written by
Zack Calloway

Password Overload Is Putting Your Business At Risk

Password Managers Cyber Security Email Protection 3 min read
Do you ever get tired of passwords? It seems like even in the best-case scenario where you’re doing everything you can to practice good password hygiene, it’s always frustrating.

You’re constantly juggling tons of usernames and passwords, struggling to memorize them, failing to type them in quite right, or getting confused about which passwords all belong with which sites.

Or you might be secretly operating in a much worse scenario: you know you can’t keep that many passwords, memorized, so you reuse one password across many of your accounts. No judgment here: the data is clear that lots and lots of people do this, even if they know they shouldn’t.

Most People Struggle One of Two Ways
The truth is, if you fall into either of these categories, you’re far from alone. Most people struggle with password use, falling into one of these two ditches. Either they’re struggling with password overload — because it is legitimately impossible to memorize hundreds of unique username and password combinations — or they’ve given up the fight and are reusing passwords all over the place.

One study even found that most people are reusing one password on an average of five unique sites.

The Problem with Password Reuse
The problem with this is that data breaches are happening all the time, and user credentials are one of the first things to get stolen. If one of your username and password combinations is stolen on one site, it won’t take long before that information is getting sold on the dark web. And it’s entirely possible that the bad guys will eventually attempt to log into another site where you used to the same credentials. Once they’re in, they more than likely have access to everything in that account!

How risky this is depends on what kinds of accounts attackers get into. One might get into your social media account and start sending spam links or otherwise causing you social media headaches, but the actual damage they can do there is relatively insignificant.

But what if they got into your bank account? Or your Microsoft 365 account? Or some other business-related account that has access to proprietary information or spending power?

The possibilities get ugly, fast.

Solving Password Reuse Means Solving Systemic Problems
Of course, the difficulty here is more than education: many people understand clearly the risks of reusing passwords — but they do it anyway, because they don’t see a great way around it. They keep coming back to the first problem, which is the impossibility of maintaining and memorizing hundreds of unique credentials. It just isn’t feasible.

So solving the password reuse problem really requires solving deeper issues with the entire username and password system. And thankfully we’re starting to see some progress on that front.

Solutions to Password Overload and Password Reuse
One solution to password overload and password reuse that’s been around for a while is the password manager. These services lock away all your credentials behind one master password, and many of these services can even automatically generate long, complex, nearly impossible to guess passwords for you. The password manager “remembers” these and supplies them for you, keeping your credentials as safe as the authentication protocols on your password manager allow for.

Password managers aren’t perfect: you’re still trusting all your credentials to one company, and it’s fair to fear what would happen if that company suffered a data breach. But it’s still a far safer option than trying to manage it all yourself or reuse passwords across different sites.

There are other solutions as well that can work alongside password managers or in some cases replace them entirely. Multifactor authentication, zero trust architecture, and a new technology called passkeys (something we’re really excited about) are all solid options.

Not sure the best approach for your business? We can help with that. Give us a call today!
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