News Recap: The Results Are In For 2013’s 25 Worst Passwords

By | January 24th, 2014|Uncategorized|

passwordsEvery year security firm Splashdata pulls the most common stolen passwords to create a list of the year’s worst passwords. The consensus is in for 2013, and “123456” has moved up a spot to be the most commonly used and guessed password of the year. Here’s a look at the worst passwords of 2012 for comparison.

Many of the passwords on this list can be easily guessed or cracked, putting users at risk of having their financial information or identity stolen. In fact, PC World reporter Jared Newman said that “weaker passwords are more susceptible to brute-force attacks, where hackers attempt to access accounts through rapid guessing. And when encrypted passwords are stolen, weaker ones are the first to fall to increasingly sophisticated cracking software.”

In addition to the typical “123456” and “password” passwords, there were a few on the list that were likely from recent breaches. Morgan Slain, CEO of SplashData, said in Time: “Seeing passwords like ‘adobe123’ and ‘photoshop’ on this list offers a good reminder not to base your password on the name of the website or application you are accessing.”

Here’s a look at SplashData’s top 25 worst passwords for 2013:

1. 123456

2. password

3. 12345678

4. qwerty

5. abc123

6. 123456789

7. 111111

8. 1234567

9. iloveyou

10. adobe123

11. 123123

12. admin

13. 1234567890

14. letmein

15. photoshop

16. 1234

17. monkey

18. shadow

19. sunshine

20. 12345

21. password1

22. princess

23. azerty

24. trustno1

25. 000000

Find out how to create more secure password habits from our on-demand webinar and check out consumer password habits in this infographic. Let us know what you think about this list on Twitter and Facebook, be sure to check out our Tumblr for the latest industry news stories, and please change your password if you’re using any of the above!

News Recap: Financial Loans – No Longer Just About Your Credit Score

By | January 17th, 2014|Uncategorized|

Loan BlogOnline reputation management has been a hot topic recently. The latest? Your social media activity could now keep you from getting a loan. Whether you’re an individual or small business, lenders can use your online credibility to judge your financial credibility.

Lisa Vaas of Naked Security reported on a recent Wall Street Journal piece about how the financial services industry has increasingly turned toward social media and even smartphone usage to evaluate loan applicants. Vaas writes, ”Many such institutions are giving customers the social-media once-over on an opt-in basis, often using the information as one more way to get credit to borrowers who might otherwise have difficulty getting a loan.” While this may now be an opt-in practice, experts do anticipate a more pervasive analysis of social media. Vaas quotes Moven Bank’s president, Alex Sion, “The data we have on customers via social networks says more about them than their FICO [credit-score rating]… You can make credit decisions based not on a faceless score, but on who you know.”

Alex Sherman of Inc. described how businesses that use social media can be impacted by this new trend? In a situation regarding a startup taking advantage of eBay or Amazon: “A snafu with a supplier caused delays on a number of orders and most of those customers left negative feedback on the transactions. The complaints begin to make your short-term review ranking plummet.” Sherman went on to explain how lenders could interpret your credibility based on that negative short-term ranking. Sherman concluded with the unfortunate truth that, despite your business’ desire to expand your market with social media, this issue is likely to extend beyond lenders and impact “potential vendors, service providers, customers, business partners, job seekers.”

Do you think online presence is a fair assessment tool for lenders to utilize? What steps should a business take in order to maintain their online reputation? Check out our recent webinar, whitepaper and infographic on Managing Online Reputation in a Digital World. And as always, let us know what you think on Twitter and Facebook, and be sure to check out our Tumblr for the latest industry news stories.

News Recap: World Federation of Stock Exchanges to Combat Cyber Attacks

By | December 13th, 2013|Uncategorized|

Stock Blog PicIn light of cyber attacks over the past twelve months, the world’s largest exchanges have formed a committee to prevent against cyber attacks. The purpose of the committee will be to establish and communicate global best practices regarding information security.

Michelle Price reported in the Wall Street Journal, “Nasdaq OMX’s chief information security officer, Mark Graff, is to chair a new working group that’s been set up by the World Federation of Stock Exchanges to try to combat the rise of cyber attacks on financial market infrastructure.” Price noted that the group was established after research found “53% of exchanges had suffered a cyber-security attack during the previous 12 months.”

In Bloomberg Businessweek, Nandini Sukumar reported that “hackers have targeted computers at exchanges including CME Group, the world’s largest bourse operator, and Nasdaq.” Fox Business reporter Matt Egan wrote that this level of disruption “on a major exchange like the New York Stock Exchange would mark a major coup for cyber actors.” He recounted a recent exercise in which “white hat” hackers were assigned to find and expose cyber vulnerabilities of the U.S. equity markets. They succeeded and even found a way to impact market performance. Cyber security professionals, Egan reported, believe ”the committee announced on Thursday is long overdue.”

Do you agree this committee is a step in the right direction? What other actions should world exchanges or this committee be focusing on? Let us know what you think on Twitter and Facebook, and be sure to check out our Tumblr for the latest industry news stories.

News Recap: Universities Become Cybersecurity Hubs

By | November 26th, 2013|Uncategorized|

university blogA number of universities are investing in the future of combating cybersecurity threats. From increased education for the public, to brand new majors that inspire cyber innovators, the nation’s universities are quickly becoming hubs for cybersecurity.

Cal Poly, for instance, announced a new initiative in cybersecurity education. Dark Reading reported, “the major new educational initiative encompasses a comprehensive and collaborative program that spans the polytechnic university and partners with public and private organizations. The goals of the program include educating thousands of students in cybersecurity awareness and readiness; producing experts in cyber technologies and systems, including many professionals who will serve the military and defense industry; and graduating cyber innovators who are prepared for advanced study and applied research in emerging cyber issues.”

Stephanie Hayes of the Tampa Bay Times outlined hopes for Florida’s cybersecurity hub, which is planned to be located at the University of South Florida in Tampa. Hayes quotes project leaders saying, “The new center would bring it all together. USF would offer a master’s degree in cybersecurity, as well as certificates in subjects such as cyberbehavior, cyberbullying and cybercrime.” Hayes reiterates the point, quoting USF Provost, Ralph Wilcox: “Students and faculty from all over could train and do research there… IT professionals from around the country could come for certifications. Tampa is central to big businesses, plus MacDill Air Force Base. And USF is home to a high number of student veterans.”

What else could our universities be doing to promote, develop and teach cybersecurity? Do you think education will be a strong enough deterrent against cybersecurity threats? Let us know what you think on Twitter and Facebook, and be sure to check out our Tumblr for the latest industry news stories.

And if you’re interested in how other types of organizations are stepping up to the plate when it comes to cybersecurity, see last week’s news recap about organizations within the financial industry.

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