Top Tips For Password Security

Posted by Neil
Jun 9, 2016

In today’s data intensive workplaces, passwords are a necessary evil! You should think of them as a technology key; locking down all your sensitive and critical data stored online or on computers, tablets and phones.

Keep Your Data Secure

Even though passwords may seem like too much trouble to memorize and even implement in the first place, they are as indispensable to the security of your business as keeping your valuables locked up in your safe and then dead-bolting all entrances to your home at the end of the day!

Especially for hectic workdays, it is easy to fall into potentially dangerous habits and get lackadaisical about passwords, leaving your business vulnerable to theft or potential loss of critical data.  In fact if you scrutinize the list detailing the most popular passwords of 2015, compiled by Splash Data from more than 2,000,000 leaked passwords, it reveals a staggering number of people who seem willing to compromise their own cyber security.  According to the list, the password “123456” continues to be the most claimed, followed by the passwords “Football”, “password”, “abc123″, “login” and “welcome”. The release of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” has also popularised the passwords “solo”, and “starwars”!

A strong and hard to breach password is your business’s first line of defense against imposters and intruders. The stronger and more reliable your passwords are, the more protected your business computers and systems are from malicious software and vile hackers.  It makes business sense to ensure that all accounts of your business are safeguarded by strong passwords.

Here are 7 best practices for password security that are indispensable for the security of your business:

Sign Up For A Password Management Tool

Your chance to garner the best in password security is to sign up for a password management tool like 1Password or LastPass. These tools offer random new password strings when needed, and store all your passwords for you. You just need to remember a single master password that permits you to access the stored data and passwords.  All you need to do is to enter the master password, and the password management tool does the rest for you.

Most of these password management tools can be seamlessly integrated on a mobile device or within your browser. The encrypted data is safely stored and passwords can be easily retrieved. A password management tool is the most viable way to go in almost every instance, and the only inconvenience you might face is when you attempt to login from a foreign spot or device and find it challenging to access the services. However, it happens only once in a blue moon, and that’s the whole point of the security measure

Random generated passwords cater best for service accounts, so that they can ward off any brute-force hacking attempts. A brute force attack is when a computer program relentlessly attempts to login through these apparently innocuous accounts by tying every possible combination of strings until they stumble upon a jackpot.

Use A ‘Strong’ Password

If you don’t want to go with a password generator, then a strong password cannot be stressed enough! A strong password is an ingenious, indecipherable blend of numbers, lowercase and uppercase letters, at least one special character, and should accommodate more than 8 characters. The more complex your passwords are, the harder they are to decode.

When one talks about the passwords used for the office networks, you would be familiar with the administrator account that performs certain specialised functions and holds the rights to change the password of any user, including the people handling your IT. As such, the administrator password should ideally be the strongest and needs to be kept protected at all times. All users must be encouraged to come up with strong passwords for their accounts, and all passwords should be changed every 90 days, or even earlier.

Change The Password Frequently

Keep passwords from falling into the wrong hands and change your passwords every couple of weeks. This makes it harder for a hacker to access your systems and steal your data, even by brute force attacks. Additionally, the same password shouldn’t be re-used, at least within 18 months of the change. If an account sends you a password reset and won’t budge in when you attempt to type in a reused password, don’t nitpick. The reminder is nothing short of a blessing.

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