Are your passwords secure? Biggest risk for business today

Passwords are an extremely profitable target for hackers.  By the year 2021, cybercriminal activity will cost 6 trillion US dollars for businesses worldwide annually (which has doubled from $3 trillion in 2015). 

So in the year when cyber crimes are recognized as the greatest threat for business globally, not asking yourself a question ‘are my passwords are secure?’, can have severe consequences.

Cybercrimes and their effects

Most common cybercrimes out there are:

These crimes, usually being financially motivated, aim at gathering company’s sensitive data and using it against the company. 

Therefore, keeping your passwords secure, is the first crucial step in preparation against any possible dangers:

Financial loss

A single data breach on average costs a company 3.92 million US dollars. Becoming a victim of a cyber attack, caused by non secure passwords or simply human error, can put a small business at an extreme risk of leaving the market.

Customers’ mistrust

64% of people claimed that if a business experienced a data breach, they would no longer trust it

Therefore, since the risk of cyber crime is always present, only businesses which protect their own and their customers’ data win. 

Bankruptcy

In a recent article we mentioned that cyber attacks is the fastest growing crime globally. Unfortunately, 10% of small businesses, having experienced a cyber attack, go bankrupt.

How to keep passwords secure?

Since weak passwords and their unprofessional management are the biggest vulnerabilities which cause over 80% of data breaches, falling back into old habits can become too expensive. 

While ignorance has its cost, preparedness gives you more control and confidence.

A checklist on how to prepare against cyber attacks in advance:

  1. Stop sending passwords via email to you colleagues and clients. There are other secure sharing ways.
  2. Stop storing passwords in plaintext in Excel sheets. Check point 5.
  3. Never skip two factor authentication when logging in. 
  4. Educate your colleagues and employees about safe password management practises
    1. Update all weak, poor passwords to strong ones, leaving no room for hackers to find a weak spot,
    2. Never reuse the same passwords on multiple platforms,
    3. When signing up to an account, always generate strong passwords,
    4. Never save passwords in internet browser, cookies or other unknown internet source.
  5. Store your passwords in an encrypted, secure environment. Ideally, a password manager designed for business needs.

Implementing all the crucial steps in the checklist can save your nerves and money

Although it requires changing some habits, the outcome of preparation redeems all the efforts. 

Did you find this checklist helpful? 

Share it with your colleagues and business partners and help them keep their sensitive data and passwords secure.

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