Let’s be honest, we use passwords for everything. From computer logins to retail sites, the use of passwords is so frequent it could potentially put professionals and consumers at risk. According to TechRepublic, 19% of business professionals use poor quality passwords or shared passwords, which could make accounts easily compromised.
It is in every organizations best interest to develop a password management plan to increase security and reduce the risk of data theft. Easy passwords simply won’t do any more. The following tips should be considered for business level password management:
Frequent password changes
Organizations must impose rules on frequent password changes. Password changes should be as frequent as 30 to 180 days; passwords should also never be repeated. Best practice is to ensure passwords have letters, numbers, and special characters.
Depending on the industry, this may already be a requirement under regulation. However, for smaller businesses, this could be a potential life-saver from security breaches. On a user level, frequent password changes may prevent unwanted access to personal information such as social media pages, bank accounts, etc.
Two factor authentication
Two factor authentication is used to confirm the end-user’s identity with a two-factor process. The first step in the process is the actual password, remember all decent passwords must have letters, numbers, and special characters. The second factor is something that the users will only know the answer to; such as a specific pin, answer to a question, or an association of an image.
Why should your business use two factor authentication? Simply because depending on your industry your password may not be enough. Passwords alone can be breakable by social engineering or brute force attacks, no matter how strong your password is. Implementing a two factor authentication can give an employer ease, knowing that employees or consumers have that added password protection.
How to store passwords
As mentioned previously, one user can have too many passwords to remember. There are many password management software’s out there, so many that it’s hard to determine what is considered the safest most reliable option. If choosing to go this route, remember that security mistakes can happen and be wary about what passwords you are storing.
Our recommendation to store passwords is to write them down with pen and paper. Place your written password sheet in an area where you will remember it for safe storage. While this may sound tedious and paper theft is a concern, consider the fact that cyber crime is only increasing and a sheet of paper cannot be hacked.
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