Posted on 14 August 2020

92% of businesses report rise in cyber-attacks since the start of COVID-19: The importance of password protection in a pandemic.

Contact us

In 2019, 62% of small businesses were the victims of breaches due to ‘poor password hygiene’. Employees were held accountable for 36% of breaches, yet alarmingly, almost two-thirds of UK businesses have minimal preventative measures in place to avoid costly data breaches – many of which are often completely avoidable.

Since March, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected businesses of all sizes, impacting the way in which organisations operated and functioned on a global scale. Adaptability has proved crucial to survival – as has efficient and secure technological systems.

As many businesses shifted to remote working, there was a heightened reliance on technology, which in-turn created more opportunities for cyber-criminals, who launched a swathe of COVID-19 cyber-attacks to target vulnerabilities in businesses’ digital systems, which were exposed when many workforces transitioned to remote working. Recent data suggests as many as 92% of businesses reported a spike in the volume of cyber-attacks between over the last few months (IT Portal, 2020).

And now, although restrictions are beginning to ease and businesses are shifting towards a new ‘normal’, a second wave of lock-down restrictions cannot be ruled out, putting further strain on businesses’ remote working infrastructure.

As such, it is therefore imperative that these businesses make cyber-security a key consideration in their COVID-19 response.

Passwords in a pandemic – More important than ever

In recent months, the shift to remote working became fundamental to the continuity of most businesses. But with this, a plethora of new devices were granted access to company servers, data and potentially sensitive information – which heightened the risk. This is because of two main factors – insecure networks and poor password hygiene.

Some users aren’t as strict with their credentials because of the informality and comfort of working at home, however this presents a prime opportunity for cyber-criminals to take advantage of drastically compromised systems.

Although password security is only a single piece in the much larger cyber-security puzzle, it amounts to 42% of breaches– often caused by poor password hygiene according to Government research, proving that businesses simply can’t afford to be exploited by cyber-criminals who capitalise on exposed vulnerabilities within their enterprise security, particularly when it comes to something so simple as passwords.

Leveraging technology to protect your business

As remote working is becoming more commonplace, the workplace cannot be defined as a physical location, so companies must leverage technology to their advantage in order to remain safe and ensure business continuity.

In 2019, 30% of ransomware infections were down to poor password management (Business Leader, 2020) making it incremental that businesses factor in password protection to their cyber-security plan. Password security is an important part of the cyber-security puzzle, at Infuse we ensure that we keep our client’s data secure. Hackers are constantly evolving and becoming more sophisticated in their approaches, so it is imperative we stay one step ahead and ensure that all credentials are secured.

Need help?

At Infuse, we’ve implemented SolarWinds Passportal, a password management solution for our clients that mitigates risks and addresses compliance requirements. To remain compliant, passwords need to be changed regularly – this is easily done with the purpose-built solution. Businesses have seen a shift from managing devices to managing people to keep their data safe, making proper password management crucial.

Our priority is to keep our clients safe. We’re always on the lookout for innovative and technological solutions that can deliver improved operational efficiency, whilst protecting our client’s businesses and assuring data security.

For more information regarding password security and how Infuse can help your business, contact us at [email protected]