Intelligent CIO North America Issue 31 - Page 28


LastPass research finds false sense of cybersecurity running rampant

LastPass has released findings from its fifth annual Psychology of Passwords Research , which revealed even with cybersecurity education on the rise , password hygiene has not improved .

Regardless of generational differences across Boomers , Millennials and Gen Z , the research shows a false sense of password security given current behaviors across the board . In addition , LastPass found that while 65 % of all respondents have some form of cybersecurity education – through school , work , social media , books or courses – the reality is that 62 % almost always or mostly use the same or variation of a password .
The goal of the LastPass Psychology of Passwords research is to showcase how password management education and use can secure users ' online lives , transforming unpredictable behavior into real and secure password competence . The survey , which explored the password security behaviors of 3,750 professionals across seven countries , asked about respondents ’ mindset and behaviors surrounding their online security .
The findings highlighted a clear disconnect between high confidence when it comes to their password management and their unsafe actions . While the majority of professionals surveyed claimed to be confident in their current password management , this doesn ’ t translate to safer online behavior and can create a detrimental false sense of safety .
Key findings from the research include :
• Gen Z is confident when it comes to their password management , while also being the biggest offenders of poor password hygiene . As the generation who has lived most of their lives online , Gen Z ( 1997 – 2012 ) believes their password methods to be ‘ very safe ’. They are the most likely to create stronger passwords for social media and entertainment accounts , compared to other generations .
• However , Gen Z is also more likely to recognize that using the same or similar password for multiple logins is a risk , but they use a variation of a single password 69 % of the time , alongside Millennials ( 1981 – 1996 ) who do this 66 % of the time . On the other hand , Gen Z is the generation most likely to use memorization to keep track of their passwords ( 51 %), with Boomers ( 1946 – 1964 ) the least likely to memorise their passwords at 38 %.
• Cybersecurity education doesn ’ t necessarily translate to action . With 65 % of those surveyed claiming to have some type of cybersecurity education , the majority ( 79 %) found their education to be effective , whether formal or informal . But of those who received cybersecurity education , only 31 % stopped reusing passwords and only 25 % started using a password manager .
• Confidence creates a false sense of password security . While 89 % of respondents acknowledged
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