'The most common password on LinkedIn is...ridiculous': Reported cyber security incidents increased four-fold in one year - expert

Published 15/11/2016 | 14:54

Brian Honan Computer Security Incidence Response Team and CEO at BH Consulting at the Info Sec 2016 Conference in the RDS.
Brian Honan Computer Security Incidence Response Team and CEO at BH Consulting at the Info Sec 2016 Conference in the RDS.

Reported cyber security incidents between 2014 and 2015 increased four-fold, according to an information security expert.

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InfoSec consultant and Special Advisor on Internet Security to Europol, Brian Honan, said a total of 6,534 security incidents were reported to his team in 2014.

Just one year later, the firm received over 26,000 incident reports.

"We're talking about the risks Ireland is facing, the truth is Ireland is already experiencing these attacks," Honan said at the first Info Sec Dublin conference at the RDS.

He listed DDoS extortion, ransomware and CEO fraud as the three biggest issues facing Irish websites.

Read more: Garda Cyber Crime unit head Michael Gubbins: 2016 is the year of ransomware

The root causes to the issues include poor passwords, missing patches, vulnerabilities with their web platforms, out of date virus software and a general lack of monitoring.

"The most common password on LinkedIn is '1234567', that is ridiculous for professionals," Honan said.

"The second most popular password was 'LinkedIn'. You can imagine what their passwords were for Facebook and Twitter."

Honan said the most important advice is for companies to develop a strategy as well as simple training sessions for staff. He suggested competitions and workshops to encourage staff and said 'compliance' is not enough.

Brian Honan was speaking at the conference alongside speakers jncluding security consultant Joseph Carson, cyber psychologist Dr Mary Aiken and Global Vice President Security Research at Trend Micro Rik Ferguson.