Media and advertising industry lags in password security practices

Media and advertising employees have the most passwords to manage compared to other industries, and are twice as likely to reuse passwords.

Media and advertising employees would do well to improve their password security practices, according to a LastPass’ 2019 Global Password Security Report.

The third annual study by LastPass – owned by LogMeIn – investigated employee password behaviours across industries to discover trends around identity and access management at business worldwide.

According to the report, media and advertising employees have the most passwords to manage with an average of 97. Employees in these industries were also found to reuse passwords at almost twice the rate of others, with media and advertising staff reusing 22 passwords on average, compared to just nine in the non-profit and retail sectors.

In Australia, the average employee has 66 passwords, according to the report. However LastPass found that very few of these passwords are completely unique, leaving Australia with the second highest average number of passwords reused per person (14) internationally.

“Australian businesses are starting to take greater control of their password security – a likely result of regulatory changes across the industry,” says Lindsay Brown, vice president of APAC at LogMeIn.

Slightly more than half of businesses globally (57%) now have their staff employing multi-factor authentication (MFA) – verification requiring two or more pieces of authenticating evidence – however media and advertising staff lag here too, with industry adoption as low as 21%.

“Unfortunately, MFA use alone cannot protect an organisation and overall security hygiene must be elevated if we’re to see better results in the next Notifiable Data Breach Report,” Brown warns.

According to the report, those in small businesses are experiencing compounded difficulties of password security around the world. Employees in small businesses (one to 25 employees) have an average of 85 passwords, while larger companies (1001 to 10,000 employees) have an average of 25 passwords.

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Image credit:Debby Hudson

Josh Loh
BY Josh Loh ON 11 October 2019
Josh Loh is assistant editor at MarketingMag.com.au