Password security remains one of the most important lines of defense your organization has at its disposal. If you’re going to keep your IT systems secure and functional, good password security certainly needs to be a part of your approach.
Unfortunately, it’s all too common for simple yet impactful mistakes to be made in this department. Here are 4 password security weaknesses that impact many organizations—and might be affecting yours right now.
Weak User-Generated Passwords
Large businesses are often made up of many separate departments with hundreds of employees. As a result, it’s hard to be sure that each person within the organization understands password security and how to create strong passwords unless you have safeguards and guidelines in place.\
Many businesses choose to hold security training for employees so they can learn safe practices, not only when it comes to passwords, but also skills like how to spot phishing scams and safe internet use. An IT company in Hendricks can assist businesses with these trainings.
If you allow each user to create their own password without any measures to ensure the strength of those passwords, some of them are undoubtedly going to make mistakes. Authentication systems and software that assesses the strength of new passwords can help to avoid these problems.
Passwords should be unique to the account they’re being used on, but that’s something that doesn’t always happen. People find it difficult to memorize multiple passwords, so use the same one or two passwords to avoid confusion.
This creates problems from a security point of view because it means that once one password has been compromised, the details that would allow a hacker to access all of that person’s other accounts will also be compromised too. It’s not always realistic to remember dozens of different passwords, which is why authentication and verification tools are so important today.
Passwords that Are Easy for Programs to Match
If a password is very simple or predictable for whatever reason, it’s going to make it easy for people to guess that password, making the lives of hackers and cyber criminals far easier than they should be. Passwords should contain upper and lower case letters, as well as numbers and, ideally, special symbols too.
Passwords that are too close to the username, words such as ‘password’ or variations on that, or simple words that can be cycled through by a software system entering words from the dictionary should all be avoided in order to prevent unauthorized access.
Repeating characters too often within a password is also a risk and something that should be avoided in order to ensure maximum security for your organization’s IT systems. Keep passwords complex, difficult to predict, and carefully protected.
And, as a bonus tip, backing up your password security system with multi-factor authentication can secure your business even if passwords fail, and all with low costs and simple implementation.
If you’re going to ensure your business is as secure as it can be in the face of the many cyber threats, it’s important to improve your approach to password security. And employee education will have to be a part of that because each individual within the organization needs to play their part.