How to Strengthen Your Company’s Password Policy

How to Strengthen Your Company’s Password Policy

Perhaps the fastest way to improve a company’s cybersecurity is to strengthen password policy. Weak passwords allow hackers to gain access to sensitive personal and financial business data. Typically, cybercriminals use three attack methods for stealing password access: dictionary, brute force, and social engineering.

Dictionary – Utilizing a database and a program that deploys words, names, and letter-number combinations rapidly, a dictionary attack makes numerous attempts to gain access.

Brute Force – Attempting countless combinations of numbers, letters, and special characters, a brute force attack may consume many hours in order to crack complex passwords that are long and use a random series of letters and numbers.

Social Engineering – Perhaps the most effective, a social engineering attack involves a cybercriminal poses as a person who seems familiar and trustworthy to deceive an employee into divulging a password.

How to Strengthen Passwords

Passwords should be a minimum of eight characters, be case-sensitive, and made up of a combination of numbers, letters, and symbols. Below are several additional tips for making passwords even stronger:

• Avoid using double numbers or letters.
• Don’t use personal information like Social Security numbers.
• Don’t use a password that can be found in a dictionary.
• Never use a password that is the same as the user login.
• Use numbers to represent letters.

Don’t Reuse Logins and Passwords

While it is more convenient to utilize the same login and password for several programs and websites, it will make your company more vulnerable to the three attacks discussed above.

Employee Education

Perhaps the most crucial feature of a strong password policy is educating employees on best practices for keeping them secure.

Regularly Revise Passwords

A very strong deterrent to cyberattacks that target passwords is scheduling password changes every two months.

Use Password Manager

Generating and storing logins and passwords can be handled by software that acts as your company’s password manager; this helps prevent lax practices by employees such as writing them on post-it notes.

Alpha Engineering Business Support

Choosing an expert computer technology-support provider is an important decision for your business. Alpha Engineering Associates has been a trusted partner of many companies in the Washington, Baltimore and Annapolis areas since 1990. For affordable client-focused network consulting services and solutions, please call Alpha Engineering Associates today at (410) 295-9500.