We live in a digital world where cybersecurity is an increasingly hot topic. Hackers have been around since the dawn of the internet, and there are many statistics that prove there’s still much to be done to improve security.
A 2022 FBI report claims that there were 3.26 million reported cyberattacks over the previous five years – totaling a loss of $27.6 billion. It’s also noteworthy that, according to digital communications giant Cisco, only 15% of organizations have the appropriate security maturity to properly defend themselves against cyberthreats.
Nvidia Data Breach Study Case
Nvidia’s massive data breach in 2022 is the perfect example. The GPU manufacturer was hacked by a ransomware group, which leaked 1TB of both employee data and sensitive company information. During this leak, it was revealed that the top five passwords used by employees were:
In order to defend themselves, small and big businesses need to enforce the best corporate password policies possible to ensure maximum security. These include educating employees, implementing rules, and using password management services.
Educate Employees on Cybersecurity
With companies permanently plugged in and reliant on the internet, the risk of being hacked is hugely increased by employees that are not properly educated in cybersecurity. As such, it’s vital that corporations offer training programs on various topics, such as password and authentication, cloud security, incident response, phishing, malware, and more.
By having a deeper understanding of how cybersecurity works, employees will adopt better data security practices and know how to react in case of an incident. This can determine whether all data ends up getting compromised, so it may be worth considering making cybersecurity awareness training mandatory.
Implement Password Hygiene Best Practices
One of the most commonly used passwords is ‘password’, which says it all. A 2020 Ponemon Institute survey found that 50% of IT security respondents reuse passwords in their workplace. Even worse, 51% reported sharing their passwords with team members. That’s why enforcing password hygiene practices is key to reducing the chance of falling for a cyberattack.
Aim for Complex Passwords
It’s always recommended for employees to create combinations of at least 14 characters with a mix of lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers, and symbols. It might be time consuming for employees to do this across their accounts and almost impossible for them to remember every combination. That’s why we highly suggest using a password manager that will carry out all that work for them.
Apply Password Sharing Rules
A strong, unique password is only one of the steps needed for maximum security. If a business doesn’t have rigid password-sharing rules, it all becomes irrelevant. Overall, businesses should have strict rules on password sharing by forbidding it on individual accounts. Naturally, sometimes sharing credentials between coworkers is necessary, and this is when using a password manager with secure shared vaults comes into play.
Enforce Multi-factor Authentication
Multi-factor authentication is another solid mechanism to have in place in a business environment. Having this electronic authentication method assures that employees will only be granted access to any given account after providing two or more pieces of evidence. In other words, it’s virtually impossible for a third party to get access to their accounts.
Adopt Biometric Authentication
Passwords should be unique, and there’s nothing more unique than a person’s biometrics. This means that relying on each employee’s distinctive biological features to access data is much safer than using a password. No wonder why this is considered to be one of the best authentication methods there is.
Use a Password Manager
Without a doubt, one of the most important acts a business can do to protect itself is to use a password manager designed to maintain maximum password integrity. Keeper Business is a reliable zero-knowledge system with robust encryption in which all data is encrypted and decrypted on the employee’s device, making it impossible to access its users’ information.
Moreover, the service generates strong passwords and provides each employee with a personal vault for their storage and organization. It also comes with several other important features, such as:
- Customizable and secure sharing capabilities.
- Two-factor authentication.
- Activity reporting.
- Team management.
- Shared administration.
- Advanced organizational structure.
How To Communicate Corporate Password Policies
Sometimes it can be difficult to get an important message across to the whole team, but a business needs to make it easy for any employee to understand how to handle passwords. Here are some ways to guarantee a company’s password policy is respected:
- Provide clear and accessible written guidelines on password creation and management.
- Offer video tutorials about how to correctly apply policies.
- Organize recurring cybersecurity training programs.
- Arrange meetings to explain the possible consequences of data breaches.
Security Is a Team Effort
The business world is increasingly an online one, and there’s no 100% foolproof method for keeping a company safe from hackers. However, ensuring thorough and coherent password security is a great place to start.
It’s a fact that those companies with strong corporate password policies already in place will be much better protected. Password hygiene, rules about sharing, and the use of a password manager such as Keeper Business are just some of the policies that every company needs to establish.
Fundamentally, knowledge is power, so the best way to stay safe is to make sure every employee is educated and has easy access to all the necessary tools.
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