FBI and White House Rated Worst Federal Agencies for Password Advice

A new report assessed the security and password advice from federal agencies in the US and some fared better than others.
Conor Cawley

You might want to get your password tips from somewhere other than the White House or the FBI, as a new report that assessed the security advice from federal agencies in the US found the two to be among the worst in the country.

Password security remains the first line of defense for most online activity, with password managers representing one of the most effective ways to secure your accounts. Unfortunately, many businesses don't bolster their password security enough to fend off attacks, with 81% of security breaches stemming from a compromised password.

With this kind of threat looming, getting the best advice on how to better secure your passwords is vital. Fortunately, this new report will help you get the best advice on cybersecurity while avoiding some of the worst.

Which federal agencies offer the best password advice?

The report — titled State of Password Security Report — comes from Bitwarden, an open-source password manager for businesses and individuals. It comprehensively ranked and scored government agencies like the FBI, the FTC, and the FCC, among others, on their ability to provide informative best practices for password security.

Take a look at how these federal agencies were linked in the images below to get an idea of how each one fared against the others:

Suffice it to say, some of the most important agencies fell quite short of acceptable security advice. The White House, FBI, and Department of Homeland Security all scored a generously named “room for improvement” for inadequate or missing information about how to secure your passwords.

Fortunately, federal agencies that are a bit more tech focused scored much higher, with the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Cybersecurity Infrastructure Security Agency all scoring “Good” or better thanks to generally up to date information on password security.

Why is Password Security Important?

Who cares how good federal agencies are at giving password advice? Well, the reality is that cybersecurity has become a pressing issue for many businesses across the country, given that security breaches cost businesses nearly $4 million in 2020. So, you'd think government agencies would be a bit more consistent in how they give advice on passwords.

“When it comes to cybersecurity, we are all in this together. That’s why it’s important that government agencies offer guidance across the board on one of the most accessible ways to stay secure, password management,” said Michael Crandell, CEO of Bitwarden.

To make matters worse, employees and managers alike are a bit flippant when it comes to password security, often to the chagrin of their IT departments. 69% of employees share passwords with colleagues and employees reuse passwords approximately 13 times.

Are secure password policies actually an effective way of preventing security breaches though? Absolutely! In fact, just implementing two-factor authentication can eliminate 99% of all password-related security issues, which should do the trick to protect your business.

How to Protect Yourself Online

So, if the White House and FBI aren't giving you the best information about password security, what is the most prudent advice you can get when it comes to keeping your accounts secure?

“Password managers are a simple, practical solution that can help anybody avoid weak and re-used passwords, and instead create, save, and use strong and unique ones to keep themselves safe online,” said Crandell.

He's right! Password managers are one of the easiest ways to secure your accounts, and they aren't too expensive either. In fact, some even offer free plans that can help you get started without the added cost to your security budget.

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Conor is the Senior Writer for Tech.co. For the last six years, he’s covered everything from tech news and product reviews to digital marketing trends and business tech innovations. He's written guest posts for the likes of Forbes, Chase, WeWork, and many others, covering tech trends, business resources, and everything in between. He's also participated in events for SXSW, Tech in Motion, and General Assembly, to name a few. He also cannot pronounce the word "colloquially" correctly. You can email Conor at conor@tech.co.

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