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Education Sector Excels at Creating Strong Passwords

According to a recent report from cybersecurity training provider Wombat Security, end users in the education sector are more knowledgeable about building safe passwords than people in other industries. The 2018 Beyond the Phish Report analyzed user responses to nearly 85 million questions related to phishing and data security. Respondents came from 16 industries, including education, government, technology and manufacturing.

Education respondents scored highest on questions about creating strong passwords, as well as protecting confidential information and avoiding scams. However, the same group struggled with identifying common security issues, scoring the lowest on the category compared to other industries. Topics in that category included "understanding of common cybersecurity concerns" and "recognition of essential cybersecurity protections."

Although education outperformed other industries in protecting confidential information, that category was the No. 1 problem area across the board, with 25 percent of end users answering those questions incorrectly on average. The category included questions on best practices related to GDPR, PCI DSS and HIPAA compliance, as well as requirements for data management within those standards. "These results are particularly concerning with the looming GDPR enforcement date," Wombat noted.

On the plus side, the best category for all industries was avoiding ransomware attacks. On average, end users answered those questions incorrectly just 11 percent of the time.

Wombat Security is a division of cybersecurity company Proofpoint. The full report is available for free download here (registration required).

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].

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