Technology users prioritize security over convenience, especially when it comes to applications and accounts with access to sensitive PII, according to an IBM Security survey of almost 4,000 adults. Almost three-quarters of respondents were willing to have a second form of authentication for additional security, but when it comes to social media, security still does not outweigh convenience.
Age is a determining factor of security practices. Older generations typically have stronger passwords while younger users favor biometrics, multifactor authentication and password managers. Baby Boomers use an average of 12 passwords while millennials use an average of eight passwords, according to the survey.
- Increased security focus comes alongside the continued rise in cybercrimes. California, Florida and New York are expected to face some of the highest numbers of cybercrime complaints this year, according to a Website Builder Expert study based on FBI crime reports and insurance information from the last several years. The top five states in this category are rounded out by Florida and Michigan, which are also facing the sharpest rise in cybercrimes.
If "123456" and "password" remaining the top passwords for the fourth year running aren't evidence enough of lagging personal security, then nothing is.
Millennials hold a comfortable majority of the tech workforce, and as the generation takes a larger hold in other industries, companies will need to react appropriately in terms of security strategies. For example, more multifactor and biometric access controls can offset password deficiencies — especially now that password best practices are moot.
But the frequency of attacks, even adjusted to state populations, doesn't paint the whole picture. Both traditional tech hubs, such as California and New York, and states less readily associated with tech, such as Michigan, Missouri and Florida, are in for a rough 2018.
While frequency and potency of attacks for each state is the result of a multitude of factors, improving personal security across the board will benefit everyone. After all, cybercrimes cost the country $19.4 billion and the world $172 billion last year.
Each reported cybercrime can cost anywhere from $950 to $7,149, depending on the state, according to the study. Mitigating these costs will require some degree of tailoring security solutions to the population. After all, the personal security failings that cause many technology users to fall prey to malicious actors in their personal lives can carry over to the professional environment.
While user paradigms are shifting, users can follow experts' favorite security practices, including turning off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, keeping up with updates and using password managers to help improve personal security.