It’s long been the case with password security that longer is safer. But new research has revealed that even 15 character passwords can be cracked.
The most common eight-character password compromised is… (you might want to sit down for this one) – password.
The most compromised 15-character password is ‘Sym_newhireOEI’.
There are a few factors that result in passwords becoming compromised – the password length, the content of the password and whether you use the same password on multiple sites.
This passwords problem isn’t just impacting individuals, it’s also a massive problem for companies, because a massive 86% of cyber attacks start with stolen credentials.
Shorter passwords that use obvious patterns (like proper words, consecutive letters or consecutive numbers) can be cracked by brute force attacks (attackers using excessively forceful attempts to gain access to user accounts) in a matter of minutes. In fact, an obvious eight-character password can be cracked in just five minutes.
A more complex 15-character password that follows no obvious pattern could take up to 37 million years to crack.
What should you do?
Firstly, use a robust corporate password manager. You can use it not only to store passwords securely, but also to generate random, more secure passwords to use.
We also recommend that you introduce Multi Factor Authentication, which involves generating a code on a separate device (for example, by SMS to your registered mobile number, or in an authentication app that your IT support company has installed).
If reading this article has left you feeling a little uncomfortable, get in touch with us and we’ll help to secure your organisation.