How European Companies Are Protecting Themselves From Cyber Threats

Cyber Threats

By Michael Crandell

The Modern European Threat Landscape

In the fall of 2022, the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA) released its annual report covering the state of cybersecurity threats against European countries and companies. Ransomware, malware, social engineering and threats against data were some of the major vulnerabilities discussed in the report. One of the overall takeaways, according to the authors, was this:

“Cybersecurity attacks continued to increase during the second half of 2021 and 2022, not only in terms of vectors and numbers but also in terms of their impact. The Russia-Ukraine crisis has defined a new era for cyberwarfare and hacktivism, its role, and its impact on conflicts…Due to the volatile international situation, we expect to observe more cyber operations being driven by geopolitics in the near to mid-term future.”

For European companies keen on staving off cyberattacks, the task at hand is daunting. They must be aware of ongoing threats, but also precisely calibrate their own prevention and mitigation efforts so as not to exhaust resources. A key part of this effort involves accepting that it is impossible to maintain a 100% success rate against data breaches. There is a simple yet effective technology European businesses can deploy in order to strengthen their postures against cybercriminals: an enterprise-grade password management solution.

Cyber Threats

The case for password managers

Clearly and firmly stated in the ENISA report:

“A proper password management approach is important to reduce the risk of an attack to a system. Unique passwords avoid multiple system compromises with a single password breach. Strong passwords can increase the robustness of the system against attacks. A password manager can simplify users’ activities.”

As the leading open source password manager for both businesses and consumers, Bitwarden couldn’t agree more. Bitwarden has customers all over the world, including Europe. One of those customers is a Romania-based cybersecurity company called Bitdefender. Understanding that it’s likely a matter of “when, not if” an organization will experience a data breach, Bitdefender considered its authentication needs and – in part, due to its own internal cybersecurity training, which emphasized the importance of its employees using password managers – opted to deploy the Bitwarden enterprise-grade password management solution to protect the organization as a whole.

Another customer, Barcelona-based Glovo, struggled with employees using weak passwords that were frequently shared among teams. The security team began requiring more complex passwords, but a new challenge emerged. Because the complex passwords were harder to remember, people wrote them down or stored them on their computers, which undermined the point of creating a strong password. Ultimately, the team opted to deploy Bitwarden with SSO to help make password management simple and consistent. Glovo now describes Bitwarden as “a vital solution within the Glovo security ecosystem.”

Intesys, an Italy-based digital transformation provider that caters to medium and large businesses, uses Bitwarden for added security. Intesys employees work closely in teams associated with client projects. They depend on a password management solution that allows them to securely share passwords for varying periods of time and chose Bitwarden because of the open source nature of the software and the opportunity to self-host it on-premises.

Then there’s DMM Eikaiwa, a global language platform with employees all over the world, including Europe. With Bitwarden, the company’s employees no longer have to remember passwords and can use unique, strong passwords for different software and service accounts, dramatically increasing security. Employees can access all their passwords at any time, whether at the office or at home, on any device or browser.

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According to the third annual Bitwarden World Password Day survey, 85% of global respondents reuse passwords across multiple sites and 52% of global respondents use easily identifiable information in their passwords, such as company/brand names, well-known song lyrics, pet names, and names of children, partners, or other loved ones. This common, human behavior is likely translating to the workplace as well. But, as the above case studies make clear, European businesses can help their employees avoid password reuse and misuse by providing a secure, enterprise-grade password solution. Equipping your team with the tools they need to use strong and unique passwords for every account means your business is much less likely to suffer the pain of a data breach and compromised business data.

About the Author

Michael Crandell

Michael Crandell is the chief executive officer at Bitwarden driving overall company strategy and growth. Before Bitwarden, Michael was the CEO and co-founder of RightScale where he led the vision and direction for the company as a cloud management platform during the first decade of cloud computing. He grew the company to 250 employees and a successful exit to Flexera in 2018. Prior to RightScale, Michael served as chief executive officer at several Internet software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies and as vice president of software and executive vice president at eFax.com, where he was part of the executive team that took the company public. Michael received his bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and completed graduate studies at Harvard University. He began his career as a software engineer, self-taught, coding in assembly language.

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