Protect your Business with Smarter Passwords

Passwords

We all know that passwords are meant for protection. We use them to protect our personal online accounts and we also use them to protect information in our businesses.

But how seriously do you take your password protection when it comes to your business information? And, how seriously do you take the password protection of any one of your team members or staff who may have access to your network and subsequently business information?

 

There are several considerations when it comes to protecting and choosing your password:

A weak or poorly protected password can create a vulnerability in your office security, regardless of the level of access to information. Why is this?  Because a vulnerability represents a “way in” for anyone wanting to access your system, and sometimes that’s all they need.

A weak or poorly protected password means the information and access you are trying to protect in general is compromised by anyone who has access to it.

 

How do you create better passwords and protection for your business?

 

Stay away from passwords that are easy to guess.  Consider passwords that involve letters, numbers and characters in random orders. Most people include capital letters at the beginning of their password, and letters and special characters at the end. This is a poor practice. Patterns that make your passwords easier to remember also make them easier to guess. Family member names, pet names and birthdays are among the easiest to be compromised.

 

Consider password length. A longer password is typically more secure than a complex one. Consider making your password a passphrase instead. According to security researcher and author Mark Burnett, an increase of just two characters can make up for a lack of complexity in your password.

 

Change passwords periodically, but not too often. Setting a time frame such as every ninety days to change your password ensures continuous protection and security. Ninety days represents a happy medium for your employees. Much longer and passwords become stale and subject to discovery, but a shorter policy will increase the chances of your employees reusing old passwords, or simply increment an existing password, which negates the benefits of password change policy.

 

Create unique passwords each time. While it is tempting to reuse old passwords, it can compromise the security of your business. Each of your passwords should be unique. If one of your accounts becomes compromised, this will prevent an attacker from using the same credentials to compromise other, potentially more critical accounts. It can also be tempting to simply increment your existing password, be sure to create a new one each time.

 

Use a password manager. Password managers store your passwords for each account or website that you need. Through one password for the manager itself, it will log in for you each time you go to your account login information.

 

To learn more, contact Plain English Technology Services at (360) 545-4033 or by visiting the contact page here on our website.