The danger of employee login credentials being compromised has long plagued businesses. Seventy percent of respondents to the Ponemon Institute’s 2019 Global State of Cybersecurity in Small and Medium-Sized Businesses report cited stolen or compromised employee passwords as a major pain point.
With remote workforces having rapidly expanded during the first few months of 2020, it’s likely this trend will not only continue but accelerate, as cybercriminals take advantage of the myriad of SaaS solutions that businesses are deploying to enable their remote workforces.
Attacks on remote-work productivity apps have already commenced. BleepingComputer reports that over 500,000 user accounts from leading video conferencing platform Zoom are up for sale on the Dark Web for less than a penny per account. In some cases, cybercriminals are giving away Zoom credentials for free.
When employee credentials are stolen in another company’s data breach
Business productivity apps aren’t the only types of third-party breaches companies need to concern themselves with. If employees reuse passwords across personal and business accounts, and one of their personal accounts is breached, cybercriminals can use the stolen credentials to access their employer’s systems.
The Verge reports that hotel chain Marriott disclosed a breach impacting approximately 5.2 million guests; apparently, cybercriminals accessed these records after compromising two Marriott employees’ login credentials. Meanwhile, ZDNet reports that Italian email provider Email.it was the victim of an advanced persistent threat (APT) attack that went on for two years and compromised 600,000 user accounts.
A layered approach to securing employee passwords
The simplest thing organizations can do to prevent employee passwords from being compromised is to establish robust password policies, then enforce them with a business password manager such as Keeper. Keeper’s business password management solutions give organizations the visibility and control they need to ensure that employees are adhering to best practices such as using strong, unique passwords and multi-factor authentication (2FA).
However, as the Zoom breach illustrates, employee credentials can also be stolen during breaches of SaaS vendors’ systems, and data breach victims are typically the last ones to know they’ve been compromised. It can take the breached organization months, even years to detect a breach. Then, not all companies are diligent about disclosing attacks and notifying compromised users. Conversely, once cybercriminals steal login credentials, they put them to use very quickly, either by launching their own cyberattacks or by putting them up for sale on the Dark Web.
To defend against third-party vendor breaches, organizations must take proactive action and subscribe to a Dark Web monitoring service such as Keeper’s BreachWatch™ for business. BreachWatch for business doesn’t depend on public breach notifications. It scans Dark Web forums and notifies organizations in real-time if any employee passwords have been compromised. This allows IT administrators to force password resets right away, minimizing the risk of cybercriminals using them to breach company systems.
Just like Keeper’s business password management platform, BreachWatch for Business is affordable, easy to set up and manage, and offers enterprise-level protection that scales with your business. Pairing BreachWatch with Keeper’s business password management solutions provides organizations with comprehensive protection against password-related cyberattacks.