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Don't Be the Next SolarWinds — Eliminate Weak Passwords Now

How can people and enterprises avoid being the next “solarwinds123”?

Edward Gately

May 6, 2021

6 Slides

If a single weak password can bring a company like SolarWinds to its knees, imagine what weak passwords could do to your business.

Thursday is World Password Day, and its message has never been more critical. How can people and enterprises avoid becoming the next “solarwinds123”? —

Clara Angotti is president and co-founder of Next Pathway.

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Next Pathway’s Clara Angotti

“One of the most powerful yet simple ways to improve any organization’s security posture is by enforcing strong password management policies and practicing good password hygiene, as passwords are critical gatekeepers to our digital identities and information,” she said. “Passwords are the backbone of any organization’s cybersecurity strategy but can also be the biggest threat to an organization’s security. Weak password management can leave enterprises vulnerable to data loss and privacy violations. Organizations must enforce strong password management policies.”

Weak passwords can compromise a company’s security, opening the floodgates for hackers to steal information, Angotti said. Once a corporate network is breached, it can have consequences that affect the entire business and everyone who works for it.

Alarming Statistics

A recent survey of 1,000 employees commissioned by Keeper Security provides some alarming statistics:

  • Over half of respondents admit to writing down work-related online passwords on sticky notes. Also, two-thirds admit to having lost these notes. In addition to leaving sensitive corporate information in full view of anyone else living in or visiting their home, this harms organizational efficiency. Lost sticky notes mean lost passwords, which result in help desk tickets to reset these passwords.

  • Sixty-two percent store login credentials in a notebook or journal. And the overwhelming majority keep these notebooks next to or close to their work devices. Therefore,anyone else who lives in or is visiting their home can access them.

Corey Nachreiner is CTO at WatchGuard Technologies.

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WatchGuard’s Corey Nachreiner

“World Password Day has served as an annual reminder that we all need to practice better password security for nearly a decade,” he said. “And yet, 80% of breaches began with brute force attacks, or lost or stolen credentials last year. Attackers add millions of new usernames and passwords every day to the billions already available on the dark web. This has been the trend for years now, so at a certain point we have to ask if daily headlines on the latest security breaches and hacks aren’t enough of a cue to practice good password hygiene, is there much value in World Password Day?”

Check out our slideshow above for password security tips from Infrascale and more.

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email Edward Gately or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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