Password, 123456 and the company’s email domain were the top three most used passwords in the food and beverage sector. The top two passwords were found to be among the seven most commonly used passwords across 20 analysed industries.
Interestingly, people working for food and drink firms often picked “bubba2525” and “sunshine” for their passwords. The top ten most used passwords in the food and drink industry can be found in the box below.
Jonas Karklys, chief executive of NordPass, said: “On one hand, it is a paradox that the wealthiest companies on the planet with financial resources to invest in cybersecurity fall into the poor password trap.
Unhealthy password habits
“On the other hand, it is only natural because internet users have deep-rooted unhealthy password habits. This research once again proves that we should all speed up in transitioning to alternative online authentication solutions.”
While dictionary words, names of people and countries, and simple combinations of letters and numbers make up the majority of the passwords presented in the research, 32% of passwords directly referenced or hinted at the name of a specific company.
The full company name, the company’s email domain, part of the company’s name, an abbreviation of the company name and the company product or subsidiary name were common sources of inspiration. In food and drink, 13 out of 20 passwords on the list directly referenced a company.
‘Poor and dangerous to use’
“These types of passwords are both poor and dangerous to use,” Karklys added. “When breaking into company accounts, hackers try all the password combinations referencing a company because they are aware of how common they are.
“Employees often avoid creating complicated passwords, especially for shared accounts. Therefore, they end up choosing something as basic as the company’s name.”
NordPass’s latest findings follow a series of password-related research projects the organisation has conducted over the years – in 2021, the company looked into the passwords that Fortune 500 companies use and in 2022, investigated the password habits of top-level business executives.
“While password trends slightly vary each year across different audiences, the general take is that people continuously fail with their password management, and the world desperately needs to switch to new online authentication solutions such as passkeys,” Karklys concluded.