Axient Blog

Cost and Impacts from Password Breaches

A news feed no longer feels complete unless it’s peppered with data breach events. Every day, a new wave of cyberattacks wipes out the next line-up of businesses, and in many cases, prestigious names are involved.

Some examples of prominent Australian businesses that have fallen victim to a data breach include:

  • Canva
  • Ubiquiti Networks
  • Australian National University
  • Australian Parliament House
  • Service NSW

Data breaches in Australia are on the rise, and as a result, data breach damage costs are climbing. Australian businesses now face an average data breach damage cost of $3.35 million – an increase of 9.8% year on year.

A careful analysis of Australia’s data breach events reveals some fascinating stats:

– 56% of data breaches were caused by malicious attacks – 22% of breaches were caused by system glitches and human error

There’s one security risk that could cause each of these events – poor password hygiene.

Poor password hygiene makes credential theft easier, leading to malicious attacks; and it allows insecure password sharing between employees.

One of the most impactful examples of poor password hygiene is the data breach of one of Australia’s largest shipbuilding companies, Austal.

Forensic analysis revealed that hackers breached Austal’s network by purchasing stolen credentials from the dark web. Some of these credentials were so weak, they could have easily been guessed.

Here are two examples:

‘Password123’ ‘Austal123’

To avoid becoming a data breach statistic, Australian businesses need to implement a password management solution urgently. A solution like LastPass enforces complex password creation and secure credential sharing. If implemented at scale, such a solution could rapidly disrupt Australia’s rising malicious attack and human error trends.

How do you enforce proper password hygiene in your workplace? I’d love to know your thoughts.

#PasswordBreaches #Credentials #MarkAdvises

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