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Why Passwords Alone Won’t Protect Your Data from Bad Actors

August 25, 2022

Are you tired of being asked to create a password once again? You’re not alone. According to a NordPass study, the average person has 100 passwords! Passwords to access work terminals, personal computers, to log into the work network, or home network, to access work systems, to upload files to for secure storage, to use a file transfer system or secure document signing applications. All for the supposed purpose of protecting your data from threat actors. Passwords alone may not be enough to ensure data security and keep cyberciminals from accessing your data.

So, You Have Passwords? Do You Think That’s Going to Protect Your Data?

Does having all these passwords work? Well, unfortunately not. Especially when you consider that an estimated 81% of data breaches are due to poor password security. Enterprises are not immune to this either, as a 2022 Verizon study found that stolen credentials accounted for nearly half of all corporate data breaches.

Maybe you think creating another password is a hassle, so you use a few of them again and again. If so, you’re among the 50% of people who use the same password for all of their logins, which presents major security vulnerabilities. This increases your odds of a data breach, as 85% of data breaches are due to human error, like using the same simple password across multiple platforms.

Or perhaps you struggle to create strong passwords. You know, one that is longer than eight characters and doesn’t include any personally identifiable information (such as names and dates). A recent report by Cision proved that 30% of password leaks and security breaches are caused by weak passwords that can be detected by both humans or computers, or poor password practices, such as repeatedly using the same password. Regardless of how strong that single password is, if it is compromised on one account, then it is compromised on them all.

If you’re among the more diligent and have unique and strong passwords, you know it’s nearly impossible to remember them all. So, we write them down, or keep them in our “Notes” app, where they might be found by the others. Or for the more tech savvy among us, keep them in an online password manager, that is, you guessed, password protected.

Strong passwords and excellent password management are an important first line of defense against data breaches. But if passwords were enough to protect our data, there wouldn’t be a $3.2 billion dollar identity and data monitoring industry!

This is because once you put your data in the hands of someone else – i.e., remove it from your potentially tightly controlled, password protected network – all you have left in the way of security is trust. Trust that they will protect your data with the same vigilance as you. That means you are counting on them to have strong passwords or not share it with others. And that’s risky. Because once the data, like your social security number, bank account number, passport information, and so on, is out in the public domain, it can fall into the wrong hands.

How can you keep your data safe?

Don’t leave your data security to chance. Pairing passwords with additional technology is essential to keeping your data secure. Some of this technology includes:

Virtual private network (VPN)

VPNs are a great tool to use when you don’t want to expose yourself on a public network (like your local coffee shop) but need to send and receive data. This provides an extra layer of security and privacy when it comes to connecting your device to networks.

Password managers

Password managers are programs that can help you to store the multitude of passwords that you need for your day-to-day life. Utilizing a password manager is akin to locking your passwords in a virtual, encrypted safe. Time to throw away (after shredding) that Post-it Note full of passwords!

Network security

Network security is a must in 2022 and is the “bare minimum” step to take when it comes to securing your network (like connecting your computer to a home network). Network security includes software, like firewires or anti-virus, that protect your device and network from threat actors looking to capitalize on any vulnerabilities.

Data encryption

Data encryption is a way to protect your data, even if it has been stolen. While this may seem something that is a last resort, encrypting data is just good practice in 2022. Encryption converts your file into “ciphertext” that is unreadable to only those with the ability to decrypt your file with a password or other “key”.

While these tools are essential to protecting your data from people trying to break in and steal your data, they aren’t the be-all and end-all of data security. Remember that you are transacting data all the time, and when your data leaves the confines of the security you’ve set up you’ve lost control. At EB Control, we don’t want you to have to put your trust in anyone. When it comes to your data, you should always have it in your control. No matter where you store it or who you share it with.

EB Control can help you keep control of who can access your data, when, and where and what they can do with it, such as share, print, download it. Trust no one. Retain control of your data, forever.  

Click here to learn how EB Control can bulk up your data protection practices.