Despite the fact that technology experts have been trying their level best over the years to create awareness about having appropriate online security, many businesses refuse to learn from the mistakes of the affected companies. Most people take online security for granted and even hate passwords. This type of attitude can easily lead to a disastrous situation. Taking into account the recent increase in online security breaches, a lackluster approach toward creating and maintaining strong passwords must be one of the worst business practices a company can adopt. If you will never leave a key dangling in the ignition of your car intentionally, why would you not be so careful about your business passwords?
Fortunately, the UK’s top IT support provider – https://www.ecmsp.co.uk/, offers us eight tips about password security every company must follow:
1- No Real-Word Passwords
Remember that the most commonly hacked passwords are real words. Some people are so lazy about online data that they choose a password like ‘password.’ You must ensure that the password filter does not allow actual words to pass through. Otherwise, the unimaginative users will opt for the most common terms as their passwords. Many people select their first or last name as their passwords, which companies must prohibit at any cost.
2- Do Not Allow Short Passwords
In order to make sure that the passwords of your employees are not easily guessable, you must ask them to make passwords of at least eight characters. Several different password-cracking software programs are available to help a hacker go past short passwords.
3- Check for Adjacent Keystrokes
A considerable chunk of the careless internet population opts for adjacent keystrokes while making their passwords, such as ‘12345678’ or ‘asdfghjkl.’ Even a teenage hacker can crack these passwords; it does not require rocket science. Make it mandatory for your employees to create passwords that combine capital and small letters, numbers, and symbols.
4- Put a Ban on Writing Passwords on a Piece of Paper
For fear of forgetting their passwords, many workers write them on a small piece of paper and keep them under the keyboard or in a drawer. We have even found some executives and senior employees involved in this criminal negligence, which can easily invite a disaster for your business. Passwords are meant to be remembered, and the employees should know about the sensitivity of this information.
5- No Password Sharing Among Coworkers
If multiple people use the same password, you will never be able to detect a data breach. Many workers share their passwords with their colleagues so they can access their information in their absence. It is good to work as a team, but a business must never allow password sharing.
6- Ask Your Employees to Change Their Passwords Every Month
Many employees will find it highly irritating to be asked to change their passwords every month. However, the organization must adopt this strategy to ensure smooth operations in the company.
7- Keeping People out of the Process
Given the hindrances, technology itself not only heralds password breaches but also makes the efforts worth millions undertaken to make passwords stronger go in vain, let alone the operational costs and administrative overheads utilized for devising password protection policies and practices. Businesses need to address this problem in a different manner. Even though passwords are designed for people, taking them out of the password process will bear a number of benefits. Primary amongst those are audit findings and resolving outstanding compliance issues of the organization. Businesses can do it through automation, starting from password creation via password generators and their use. Once we remove people, this is what will happen;
- We can formulate difficult and complex passwords on our own or as our underlying system permits. It will not require people to remember their passwords, and we can increase its complexity constantly.
- Changing passwords, cited as the best practice for password protection, can be exercised on a daily basis if people remain out of the ‘changing’ process. Doing it manually is not only laborious but also creates disorientation. It is also hard to address all the related requirements if we change the password by hand.
- Here the risk of password theft becomes lowest. When we store passwords in a secure Credential Safe, they are out of the reach of individuals. Therefore, they are not available for intentional or unintentional disclosure. We should not treat it as a question of trust since most efficient and sophisticated users sometimes fall prey to password thefts.
- Furthermore, it would facilitate the use of high-assurance technologies formulated to ensure maximum password protection but could not be implemented at its best. Some of these advanced security technologies likely to be simplified include Credential Safes, Smart Cards, and Hardware Security Modules (HSMs).
8- Training Sessions
You should conduct regular training sessions in your company about data protection and password security so that the employees understand the importance of this facet of the modern corporate world.