Cyberattacks against major retailers and other businesses have increased drastically over the last few months. Target was hacked back in December, which revealed how vulnerable even the biggest name businesses were to cyberattacks. The company reported that 40 million customer credit cards have been compromised. These customers were encouraged to review their credit cards for suspicious transactions and request new cards if they noticed any fraudulent activity.
Many online merchants have been recently hacked as well. These cyberattacks have exposed many customer passwords, which has created a cybersecurity nightmare.
Making Password Management a Priority
Both customers and companies need to understand the risks and take the necessary steps to protect against them. Here are some things that they will need to keep in mind.
Avoid Using the Same Password on Multiple Accounts
A 2011 study from the University of Cambridge found that almost 50% of people use the same passwords on multiple platforms.
This is a huge security concern. A recent report from Apple shows that people reusing passwords has made it much easier for hackers to use ransom software on some of its mobile devices.
If their password is compromised on one site, then the hacker can gain access to all of their accounts on other platforms. People that have been reusing passwords are urged to start creating new ones for the different sites and applications that they use. This is especially important if one of the sites that you have used has recently been hacked.
Awareness of Security Flaws Should Be Priority
Even some of the best IT experts have overestimated the security of many popular web applications. Experts from Google discovered the HeartBleed security flaw in the OpenSSL cryptography library. Microsoft also unveiled some serious security issues with its Internet Explorer application.
Both consumers and website owners using these applications need to understand these risks. They will want to either use different encryption tools or change their passwords after the bugs are addressed.
Need to be More Careful With Passwords
Technical problems aren’t the only concern with passwords. Hackers often use social engineering strategies to con people into sharing their passwords. Some people also run into problems when they share passwords with trusted people through insecure connections.
You should always be careful about who you share your passwords with. You should also use one of the 2 Secure Ways to Share a Password to keep your systems secure.
Need for Double Token Authentication
More websites are realizing that they need to use double authentication to enhance security. This approach has been shown to improve security considerably.