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News

Prevalence of weak passwords strengthens case for encryption

Credant Technologies : 03 February, 2009  (Technical Article)
Credant recommends the use of strong encryption to prevent data leakage after survey revelation on severe weaknesses existing in password selection by company employees
Research just released shows that 83 per cent of people use their date of birth, maiden or pet name as a security password for e-banking or email accounts strengthens the case for the use of encryption on company data of all types, says Credant Technologies.

'The research from our colleagues at Yasni highlights the fact that, despite all the issues surrounding cybercrime and the theft of personal data, human nature is such that simple and easy to remember passwords remain the norm,' said Michael Callahan, military grade encryption specialist Credant's vice president.

'The fact that so many people are using data that can easily be extracted from public records or even the Internet is extremely worrying, as, if that approach is transposed to a business environment, it makes company security very weak indeed,' he added.

Against this backdrop, Callahan says that the case for encryption on personal and company confidential data in the workplace, and particularly on notebooks which are used outside of the office environment, is greatly strengthened.

Office workers and factory employees, he said, tend to develop close working relationships and regular celebrate each other's birthdays, as well as having pictures of their family or pets in the workplace.

It does not, therefore, he explained, take some of James Bond's spy skills to extrapolate sufficient information on an employee's personal life and use the data to access their password-protected files.

The data situation is not helped, he went on to say, by social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace allowing online friends all manner of access to personal details.

'If the data from the survey is extrapolated to the workplace, then it's a fair bet that your work colleagues are using similar low levels of password security on their office systems. If ever there was a case for encryption of company data, this is it,' he said.
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