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Why passwords are the #1 cyber risk facing companies in 2022

Ransomware, social engineering attacks, phishing campaigns. The cyberthreat is everywhere. While these forms of cybercrime threaten the livelihood of companies worldwide. Something as benign as passwords still represent the biggest cyber risk facing companies in 2022. Below, we'll explain why.

Most IT professionals have heard that 81% of all data breaches are caused by poor password security. People are notoriously bad at remembering their passwords. It’s a problem everyone can relate to.

But still.

How is it that something as simple as password still remain the number one breach risk? You would think that this was a simple problem that would have been solved years ago. Yet, this is not entirely the case.

The daily use of passwords is still responsible for the majority of data breaches in companies in 2022 (and the last many years). What’s even more interesting is that the risk presented to companies by poor password hygiene has also increased in the past few years.

The question is why.

If you take a look at how digitization and our global digital transformation have affected the way we work, this cyber risk trend is actually rather expected and even predictable.

Let’s break it down in 6 steps.

Why passwords are the #1 cybersecurity risk facing companies today (explained in 6 step).

1. Everything (and everyone) is becoming digital

Every year, the number of companies heavily investing in digital solutions to stay competitive increase. In 2021 alone, analytics agency Gartner, estimateted that global it investments would grow 8.6 procent. Especially post-pandemic forces have driven businesses to invest heavily in long range of digital solutions. Gartner estimates that the cloud service industry will reach an astronomical $482 billion in 2022.

2. Digital transformation is at a record-high

It’s estimated that an average enterprise use 1295 cloud services. This includes all formes of cloud services, such as SaaS, PaaS and IaaS.

3. Employees have to manage a heap of logins

For every cloud service a company uses follows dozens or even hundreds of employee logins. Sets of credentials that could potentially be leaked or breached, and therefore represent an entry point for hackers and malicious actors.

4. More logins = more passwords to remember.

The more logins each employee has, the more passwords they have to remember. Research shows that an average employee manages over 191 passwords in the span of a year. To manage this many passwords, people make use of creative (and risky) ways to store them, such as on physical notes or in a spreadsheet on their computer.

5. Easy to remember. Easy to guess.

When people have juggle this many passwords, they resort to solution that make their job easier – such as using simple passwords or reusing old ones – and sacrifice security best practices in the process. 

6. Weak passwords = higher risk

In the same second, employees decide to use weak passwords or reuse old ones (in the lack of better solution), your company’s cybersecurity plummets. Today, the most widely used passwords can be breached in seconds, phishing attacks are more sophisticated than ever before and data breach incidents are becoming just another cost of doing business. 

What is the solution to the password problem?

Unless you’re capable of ensuring that your employees maintain healthy password hygiene across all their services, your best option to eliminate password-related risk is to turn to better security tech.

The most obvious solution is to implement a password manager like Uniqkey (there’s quite a few password managers out there, check out a comparison of each one here).

A password manager stores and remembers passwords for you, and auto-fills them whenever you need them.

It’s an extremely effective way to prevent employees from using poor passwords (and in turn putting your business at risk). When your employees don’t have to manually manage their passwords or remember them, they can easily start choosing unique and complex passwords for all their accounts, which instantly significantly strengthens the overall security of your entire company.

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