Top Ten Universities Vulnerable to Data Breaches and Need Better Password Education

New Research from Authlogics Password Breach Database Reveals 187,648 Email Addresses Were Known to be Recently Password Breached.

In May 2022, Authlogics researched the top ten universities, as recognised by The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2022, to discover the extent to which password-protected email accounts had been compromised. The university with the lowest number of password breached email addresses available on the dark web was Oxford University (47), compared to the only other UK institution, Cambridge University (18630). The university with the highest number of known breaches was the University of California, Berkley (50943).

CEO of Authlogics, Steven Hope states: “Knowing if password-protected email accounts have been compromised is the first step in putting safeguards in place that reduce the risk of data breaches caused by weak, stolen, or reused passwords.” Hope adds: “These highly prestigious institutions not only have reputations to uphold on the world stage, but they also have resources, research, and intellectual property of huge value. Passwords are known to be the single biggest cause of data breaches.”

The Password Breach Status of the World’s Top Ten Universities

University                                                              Number of Password Email Breaches

1.       Oxford University 47
2.       Harvard University 2659
3.       California Insitute of Technology 3101
4.       Princeton University 11606
5.       The University of Chicago 15190
6.       Cambridge University 18630
7.       Massachuetts Institute of Technology 22657
8.       Yale University 25605
9.       Stanford University 37210
10.   University of California, Berkley 50943

The research was conducted using the Password Breach Database the world’s largest Breach Database. Holding over four billion breached credentials and more than 1.3 billion compromised clear text passwords, it is the most definitive resource available regarding the password breach status of any live or dormant account. Authlogics provides its Password Breach Database as a free service, to any organisation wanting a comprehensive Password Breach Status report that it can use to guide password security management.

With most universities currently on summer break, now is the opportune time to act before staff and students return to study. Hope explains that it is possible for any organisation to move fast and remediate the situation, regardless of the scale of the problem: “Ultimately, a passwordless approach would be the safest and most efficient way forward. However, in the interim, passwords can be kept relatively secure and cost-effective through a combination of following NIST guidelines and implementing password security management.”

The Password Security Management solution is designed to assess existing password-related weaknesses, report on the current threats and risks, automatically remediate the problem and provide ongoing real-time protection and alerting from new password breaches.

Hope also urges academic institutions to consider multi-factor authentication (MFA). “As true passwordless is not viable for many organisations today, MFA provides the most secure practice for safe authentication. Threat actors will continue to exploit unmanaged and unprotected accounts for their benefit, which is why it is so crucial to put barriers in place to stop them from accessing networks and confidential information.”

About Authlogics

Authlogics provide a complete authentication solution that is quick to deploy and easy to use. Authlogics believes that the move away from password-based authentication is inevitable which is why the company is delivering real customer-ready solutions today toward going passwordless.

  • Reduce the complexity of existing passwords
  • Ensure regulatory compliance
  • Remove risk and replace passwords
  • Provide passwordless and deviceless login options

As a global market leader in compliance and user authentication, Authlogics believes that increasing password security should not have to mean compromising simplicity. The Authlogics product suite offers users a complete, three-step solution for transitioning to modern authentication processes. From its unique password compliance solution (Password Security Management), through to the award-winning Multi-Factor Authentication technologies, to enabling users with a completely passwordless environment, Authlogics enhances network security whilst maintaining an easy and uniform user experience, whether on mobile, desktop, or cloud.

Trusted by Governments and Enterprises Worldwide

Where protecting systems and information really matters, you will find Intercede.  Whether its citizen data, aerospace and defence systems, high-value financial transactions, intellectual property or air traffic control, we are proud that many leading organisations around the world choose Intercede solutions to protect themselves against data breach, comply with regulations and ensure business continuity.