Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Attacks/Breaches

People, Not Passwords, Are the Problem

UK government study says end users still don't know how to protect their passwords online

If you thought end users were getting smarter about passwords and computer security, a new survey from the British government may cause you to think again.

The U.K.'s Department of Trade and Industry Monday revealed the results of a survey it conducted with 1,800 adults who work and play online. The survey was part of the DTI's Network Security Innovation Program, under which the agency is spending more than $8 million to research ways to reduce the risk that human error plays in computer network security.

Among the survey's results:

  • Just over one third recorded their password or security information by either writing it down or storing it somewhere on their computer.

  • Nearly two thirds never changed their password.

  • One in five people used the same password for non-banking Websites as they used for their online bank.

"Unfortunately, the weakest link in network security is not usually with the technology, but with the staff and system users," said Malcolm Wicks, Minister for Science and Innovation. "A DTI survey found that a shocking number of people were careless with passwords, unwittingly exposing themselves and their companies to fraud and theft."

The U.K. lost nearly $900 million to credit card fraud last year alone, with 62 percent of companies experiencing a network security incident, Wicks said. "The stakes are high -- this is a problem we need to fix."

The Network Security Innovation Platform was created to bring government and business together to develop new ideas to improve network security. The four projects will, for the first time, use behavioral science in a bid to tackle the human risk element in network security, the DTI said.

"It is estimated that development of this research could represent an estimated extra [$250 million] market for businesses," the DTI said. "In addition, it will represent significant savings for those companies who adopt the findings."

— Tim Wilson, Site Editor, Dark Reading

Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
7 Tips for Infosec Pros Considering A Lateral Career Move
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  1/21/2020
For Mismanaged SOCs, The Price Is Not Right
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  1/22/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: This comment is waiting for review by our moderators.
Current Issue
IT 2020: A Look Ahead
Are you ready for the critical changes that will occur in 2020? We've compiled editor insights from the best of our network (Dark Reading, Data Center Knowledge, InformationWeek, ITPro Today and Network Computing) to deliver to you a look at the trends, technologies, and threats that are emerging in the coming year. Download it today!
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
How Enterprises are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
Organizations have invested in a sweeping array of security technologies to address challenges associated with the growing number of cybersecurity attacks. However, the complexity involved in managing these technologies is emerging as a major problem. Read this report to find out what your peers biggest security challenges are and the technologies they are using to address them.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-7989
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-26
Adive Framework 2.0.8 has admin/user/add userUsername XSS.
CVE-2020-7990
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-26
Adive Framework 2.0.8 has admin/user/add userName XSS.
CVE-2020-7991
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-26
Adive Framework 2.0.8 has admin/config CSRF to change the Administrator password.
CVE-2020-7984
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-26
SolarWinds N-central before 12.1 SP1 HF5 and 12.2 before SP1 HF2 allows remote attackers to retrieve cleartext domain admin credentials from the Agent & Probe settings, and obtain other sensitive information. The attacker can use a customer ID to self register and read any aspects of the agent/a...
CVE-2019-16029
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-26
A vulnerability in the application programming interface (API) of Cisco Smart Software Manager On-Prem could allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker to change user account information which can prevent users from logging in, resulting in a denial of service (DoS) condition of the web interface. Th...