Even top-level executives are practicing poor password hygiene

Despite constant warnings from their IT departments and CTOs, high-ranking business executives have the same equally unhealthy password habits as many other internet users do.

To learn more about the password habits of business owners, CEOs and other c-suite executives, NordPass partnered with independent researchers who analyzed over 290m data breaches worldwide. Together, they grouped passwords according to job title and industry with organizations in technology, finance, construction, healthcare and hospitality experiencing the most security incidents.

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Among the various executive roles examined in NordPass’ research, using easily hackable passwords that mainly include sequence combinations of numbers or letters was a visible trend among business executives. 

Some of the poor passwords observed include but are not limited to “1q2w3e,” “12345,” “11111,” and “qwerty.” However, the winner across all categories remains “123456” (used over 1m times) with the password “password” (used over 700k times) coming in second.

Coming up with strong and unique passwords

NordPass’ research also found that top-level executives often use names or mythical creatures as an inspiration when creating passwords as opposed to using a password generator to create strong and unique passwords.

The most popular mythical creatures used when coming up with passwords are “dragon” and “monkey” while the most widely chosen names used in passwords are “Tiffany,” “Charlie,” “Michael,” and “Jordan” which may or may not be a reference to the legendary basketball player.

CEO of NordPass, Jonas Karklys provided further insight the company’s research and how all internet users share common ground when it comes to passwords, saying:

“It is unbelievable how similar we all think, and this research simply confirms that — what we might consider being very original, in fact, can place us in the list of most common. Everyone from gamer teenagers to company owners are targets of cybercrimes, and the only difference is that business entities, as a rule, pay a higher price for their unawareness.”

To avoid falling victim to a data breach as the result of poor password hygiene, NordPass recommends using a password manager to securely store all of the passwords for your online accounts and enabling multi-factor authentication (MFA) for an additional layer of security.

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