While the importance of keeping passwords secure is not a new idea, nearly half of companies are still struggling to get a handle on the issue, according to the LastPass 2018 Global Password Security Report, released on Monday. The report found that password sharing is common in the workplace, with employees sharing an average of six passwords with their coworkers.
Using anonymized data from more than 43,000 organizations, the report determined each company's security score and password strength score, according to a press release.
SEE: Password management policy (Tech Pro Research)
Even though publicity on the importance of password security has increased in the past year, the average password security score of organizations was found to be 52 out of 100. The report also found that the bigger the company, the lower the average security score, revealing that it's harder for larger businesses to get a handle on password security for all employees.
One easy and increasingly popular security measure in companies is multi-factor authentication, said the release.
Some 45% of companies use multi-factor authentication, a jump from last year's 24.5%, the report found. The technology sector is leading the movement towards multi-factor, with 31% of tech companies adopting the security measure.
The technology industry also scored the highest average security score, at 53 out of 100, according to the release. However, this isn't all that much higher than other industries' scores.
"Security professionals often fail to consider the value of the first factor of enterprise authentication—the password," said Frank Dickson, research vice president of security products at IDC, in the press release. "Despite the sophisticated security measures enterprises are putting in place, something as fundamentally simple as a password is tripping them up."
For more tips on how to create a secure password, click here.
The big takeaways for tech leaders:
- Nearly 50% of organizations cannot maintain control of password security, with the average security score for 43,000 companies being 52 out of 100. — LastPass, 2018
- Multi-factor authentication is becoming more popular, with 45% of companies using it in their workplaces. — LastPass, 2018
- Password managers: How and why to use them (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
- Online security 101: Tips for protecting your privacy from hackers and spies (ZDNet)
- Cheat sheet: Two-factor authentication (TechRepublic)
- Chrome wants to help you stop recycling the same damn passwords (CNET)
- Security experts: Every business should have a security and encryption policy (TechRepublic)
Macy Bayern has nothing to disclose. She does not hold investments in the technology companies she covers.
Macy Bayern is an Associate Staff Writer for TechRepublic. A recent graduate from the University of Texas at Austin's Liberal Arts Honors Program, Macy covers tech news and trends.