OpenVPN surveyed 500 U.S. full-time employees about their cybersecurity hygiene to find areas of weakness that could potentially lead to breaches of personal data. The study found 25% of those surveyed reuse the same password for all their accounts, while 23% admit to rarely or never verifying a link will lead to the website they intend it to before clicking the link.
Although cybersecurity technology and methods have advanced considerably in recent years, researchers find that using passwords that can be easily remembered leads to weaker security. It would be relatively easy for a hacker to bypass these passwords with brute force attacks.
The weaknesses are then passed on to other networks creating more vulnerabilities when individuals use those same weak passwords to protect multiple portals such as their bank account, email, and social media, risking both their personal and work information.
There are ways to combat weak passwords, such as the use of a password manager or incorporating the use of a fingerprint reader. Unfortunately, this technology can be expensive, and only 62% of employees believe that biometrics are stringer than traditional alphanumeric codes. This has led to only 55% of employees using some form of biometric passwords.
“Cybersecurity issues won't go away, and the onus is on employers to teach their employees good cyber habits and protect themselves and business operations from malicious actors,” Francis Dinha, CEO of OpenVPN said.
Dinha added that a holistic security education and cyber hygiene program will be required to address these issues along with clear communication and tips to help employees develop good cyber habits.
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