A study found that on average, employees in companies with up to 25 business workers have an average of 85 passwords. That is more than three times the amount of passwords needed by workers at large companies (those with between 1,001 and 10,000 workers ), where a relatively small 25 passwords are used on average.
And several are completely unique — the report indicated that Australia ranked equal second internationally for the reuse of passwords.
Those working in advertising and media have been found to have the maximum number of passwords, with a mean of 97 for each individual.
According to the report, those businesses in possession of the very sensitive information would be the least likely to have their workforces with multi-factor authentication, together with the insurance and legal sectors have just 20 per cent of their workers using this amount of security measures. That contrasts with a still-low 37 per cent in the technology and software businesses.
This, the report indicated, might help to explain why worker habits around password security stay poor, especially among those working for SMEs.
Australian businesses are beginning to take control of the password security — a probable effect of regulatory changes throughout the industry. Regrettably, MFA (multi-factor authentication) use alone can’t protect an organisation, and total security hygiene has to be elevated if we are to see improved results in another Notifiable Data Breach Report.
The report indicates that many passwords are being reused across different sites and tools in an attempt to recall them on average, a worker will reuse a password 13 times.
Additionally, it suggests that companies of all size can do more to maintain their data and business information secure, providing an average safety score across the 47,000 LastPass users of only 49 per cent.
Last month, security company Webroot revealed a survey of 1,000 Australian office workers that found nearly a third kept the exact same password after their data were compromised.
Meanwhile, independent research published by Okta early last year indicated that 96 per cent of all passwords neglect the simple security protocol of using more than eight characters and a combination of numbers and both upper and lower case letters.
To indicate World Password Day 2 May 2019, a range of security and technology experts provided their guidance on how companies and their teams can boost the efficacy of their passwords.