Cybersecurity: Why good password practices matter to your small business

Cybersecurity threats are one of the most prominent issues facing small businesses today. In fact, according to the Verizon Data Breach Report, 61 percent of breach victims in 2017 were businesses with fewer than 1,000 employees.

Unfortunately, many of these cyber attacks are made possible by the simple aspect of human error. Negligent employee behavior, like using weak passwords or outdated software, can open your organization to a possible attack. And, while cyber security concerns for business continue to grow, research has shown that the majority of people continue to be negligent in their cybersecurity practices.

[amazon_link asins=’159932590X’ template=’ProductAd’ store=’succeedingin-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’5d1da07d-31be-11e8-b308-3103fe129404′]For example, a research password security study conducted by Varonis found that the majority of Americans fail to follow password security best practices, despite having real-life experiences with data breaches. Major security flaws the study found included:

– Despite the increasing number of hacks in the news cycle, only 1 in 5 Americans said they change their password as a result of hearing about a hack

– 57 percent of people remember their passwords through memorization, despite the fact that strong passwords should be complex and not reused

– 11 percent of people keep track of their passwords through pen and paper, although writing your password in plain text isn’t recommended

– Only 7 percent of people use password management software to keep track of their logins, despite this being the most recommended tactic

With human error the cause of so many small business data breaches — and with individuals using lax security measures in their own digital lives — it’s more important than ever that small businesses implement strong cybersecurity policies, particularly regarding the use of passwords. These policies should include:

– Requiring employees to use strong, complex passwords
– Requiring the use of a password manager, such as LastPass
– Using multi-factor authentication where possible
– Teaching and enforcing cybersecurity and password best practices

To learn more about password security habits of Americans, check out the infographic from Varonis, below.

Please include attribution to with this graphic.

Americans and Password Security

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