Martijn Verbree, partner in KPMG’s cyber security practice, highlights the wider security issues of email account hacks and how passwords continue to remain the weakest link. He said:
“Online consumer businesses getting hacked is becoming all too common an occurrence. When a primary email account is breached, whether it’s used for photo sharing platforms or social media accounts, all linked accounts are also breached, which has a huge impact for the consumer.
“These hacks can also compromise the user’s wider accounts. When an email account is breached, it opens up access to other non-linked accounts that use emails to validate password reset requests. Irrespective of using the same or different passwords, in this situation, the compromise is wider than just the primary account.
“It is clear passwords are the weakest link and more needs to be done by businesses to enable other forms of authentication to prevent cyber breaches. This is something that we all need to realise so we can move towards a more sophisticated approach to authenticating people which blends the use of a two-step validation, behavioural analysis and contextual information, rather than relying on knowledge of a single increasingly user unfriendly password.”
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Notes to Editors:
KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, operates from 22 offices across the UK with approximately 13,500 partners and staff. The UK firm recorded a revenue of £2.07 billion in the year ended 30 September 2016. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. It operates in 152 countries and has 189,000 professionals working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such.