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How Crap Are Your Passwords?

Duncan MacRae is former editor and now a contributor to TechWeekEurope. He previously edited Computer Business Review's print/digital magazines and CBR Online, as well as Arabian Computer News in the UAE.

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Security failure: New Lieberman Software Poll highlights overwhelmingly negative attitude toward effectiveness of passwords

More than three-quarters (77 percent) of IT professionals believe passwords are failing IT security.

This is according to a survey published by cyber security vendor Lieberman Software, carried out at RSA Conference 2016.

Easy hacks

The study examined the attitudes of almsot 200 cyber security professionals, and found that 53 percent of those surveyed thought that modern hacking tools could easily break passwords within their organisations.

passwordsPhilip Lieberman, President and CEO of Lieberman Software, said: “If the vast majority of respondents think passwords are failing, then it’s time to rethink how we’re using them.

“Attackers use automated methods to brute force credentials and gain privileged access to enterprise networks – often in a matter of minutes. Once they’re inside, they can nest there anonymously, biding their time until it’s opportune to strike. To counter this threat, organisations should take the same automated approach and apply it to their privileged credentials.”

Changing credentials continuously in a non-disruptive way would go a long way toward keeping the bad guys from gaining unrestricted access on the network. he added.

The study also showed that 45 percent of respondents think that even with all the IT security technology deployed in their organisations, they’re still unable to defend against cyber attacks.

Lieberman said: “I’m not surprised that almost half of IT security professionals aren’t prepared to defend against modern cyber attacks.

“Today’s advanced threats can defeat the conventional perimeter security tools that organizations rely upon. Once the attacker gets past the perimeter, all they need to do is compromise just one privileged credential to move from system to system on the network, extracting sensitive data along the way.”

This comes back to the notion that passwords are failing IT security, he explained.

“If organisations cannot secure the credentials hackers need to gain privileged access, the massive data breaches we keep reading about in the news are only going to increase.”

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