|By Business Wire||
|September 2, 2014 11:26 AM EDT||
A whitepaper commissioned by two factor authentication provider, Swivel Secure, entitled ‘Passwords: The Weak Link in Digital Security’, highlights how username and password authentication is leaving end-users vulnerable to identity theft.
Increasing convergence between business and consumer applications, such as Facebook and Twitter, together with a sharp increase in cloud-based resources have led end-users to reuse passwords across multiple online accounts. This prolific password reuse is leaving them, and the organizations they work for, vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
Fraser Thomas, VP International, Swivel Secure comments: “This whitepaper was developed on the back of an independent study* Swivel Secure commissioned, which revealed that 63% of US consumers are reusing their passwords. This can be accounted for, in part, by the sheer number of online accounts that end-users have. Many now access in excess of 50 different websites that require passwords to login. It is impossible, and indeed unreasonable, to expect end-users to recall so many passwords. As a result many have concluded that password reuse is the only solution. This is exacerbating an already serious threat to the integrity of online accounts, today’s cyber-attacks are designed to capture all kinds of passwords, be they strong, weak or reused. Password reuse is making it easier for hackers to access other accounts and it is leaving end-users vulnerable to identity theft.”
The critical issue of prolific password reuse has been brought to the world’s attention by a number of high profile data breaches which include Ebay, Google, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, which have all resulted in end-users’ details being compromised.
According to Swivel Secure, the main reason for the reliance on username and password authentication by service providers and business owners, despite the inherent weakness of this system, is due to the ease of implementation and the familiarity of the process. There are now, however, a range of tried and tested alternative authentication methods which can be used to secure online account gateways, ensuring sensitive data stored online and in the workplace remains beyond the reach of hackers.
‘Passwords: The Weak Link in Digital Security’ will be of interest to IT professionals, senior executives and business owners concerned by the threats posed by identity theft and corporate network penetration.
The paper is available without charge from http://www.swivelsecure.com/passwords_are_not_enough/
* Independent survey of 2,500 US consumers conducted by The Leadership Factor in May 2014