Identity theft has been rising in recent years. SpyCloud's 2021 Annual Credential Exposure Report states that 1.5 billion credentials and 4.6 billion PII assets have been released to criminal communities over the last year. In spite of this alarming backdrop, people are nowhere near following good password security practices. As a result, we are still far from solving this global problem.
Another preoccupying insight that this report illustrates is that users tend to have passwords that reflect recent global phenomena. For example, covid-19 and related words were some of the most frequent passwords.
Password reuse and weak passwords are still standard practices that can jeopardize an entire organization's data, ruin businesses, and ultimately put users in dangerous positions. Because of this, we at Skyriver IT are here to help. In this article, we propose five steps to reduce the risk of credential exposure.
1. Analyze the Strength of Your Current Credentials
Run a complete check on your current credentials (many online tools are available). Evaluate the overall level of security and get a feel for your exposure risk. Make sure everyone in your organization is conscientious about the problem.
2. Check for Leaked Credentials
Use tools such as Have I Been Pwned to determine if you are already facing a security breach. If you have not been following password best practices, chances are some credentials may already have been leaked. If that's the case, do not panic but take action accordingly. Analyze why and how the credentials were stolen (if possible), and ensure not to repeat the errors that led you here.
3. Use Multi-factor Authentication
When crafting new passwords, starting off with the right foot is crucial. Multi-factor authentication lets you increase the credential's strength with biometrics, Google Authenticator, and fingerprint authentication. You can also utilize services that send a message to the administrator when somebody logs in to a specific platform so that you are informed if somebody out of your organization is trying to hack you.
4. Don’t Include Hugely Popular Words in Your Passwords
This is a major one. Passwords should be a form of data encryption, so ensure that everyone in your business is aligned with this principle. Don't create passwords with references to any company-related term or, for that matter, any news or any very known word. If you're having trouble with this one, you can always use a random letter generator, choose the number of letters you want, and create a random password (those are the strongest).
5. Let Professionals Help
Just as attackers constantly find new approaches and methods to steal credentials, you must implement an automatically repeated process to check for credentials exposure and act before it's too late. This is where professionals come in handy. We at SkyRiver IT have the right tools to help you implement a complete security system to avoid beaches and keep you focused on your business. Let us set the stage for you to shine!
The Bottom Line
Credential exposure has been rising in recent years. Despite the obvious dangers that identity and password theft represent, users are still not following password best practices and sometimes end up in desperate situations.
Nevertheless, you can change this! With our tips, we sincerely hope we can help you mitigate these risks and that your company is sound and safe. If you want to know more about what we do, feel free to contact us!
Read more about the Benefits of Skyriver IT Here.