More research backs up what we already know about passwords: despite the warnings, we’re still rampantly reusing them across multiple accounts.
The habit exposes individuals to identity theft and corporate networks to attack. And the threat is getting worse, according to a research study conducted on behalf of Swivel Secure – network security solutions provider.The study looked at the online security habits of 2,500 working Americans.
“This year has seen an all-time high in data breaches which have left millions of confidential personal details, credit card and account numbers, and corporate systems exposed to theft,” says Fraser Thomas, vice president, international, Swivel Secure. “Yet this seems to have had little to no effect on the security practices of the country’s workforce.”
Even so, 62% of respondents say they are concerned about their personal security online. Thomas says it’s time to “put an end to the password epidemic in 2015 by embracing today’s generation of strong online authentication.”
He calls passwords an outdated form of authentication. “Today’s cyber-criminals are well attuned to this problem and have designed hacks to capture all kinds of passwords,” Thomas says. “The bottom line is password reuse is making it easy for hackers to get hold of a horrifying amount of very important confidential information. ”
Among the study’s findings:
- One in five working Americans reuses the same username and password across their personal and business accounts.
- Nearly three-quarters of U.S. business owners keep a written log or have another offline system for recording their passwords.
- 63% of U.S. business owners reuse the same passwords to log in to different systems.
- 61% of U.S. business owners are ‘unconcerned’ by the security of their corporate systems.
- 73% of U.S. full-time workers admit to reusing the same batch of passwords online.
- 33% of U.S. full time workers use less than five different passwords to access between 25 and 50 personal and business sites.
- Nearly three-quarters of 55-64 year olds are “unconcerned” by the security of their work IT systems, compared with almost half of 25-34 year olds.
Swivel Secure recently released a white paper, Passwords: The Weak Link in Digital Security, detailing the failures of usernames and passwords.