Top Password Practices for Your Team
For businesses world over, cyber security is becoming a pressing issue. 43% of UK businesses have reported a data breach in the last 12 months, while 74% are making cyber security a high priority for their organisation. While cyber security involves a range of measures, there are some simple practices that you can introduce into your organisation, such as robust password protection.
Passwords are vital for data protection. However, weak passwords are often why data breaches occur. In fact, four out of five data breaches are due to hacked passwords. It is no surprise that hackers will go for the easiest methods of entry. To help secure your business and data, especially in the wake of GDPR, a good password is essential. So, what can your team do to secure their passwords?
Five Top Tips for Password Protection
1. Have a Password Policy
Organisations can’t expect staff to have secure passwords unless there is a business-led password policy. Make sure your organisation has a robust set of password rules, covering all eventualities. Ensure your systems are set up to require passwords of a certain length as well as requiring a mix of characters, numbers and symbols.
3. ‘Remember Password?’ No!
It is so tempting to have your software to remember your password on your behalf. However, this is tempting a cyber security breach. Don’t tick the ‘remember password’ box and make sure you don’t write your password down or ask someone to remember it for you.
2. Passphrases not Passwords!
Hackers have time on their hands and can utilise programs that can scour the dictionary for password matches. Dictionary attack programs are common, so make sure your team avoid conventional words. Instead, recommend passphrases which abbreviate common phrases rather than words as these will typically be immune from a dictionary attack.
4. Avoid Regular Password Changes
Changing a password regularly could end up doing more harm than good. Frequent password changes mean that users are more likely to adopt a password pattern or sequence rule, which can lead to a weak password. For secure passwords, a yearly password change should suffice.
5. Go Long
A long password with at least 12 characters can be more beneficial than a complex password. The longer the password is, the harder it is for hackers to decipher. In fact, you may be able to reduce the need for upper case, symbols and numbers by making longer passwords a requirement. However, where possible, it is worthwhile using all aspects with a long password for a robust password.
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