Nearly half of workers admit to abusing credentials associated with a former employer, according to new research.
In the survey from Password Manager, 47% of workers said they continued to access email, software accounts, and digital tools associated with the company they previously worked for. Of this 47%, 15% said they had been using passwords from old jobs, while one-in-three say they had been using the same password for more than two years.
Getting access to paid subscriptions (25%), getting into company emails (64%) and accessing company data (44%) were amongst the reasons workers are logging into old accounts. Interestingly, only 10% said they used old accounts to 'disrupt the business activity', indicating that employers need to be more vigilant with cyber protection in case of disgruntled ex-workers.
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Clearly, there is a universal lack of awareness when it comes to cyber security within businesses. Workers are likely to keep the same passwords across multiple jobs as it’s easy for them to remember, but this makes them more likely targets for cyber attacks and puts firms at risk.
Most research indicates that cyber-= attacks occur primarily because of employee negligence, and a lack of cyber security training can cost a business money and its brand.
“Cyber attacks, and how to prevent them, should be top of mind for every organisation,” says Niall McConachie, regional director of UK & Ireland at Yubico. “Companies need to be more proactive in changing attitudes surrounding cyber security, as employees at all levels can be the biggest strength or weakness in cyber security. Regular cyber training paired with robust passwordless security will equip employees to be effective cyber defenders.”
Remote work means more cyber attacks
Because employees are the main reason cyber attacks occur, cybercrime has seen a significant rise since remote work became more prominent. Workers now access their accounts from different locations, on various Wi-Fi connections and through multiple devices, including personal gadgets; all of these elements make it easier for cyber criminals to access your company's information.
In a report from Yubico, UK businesses ranked poorly in educating their employees and taking cyber security seriously. Out of respondents, only 42% of workers said they had to attend training, while 47% admitted to writing down or sharing their work passwords in the past 12 months.
But there are simple things employers can do to help their workers strengthen protection against cyber crime. McConachie continues: “How seriously someone takes cybersecurity depends, to a large degree, on their employer. Therefore, in addition to requiring frequent and up-to-date security training, UK organisations should consider implementing strong two-factor authentication or multi-factor authentication that offer security and convenience.