Password management is a key security step any business can take. You use passwords for everything. The use of the same passwords is so common it could potentially put companies and consumers at risk. According to TechRepublic, 19% of business professionals use poor quality passwords or shared passwords. This easily puts companies at risk.
It’s in all 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. Companies should keep these tips for password safety:
Frequent password changes
Impose rules that require 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 small 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
One user can have many passwords to remember. There are many password management software’s out there, 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.
Another way 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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