Your P@SSW0RD Security Is Your First Line Of Defense From a Potential Breach
Are your passwords really as secure as you think? And do you have a password policy in place for your organization?
The other day I was feeling nostalgic and decided to watch one of my favorite 90’s movies, “Hackers”. Sure it’s an old movie and pretty outdated but believe it or not, there were so many items that were covered in this movie that are more relevant now then when the movie was released over 20 years ago.
Now, before you go onto your preferred streaming platform to see what I mean I will give you a hint – it has to do with one of the most important items in your business when it comes to security and overall network health… what could that be? Your Password Policy!
Most business owners that I work with and talk to on a daily basis are quite surprised in our chats when I bring up their password policy for their employees… to be honest, we have all been lulled into this false sense of security that as long as you have an alphanumeric password – or even through a ! at the end of it – that you are fine… this is true and the more symbols you have in a password the harder it can be to break, but if you have the same password for a few years (or even the same password for everything) then you are putting yourself in the same boat as someone who uses “p@ssword!” and hopes that no one will guess it.
Here are some tips to use when building a strong password for your business or personal use:
1) Uppercase and lowercase letters 2) Numbers in your password 3) Symbols (i.e. @, !, &, $, etc) 4) Don’t use your kids name, birth dates, pets, anniversaries, etc. 5) Never take your old password and add “1” or “2” at the end of it
Recently Webroot, one of our trusted partners and vendors, wrote a similar article regarding password security and had some great examples to create a unique password that will be easy for you to remember. Now, I am not saying use one of these exact passwords since they are published online but it is a good template to use if you need some ideas:
2BorNot2B_ThatIsThe? (To be or not to be, that is the question – from Shakespeare)
L8r_L8rNot2day (Later, later, not today – from the kid’s rhyme)
4Score&7yrsAgo (Four score and seven years ago – from the Gettysburg Address)
John3:16=4G (Scriptural reference)
14A&A41dumaS (one for all and all for 1 – from The Three Musketeers, by Dumas)
If you want to read into the article from Webroot and more examples of great password security, here is the link.
Now, my articles usually steer more into the humorous side to bring some laughter into a serious topic but all kidding aside a strong password policy is one of the most important policies that you need to have in place for your organization.
Here are some examples of a strong password policy to implement in your office:
Enforce a password change company-wide every 3 months minimum, but never exceed 6 months between password changes
Strong passphrases between 8-15 characters (including symbols, numbers, and uppercase letters)
Create a separate, unique password for each of your work-related accounts (and not be the same password a user has set for their personal logins)
Do not share passwords around the office or outside of the organization – if needed, log yourself into someone’s workstation and make sure they log out when they are done. In the event, you are out of the office and they need your login, NEVER share your password via email and make sure to change it once they are done with your credentials.
If you believe that your account has been compromised or maybe someone guessed your password, even for a moment, be proactive contact your network administrator immediately and change your password. With the looming data security breaches, it is better to be safe than sorry.
If you are interested in learning more about a strong password policy, feel free to visit our website for more information on how to protect your company from a data breach or contact one of our local IT experts and we will be happy to see how Accram can help keep your business, and data, safe.