Many employees cavalier about password security

The Internet has opened up many opportunities for consumers and businesses large and small. At one time, the only way workers could "check in" at their workplace was by actually being on site. Thanks to the web, however, millions of employees are able to work from the comfort of home, freeing up their schedules and reducing overhead costs for employers.

However, with more people able to access their workplace's network, it increases the risk of a cyber attack. Based on a recent survey, hackers may gain entry into IT systems by bribing an unscrupulous employee.

Approximately 1 in 7 employees would consider selling their password to a third party, according to the results of a new poll done by security firm SailPoint. Some indicated that they would give it up for as little as $150.

As it is, many employees aren't altogether careful with how they manage their password information or who they give it out to. Roughly 20 percent of employees polled admitted that they routinely share login information for business applications with their colleagues. Additionally, more than half – 56 percent – said that they often used the same password for multiple accounts.

"Employees may have moved away from the post-it note password list, but using the same password across personal and work applications exposes the company," said Kevin Cunningham, Sailpoint president and CEO. "Just think of the major breaches that occurred in 2014 requiring users to change their passwords on social media. If those were the same passwords being used to access mission-critical applications, it's very easy for hacking organizations to take advantage and get into more valuable areas."

He added that using the same password for multiple accounts is a risk that every organizations needs to encourage their workers to avoid doing.

Worst passwords of 2014
Security software firm SplashData recently released its annual list of the worst passwords that are frequently used. On the 2014 list, examples included "123456," "password," "qwerty," "abc123" and "111111." Cyber security experts say that while these kinds of logins may be easy to remember, they make for easy entry to unauthorized users.

Nearly 80 percent of today's workers stay connected with their office through mobile access, a recent poll done by Gallup found. About 36 percent of Americans say they regularly connect with work online when they're home or out doing something on their own time

Breaches to employers' security systems can lead to severe company losses, putting a sudden halt to entrepreneurs' reaching their goal or financial plan. Basic ways of avoiding becoming compromised is by installing a reliable Internet security software program. Additionally, business owners may want to establish company rules about when sensitive information can be accessed. Security experts say that passwords ought to be between eight and 10 characters in length, be case sensitive and include a letter or symbol. There are also password management software programs that can help employees remember their login information.

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