Stolen Usernames and Passwords – So What?

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We read about stolen user accounts and passwords on the news all the time. It happens so often that we barely react anymore.
– So what as long as it does not concern our company, some might think.

However, the IT security of Your company is in fact being compromised by such hacks, although you have almost nothing to do with the organization hacked.

Let us consider for example the recent hack of usernames and passwords at Disney+. While your organization might not be directly linked to Disney+, you might still have employees who have a Disney+ account.
It is a known issue that people reuse passwords. There are just so many services you need a password for, both in your private and work life. There is always the risk that some employees might have reused a Disney+ password for systems in your IT environment. Unfortunately, when it comes to IT security Murphy’s law usually applies.

What can we do about this?

For one thing, we can demand that people use more strong passwords.
Using longer and more complex passwords will actually help, even if there would be a reuse of the password across private and work applications. This is because stolen lists of usernames and passwords are most often still encrypted. An easy password is easier to decrypt than a complex one.

Another strategy can be to improve the user experience around passwords in your organization. For example, if the user knows that it is easy to restore passwords by self-service, then he/she will be more confident to choose a unique password rather than reuse an old one.

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