Passwords are the ubiquitous safeguard against unauthorized system and network access. But as you have undoubtedly seen and experienced, sophisticated cyberthreats continue to get better and better at defeating this security measure. Whether you’re dealing with phishing attacks, smishing, or good ol’ social engineering, passwords are being compromised more than ever. And let’s not forget about brute force attacks! The best way to deal with this threat is by empowering your users with security awareness training, and one tool that you can use to do this is KnowBe4’s Weak Password Audit Tool. It can help you identify weak passwords on your network, providing you with hard data to justify changing the security culture within your organization.
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The Persistent Threat of Weak Passwords
Passwords have stood the test of time as a fundamental form of authentication. Unfortunately, cybercriminals relentlessly seek ways to exploit vulnerabilities in network security, and weak passwords provide an easy gateway for unauthorized access. As Delmarva’s Premier IT Support partner, we’ve dealt with this a number of ways. From password policies to Multi-factor Authentication, we’ve successfully taken some of the risk of bad password practices away for our clients. Yet many organizations still allow weak passwords on their network, preferring to prioritize convenience and the relative obscurity of being a small organization to protect them. But here’s the thing – most cyberattacks are automated, and automation doesn’t care what size your organization might be.
Breach Statistics and Password Vulnerabilities
The 2023 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report emphasizes the persistent risk posed by poorly chosen passwords. Shockingly, 81% of hacking-related breaches involve either stolen or weak passwords. This highlights the urgent need for organizations to address password vulnerabilities effectively. Notice that stolen passwords are a big part of the equation here. Many well meaning employees will commit a great secure password to memory – and reuse it everywhere. A major password breach at any other online service will leave your organization vulnerable as a result.
The Alarming State of Password Hygiene
Despite ongoing efforts to enforce password policies and promote best practices, not all users adhere to these guidelines. Cybernews.com’s findings for 2023 reveal that the infamous password pattern ‘123456’ continues to top the list. Addressing this issue is critical to maintaining a robust security posture.
The Need for Proactive Password Management
To counteract the risks associated with weak passwords, organizations must proactively manage the problem. Identifying users with poor password hygiene is a crucial first step. This not only helps in requesting immediate password updates but also allows for educational initiatives to emphasize the importance of strong, secure passwords.
KnowBe4’s Solution: Weak Password Audit Tool
Assessing and Addressing Weak Passwords
KnowBe4’s Weak Password Test (WPT) provides a comprehensive solution to identify and address weak password-related threats in your organization’s Active Directory. By conducting a thorough examination, the WPT allows you to pinpoint users with vulnerable passwords quickly.
Key Features of KnowBe4’s Weak Password Test
- Password Dictionary Assessment:
- Test your users’ passwords against an up-to-date dictionary containing the most commonly used passwords.
- Identify Vulnerable Users:
- Quickly determine which users have easily guessable or brute-forceable passwords, streamlining your response efforts.
- Customization Options:
- New feature! Upload your own weak password dictionary, ensuring broader coverage for words specific to your organization.
Strengthening Security Culture: Taking Action
Addressing weak passwords goes beyond technical solutions; it requires fostering a culture of security awareness within your organization. By leveraging KnowBe4’s Weak Password Test, you not only enhance your security policies but also encourage a proactive approach towards cybersecurity.
Download Your Weak Password Test Now!
Empower your organization to stay ahead of cyber threats by identifying and addressing weak passwords effectively. Download KnowBe4’s Weak Password Test today and take a significant step towards fortifying your organization’s defenses against credential theft and account takeover.
Next Steps After Your Weak Password Audit
Once you’ve run the tool and assessed the threat of weak passwords on your network, you’ll probably want to gather more data related to your organization’s cybersecurity risk profile. As a KnowBe4 Partner, we’d like to help you perform a baseline audit of your employee’s ability to properly identify and handle cyberthreats. We can get you a free KnowBe4 trial and assist in deploying the solution within your organization. KnowBe4’s campaign will generate reports showing your susceptibility to various types of attacks – irrefutable proof that your C-levels would like to see when assessing the need for security awareness training.
If your organization decides that your employees need some coaching to improve your security posture, we can offer discounted KnowBe4 user licenses to organizations of all sizes. Their program will regularly test your users, provide reporting over time, and offer security training videos when users need them. We’ve successfully used this program to help our clients obtain discounted cyberliability coverage when they shop their insurance policies. It’s possible that this program might pay for itself!
To get started with a KnowBe4 trial, give us a call at 410.543.8200 to learn more about working together.