For British businesses, is the password a past word?

‘Please enter your password’ – a request that people are asked with increasing frequency nowadays as our work and personal lives migrate online.

It’s an innocent enough exchange, invented by the Roman Army and translated into the digital world with the first computers in the 1960s, but one which is loaded with possible issues.  

The problem is that, in the modern world, a single password is a gateway to an untold amount of confidential and contentious information. For this reason, nefarious individuals will do anything to steal them, knowing that most people use a single password across multiple logins. 

The average Briton now has to remember 19 passwords. Faced with this daunting array it’s no surprise that many people double up or use weak, easy to remember alternatives. In the battle for headspace, the cat’s name often wins over a combination of uppercase, lowercase and numbers.  

What does this mean for the UK’s businesses? The answer is increased risk.

Every single business, large or small, is now a target for cyber-criminals and you WILL get breached at some point. The latest statistics put the rate of breach at UK companies at around 93 per cent for large companies, and 87 per cent for small businesses. 

Whilst high-profile organisations are at risk from sophisticated targeted attacks, smaller ones also hold highly valuable data such as banking information, password databases and other confidential information.  

There are many ways to breach organisations, but at some point nearly all of them involve stealing a password. Access to a corporate network, the treasure trove of information for hackers, is typically reliant on a character set supposedly only known to the authorised individual, therefore it often becomes a game of cat and mouse to try and steal passwords.

Read on to discover the scenarios criminals are using to snatch passwords and data from businesses.

Image via Shutterstock.

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