RICHMOND, Va. — In its most recent research in password security, Hive Systems found that any eight-character password can be cracked in less than an hour through brute force. Further, any password containing less than seven characters can be cracked instantly. These are just two major findings from extensive research conducted by the cybersecurity firm.

“While passwords aren’t the only method to keep your information safe, a strong and unique password is the best way to stay safe online,” said Alex Nette, CEO and founder of Hive Systems. 

The research also found that advances in technology over the past two years have exponentially cut the amount of time it takes to crack a password through brute force. In 2020, a complex eight-character password could be cracked in eight hours — a number that has now decreased to less than an hour. The rise in affordable cloud computing has contributed to this trend.

The use of a password manager for creating and storing passwords significantly increases the safety and security of passwords. In fact, a 12-character password created by a reputable password manager could take up to 3,000 years to crack through brute force, according to the research.

“Password best practices have been well-documented, but as technology improves, passwords become less secure,” said Corey Neskey, vice president of quantitative risk at Hive Systems. “The safest option for consumers is to use a password manager to create and store all of your passwords. Never use a password twice, and always be aware of sites that have had a password breach. If you reuse passwords, your information can be stolen instantaneously. ”