Cyber security vulnerabilities can emerge in many shapes and forms, which is part of the reason why regular penetration testing and security audit evaluations are such a necessity in our modern technology-oriented world.
Determined cyber criminals will often look for the easiest point of access in a system, be it a flaw in the security network or, more often than not, a vulnerability presented by human error or a lack of awareness as to good cyber security behaviour.
That's why – just in time for Halloween – smartphone application provider SplashData has released its annual list of the 25 'scariest' passwords of the year – the passwords most likely to lead to a security breach when employed by an internet user.
"At this time of year, people enjoy focusing on scary costumes, movies and decorations, but those who have been through it can tell you how terrifying it is to have your identity stolen because of a hacked password," said SplashData chief executive officer Morgan Slain.
"We're hoping that with more publicity about how risky it is to use weak passwords, more people will start taking simple steps to protect themselves by using stronger passwords and using different passwords for different websites."
The number one worst password of 2012 was found to be 'password', followed by '123456' and '12345678', all three holding the same positions they reached on last year's list.
Other poor passwords to feature included 'abc123', 'qwerty' and 'monkey', while 'jesus', 'ninja' and 'mustang' were all new entrants to the list for 2012.
With this list, Splashdata has highlighted the fact that many internet users are still unaware as to the importance of good cybersecurity, and may be leaving themselves and the organisations they work for vulnerable to the threat of security breaches and information theft.
In order to ensure your business is achieving a respectable level of vulnerability management and mitigating the risk of a security breach, it is worthwhile undergoing a Red Cell ethical hacking evaluation to determine where weak links in the chain might be present.
In doing so, you can identify changes that need to be made in your organisation in order to create a more thoroughly secure network, which minimises any potential access points for cyber criminals.
This is important because, as Mr Slain notes, despite the fact that hacking tools are getting more sophisticated, cyber criminals still prefer easy targets.
"Just a little bit more effort in choosing better passwords will go a long way toward making you safer online," said Mr Slain.