Account Security

Strong and Unique Passwords Can Help Reduce Account Vulnerability

June 7, 20215 min Read

strong unique passwords

Passwords, the first line of defense, are often also the weakest links in the overall security posture of an organization. Therefore, it is in the interest of consumers and businesses, alike, to use strong and unique passwords to minimize exposure to evolving cyber threats.

The digital-first world has led to the emergence of millions of websites and apps that consumers use every passing minute, for practically everything – work, school, shopping, banking, health and fitness, streaming, gaming, socializing, and so on. To access an online service, a user must create an account by providing some amount of personal information and log in to this account using the chosen username and password.

100 passwords to remember!

In recent times, reliance on digital services has multiplied manifold, so have the number of accounts a user must manage. It is commonplace for users to create passwords that are easy to remember such as names of parents, spouses, or children, birthdates, anniversaries, residence address, and phone numbers. However, such passwords are easy to crack and can leave users exposed to many types of attack.

With so many digital accounts to manage and so many passwords to remember – on average a person has to remember 100 passwords – many users resort to using the same password or recycling passwords across multiple accounts. However, this practice can make them vulnerable to cyber threats as a single incident of data breach can enable attackers to compromise multiple accounts that use the same or recycled login credentials.

Passwords are not only consumers' nemesis but also of many IT teams, who do not change the default passwords of their devices and in the process expose the business to heightened security threats. One of the best practices that is also the easiest to implement is to change passwords regularly. While financial institutions enforce mandatory password change on their consumers frequently, the scenario is dismal when it comes to passwords used to access emails, social media accounts, apps, and numerous other digital accounts.

Create a strong and unique password for every account

Arkose Labs can't stress enough the importance of creating strong and unique passwords for every account. This is essential as in the event of a data breach of a service in use, other accounts are not exposed to risk, which can minimize both tangible and intangible losses.

Repeated incidents of data breach have provided cybercriminals with multiple databases of usernames and passwords, which are used for credential stuffing and subsequently account takeover attacks. Therefore, strong and unique passwords are an essential first step in protecting accounts from unauthorized access or abuse.

Although there is a lot of buzz and debate around using passwords for account protection, they aren't going anywhere soon, as there is no perfect alternative in sight as of now. While device biometric type protocols are being considered as a possible replacement for passwords, there are many industries including video games that do not allow the use of biometrics for authentication. Therefore, businesses will need a solution that works for everyone.

Global effort to provide safe internet access to all

Governments and businesses, around the world, are making efforts to promote safe internet practices and strengthen the fight against attacks and online abuse. The World Telecommunication and Information Society Day is one of many such initiatives. This annual event aims to increase awareness about the numerous possibilities that the internet and other information and communication technologies (ICT) can bring to societies and economies. It also promotes awareness about the ways technology can help bridge the digital divide.

In addition to democratizing the use of technology, businesses can strengthen their defenses to protect their customers from attempts to abuse logins. Attacks on logins continue to plague businesses constituting 45% of all attacks in Q1 2021, which indicates that existing defenses are subpar and not able to support businesses adequately when it comes to protecting their user accounts from unauthorized access.

Protect user accounts

Businesses need a fresh approach to protect user accounts by monitoring, detecting and stopping malicious traffic. Arkose Labs helps global businesses effectively fight attacks by undermining economic incentive for cybercrime, which erodes the returns from an attack and forces bad actors to give up.

The Arkose Bot Manager Platform comprises a dynamic risk engine that assesses the risk associated with each incoming user in real time and informs the challenge-response mechanism – Arkose MatchKey – to present an appropriate challenge to suspicious users. This eliminates bots and automated scripts immediately while persistent malicious users are engaged in a long-drawn battle of solving incrementally complex challenges. This wastes the time, effort, and resources of black hat hackers, making the attack financially non-viable and deterring them from attacking for good.

To learn how Arkose Labs helps digital businesses safeguard their business and consumer interests in the long-term, despite the absence of strong and unique passwords, please book a demo now.