentic credentials to crack into an account. This is by far a more effective strategy and one that uses significantly less time and resources.

Parallel to this, an entire market has developed on the Dark Web where hundreds of millions of stolen valid credentials are being sold to hackers who are looking to optimize their criminal activities.

Users And Cyber Security Management

According to recent studies people have been reluctant to change their passwords even after finding out that their cloud service provider has been compromised. Moreover, nearly 68% created stronger passwords for the financial service accounts while only 50% created stronger passwords for the personal email accounts.

Not surprisingly though the smallest proportion of people created stronger passwords for the work accounts, which goes to show how much risk organizations face in the form of employee security behavior.

Even though 90% of people responded saying that their digital footprint has increased after the pandemic and that they are now using more services than they were before, their security tactics have still remained nearly the same.

Unfortunately, not only are people using the same passwords and entire credentials across different platforms but they are also using the same security questions with the same answers. This compromises a person’s entire digital security suit and also puts at risk the people that they work with.

The only improvement in the digital security audit was that more people are now using multi-factor authentication for all their accounts. While this is a good step, it definitely isn’t enough to keep everyone safe from the growing threats.


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