Password security isn’t some high-tech process that only the richest corporations can afford or should care about. The security of an organization’s passwords should be a prime concern, being that passwords are always the first line of defense against cyber attacks. A good password can take a computer trillions of years to crack. For example, let’s say your password looks like this:
According to this password checker tool, this password would take four hundred billion years to crack. Good password habits can mean the difference between bankruptcy and a flourishing business, given that the average breach costs about $8 million in damages. Ready to take passwords more seriously? Here are eight reasons why your business should do so.
1. It’s Easy
Password security and management isn’t nearly as complex as it seems. You don’t need special software (although a password manager is a good idea) and all it takes is a bit of effort. Password management for business starts with creating stronger passwords. Using a password manager can help ensure that those newly-formed, strong passwords are stored properly and not just sitting out on a desk somewhere or in a spreadsheet.
You can even subscribe to a premium version and get all kinds of extra features, like a password generator, secure file storage, dark web monitoring, and so much more.
2. More Breaches Occur Through Compromised Passwords
Did you know that about 81% of data breaches in business occur because of compromised passwords? In the same vein, about 70% of employees reuse passwords at work. You simply cannot recycle passwords, because it creates a massive security problem. If an employee logs into several company areas each day with the same password, a hacker only needs to compromise that one password to gain entry to the whole system. Think of it like a set of keys. If every key on your keyring opens every door, what’s the point of having multiple keys? Someone could just steal one key, and they could get into your house, lockbox, garage, car, etc.
3. Legal Implications
Let’s not forget that a data breach due to password failure can have serious legal implications; especially if you’re storing customer information. Some of the biggest data breaches in history have occurred because of compromised passwords, and the companies responsible have faced litigation and millions in damages. If you’re running a small business, the legal and settlement fees alone could be enough to cripple or bankrupt the organization.
What’s worse is that it can all be prevented with simple password habits! Keeping track of old passwords, storing them properly, and creating strong passwords can be the trifecta of security for your company’s passwords.
4. Financial Ruin
Let’s expand on the point of financial damages. To start, here are some startling data breach statistics to think about:
- 62% of businesses experienced phishing or social engineering attacks in 2018
- Data breaches exposed about 4 billion records in the first half of 2019
- The average cost of a data breach is between $3 and $8 million
- The Equifax breach cost the company about $4 billion in total
- The average ransomware attack on a business costs about $130,000
- Google was fined $57 billion for GDPR violations by CNIL
Are you noticing a theme here? Data breaches cost millions or even billions, depending on the scope. Don’t put your business at risk with something as simple as a password.
5. Creating A More Secure Internet
Aside from the individual responsibility of securing a business, we all have a social responsibility to help create a more secure internet. If businesses are taking the necessary measures to protect themselves, they’ll be helping the worldwide effort to secure websites and systems against hackers. If we ignore these issues, hackers can run amok and cause havoc among small and large businesses and individuals.
6. Employees Are Part Of The Formula
If you’re not taking your passwords seriously, you can’t exactly expect your employees to. And they’re a huge part of the cybersecurity formula. This means you have to set the example and reinforce better password habits across your entire organization. A single bad password can affect the whole system and everyone at the company.
7. It’s Affordable
There’s a common misconception that cybersecurity is too expensive for small businesses. This is simply false. A password manager for business only costs a few dollars per month, and can massively increase your business’s overall security. You won’t be spending a small fortune on complex software; you’ll be spending a bit of extra money each month to protect, manage, and organize your passwords for greater efficiency and security.
8. The World Is Watching
Businesses often forget that while they don’t technically answer to anyone in particular, the world is still watching what they do. We look down on businesses that don’t value customers or protect their information, and you don’t want to develop a reputation for such behavior. This can cripple your business, and if you experience a breach, you might be out of the game for good.