New Microsoft Research Emphasizes Critical Importance of Password Management

New Microsoft Research Emphasizes Critical Importance of Password Management

It’s no surprise that cyberattacks are skyrocketing. Report after report indicates they’ve exploded in recent years as cybercriminals take advantage of the rapid proliferation of endpoints, growing reliance on digital devices, and shift toward remote and hybrid work. However, as the number of attacks increases, the types of attacks remain surprisingly simple. 

You guessed it. They’re still going after passwords, credentials and secrets.

New research from Microsoft indicates password-based attacks have risen to nearly a thousand every second. Let that sink it for a minute. That’s a 74% increase in just one year, and it’s the primary way accounts are compromised. 

IT experts don’t expect the pace to slow down anytime soon. Keeper Security’s 2022 US Cybersecurity Census Report found the overwhelming majority of IT professionals expect cyberattacks to increase over the next year, with 39% predicting the number of successful cyberattacks will also rise. For business owners, that could spell disaster. Aside from the obvious financial impacts, cyberattacks damage business perception, client trust and the smooth running of future partnerships. 

More than one-quarter of our respondents suffered reputational damage due to a successful cyberattack and 19% lost business or a contract. These direct and indirect financial losses can be catastrophic, particularly for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), which employ 46.8% of all employees in the United States. Most SMBs are cash-strapped: only 40% are profitable and only half survive at least five years.

So where does an organization begin?

Microsoft’s Digital Defense Report 2022 suggests 90% of accounts that get hacked aren’t protected by strong authentication and basic cyber hygiene hasn’t been followed. Microsoft recommends four simple measures to amp up your organization’s security:

  • Enable MFA/2FA on every account
  • Implement a zero-trust cybersecurity architecture
  • Regularly update your software and systems
  • Use a password manager

Basic security hygiene–according to Microsoft–still protects against 98% of attacks. However, you can take that protection even further with Keeper’s zero-trust and zero-knowledge solution to reduce risk and protect access to applications, systems, secrets and IT resources. Keeper simplifies and strengthens auditing and compliance while achieving organization-wide visibility, control, event logging and reporting. And we do it all through a simple interface that’s easy to deploy and easy to use.

Anne Cutler

Anne Cutler is the Director of Global Communications for Keeper Security, with more than 15 years of public relations and media experience, spearheading technology and cybersecurity communications in the highest levels of government at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and DHS Science and Technology Directorate. A former television news anchor and reporter, Anne’s covered high profile events and stories in newsrooms across the country, most recently in Washington DC.