Will we ever learn? ‘123456’ and ‘password’ are among the most popular passwords used by CEOs

This is something we are all regularly warned about, but it seems that even senior managers still use passwords that are very easy to guess.

A new study from NordPass has revealed the most popular passwords used by CEOs – with “123456” and “password” still at the top of the list.

Names and mythical creatures are also very commonly used, with “Michael”, “Jordans” and “dragon” also appearing at the top of the list.

A new study from NordPass has revealed the most popular passwords used by CEOs - with

New NordPass research has revealed the most popular passwords used by CEOs – with ‘123456’ and ‘password’ still at the top of the list

Top 10 passwords used by CEOs

Password Count
123456 29,401
the password 22,511
12345 11,876
123456789 10,988
qwerty 9,738
1234 6,520
qwerty123 6,446
1q2w3e 5,809
111111 5,487
12345678 5,099

The list of top passwords used by CEOs was compiled by NordPass in partnership with independent researchers specializing in cybersecurity incident research.

The team analyzed more than 290 million data breaches worldwide, before grouping passwords by role and industry.

Of the affected areas, technology, finance, construction, healthcare and hospitality experienced the most security incidents.

The list revealed that ‘123456’ was the most popular password among CEOs, having been used by 29,401 executives out of the 290 million data breaches.

‘Password’ was next with 22,511 uses, followed by ‘12345’ (11,876 uses), ‘123456789’ (10,988 uses) and ‘qwerty’ (9,738 uses).

Several names were widely used, with “Tiffany”, “Charlie”, “Michael”, and “Jordan” being the most popular options.

Besides names, CEOs also showed their love for animals and mythical creatures when it comes to passwords, with “dragon” and “monkey” proving to be the most used.

Last year, NordPass has revealed the 200 most common passwords used by the general public online.

Interestingly, this new data shows that easy-to-crack passwords are just as popular among business executives as they are among Internet users in general.

“It’s amazing how much we all think alike, and this research just confirms that – what we might consider very original, in fact, can put us on the list of most common,” said Jonas Karklys, NordPass CEO.

“Everyone from teenage gamers to business owners are targets of cybercrimes, and the only difference is that commercial entities, as a rule, pay a higher price for their ignorance.”

The team analyzed more than 290 million data breaches worldwide, before grouping passwords according to job title and industry (stock image)

The team analyzed more than 290 million data breaches worldwide, before grouping passwords according to job title and industry (stock image)

A report from IBM last year found that the average global cost of a data breach is now $4.24 million, 10% higher than in 2020.

Meanwhile, attacks that occur due to compromised credentials – which account for 20% of breaches – cost even more, at $4.37 million.

Based on the findings, NordPass urges internet users to follow simple steps to improve password security.

This includes rolling out a password manager, introducing cybersecurity training, and enabling multi-factor authentication.

Meanwhile, Grahame Williams, director of identity and access management at Thales, says passwords should be scrapped altogether.

“Passwords are no longer effective in their ability to secure sensitive data and are the primary resource for hackers to gain access to it,” he said.

“Organizations should instead seek to adopt access management solutions such as passwordless authentication that leverages FIDO, certificate-based PKI authentication, policy-based access and security solutions. cloud access management that ensure secure and convenient access to all cloud applications.

“This will overcome the inherent vulnerabilities of text-based passwords, while improving assurance and convenience levels.”

The study comes shortly after experts revealed how long it would take a hacker to crack your credentials.

According to research, anything with six characters, whether numbers and symbols are included or not, can be deciphered instantly.

The same goes for anything that has seven or eight characters but consists only of numbers or lowercase letters.

But the news doesn’t get much better for any combination of eight characters.

In fact, they can all be guessed in about 39 minutes according to American cybersecurity firm Hive Systems, based in Richmond, Virginia.

On the other hand, the way to guarantee that your password won’t be cracked for some 438 trillion years is to use 18 characters consisting of numbers, upper and lower case letters, and symbols.

Tips for keeping your passwords secure

1. Deploy a password manager

Password managers allow you to store all passwords in end-to-end encrypted digital storage locked with a single keyword for convenience. Most password managers have additional features to check password strength and automatically generate unique passwords. For organizations, they can be useful for sharing passwords with employees or managing their access.

2. Introduce cybersecurity training

Since simple human error remains the leading cause of data breaches, it is worth investing in cybersecurity training sessions for employees. Starting with the basics can be a good idea since people have different levels of technological knowledge.

3. Enable Multi-Factor Authentication

Known as MFA, it serves as an additional layer of security. It is an authentication method that uses two or more mechanisms to validate the user’s identity – they can be separate applications, security keys, devices or biometric data.

Source: North Pass

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