If criminals get into your system, it can cost you around $4.45 million. This is the reason why more than half of all organizations are planning to increase their security budget this upcoming year.
That said, the one change that can help protect your company the most may require a change of culture along with your investment in security.
Here are 4 ways that weak passwords put your organization at risk.
1. Fall Victim to Common Cyber Threats
Phishing, ransomware, and viruses are among the most common ways that criminals use to breach security systems, but none of these target user credentials.
Weak passwords result in an additional threat because they can be unveiled by brute force and dictionary attacks.
In short, brute force attacks occur when a criminal uses trial and error to guess or crack your password. Dictionary attacks are a type of brute force attack that uses a list of passwords commonly used in business settings.
2. Compromise Customer Data
One of the biggest issues with suffering a breach is that it can expose your customer’s private information. This can range from personal information like full name and addresses to highly confidential data like bank accounts.
The worst part is that this occurs to companies of all sizes — smartphone giant Samsung recently announced that customer data has been compromised by hackers since 2019.
3. Suffer Financial Losses
As we mentioned earlier, a security breach in 2023 can cost more than $4 million, but the scariest part may just be that 80% of breaches occur due to weak or shared passwords.
This is the reason why you need to have both a security system and a contingency plan for your company.
The financial loss can be fatal from a business perspective, but it’s also a relatively common occurrence that you need to be prepared for, at least to some extent.
4. Become a Bigger Target for Hackers and Fraudsters
Research suggests that 83% of companies that suffer one cybersecurity breach usually fall victim to multiple attacks.
This is due, in part, to the fact that cybercriminals target companies with obvious security breaches.
So, if criminals identify a company that has weaknesses in its network, they usually exploit the weaknesses individually until all of them are exhausted.
How to Reduce Digital Risks in Your Business
Weak passwords or credential-related negligence is one of the biggest threats to your business. But, there are many steps you can take to protect your company and ensure that your employees use secure passwords.
In addition to keeping all of your systems updated, here are some steps you can take to protect your organization.
Create a Strong Password Policy
First and foremost, make sure to create a strong password policy and make sure that everyone knows about it.
If it isn’t already, you should introduce your password policy in your employee’s initial training sessions to make sure they keep it in mind at all times.
In case you are implementing a password policy for the first time, it’s important to announce it verbally, place written resources around the company, and make sure that everyone knows why it’s being implemented.
Encrypt Employee Connections
Internet connections are potential access points for hackers. Fortunately, you can help protect your employees by encrypting the connections whenever they access the internet.
The best and easiest way to do this is to give your employees access to a virtual private network or VPN.
There are many VPN free downloads out there, but take your time to research different providers and choose one with the best subscription.
Provide Regular Security Training Sessions
Lastly, never assume that all of your employees are familiar with cybersecurity best practices.
Instead, organize regular training sessions to make sure everyone is on the same page.
To Wrap Up
A single cyberattack would be enough to derail your entire business. It’s essential to take steps to protect yourself against brute force attacks, safeguard customer data, and prevent large-scale financial losses.
The good news is that you can take steps like implementing a better password policy, providing training for your team, and furnishing employees with safety tools.