Businesses can invest millions in the latest state-of-the-art security updates, including firewalls, encrypted connections and breach-detection measures, but if your employees’ passwords are weak, all of those efforts will be in vain.
One of the biggest security threats to affect businesses worldwide is weak passwords, which are crippling businesses – with average costs in the millions.
Some of the most common features of weak passwords include:
• Short in length
• Use of obvious characters and numerals
• Include simple passphrases
• Easy to find on laptops in unencrypted files, on paper or in the user’s browser
• Involve repeated characters or sequential numbers or letters (e.g. ABCDE, 12345)
• Include the username for the account
• Include personally identifiable information (e.g. street name, family member’s name or birthdays)
• Used across multiple accounts
Enforcing stronger passwords is a simple and easy way to implement stronger security within your organisation. The easiest way to ensure strong passwords are used is by using a password manager.
What is a password manager?
A password manager is an enterprise-grade support system involving a number of features designed to support better password habits.
Here are some of the features provided by password managers:
• Create complex passwords for each account or have them auto-generated. A different password can be generated for multiple apps and sites, all of which can be stored safely behind the user’s master password
• Before being approved, passwords are given a score and encouraged to improve those with a low score
• No need to store passwords in easy-to-lose, unprotected places. Password managers encrypt passwords, typically in the cloud
• Automatic, secure logins meaning users do not need to remember their password each time
• New passwords are automatically updated when the time comes, so employees don’t have to do so manually
• In the event that a master password is forgotten, secure account-recovery options are provided
• An alert is sent out whenever a site for which a password is saved suffers a security breach
There are password managers for businesses of all types and sizes, with some that offer convenient administrative oversight to IT and security departments. Implementing strong passwords is one of the simplest and most effective precautions any business can take to protect itself against data breaches. Don’t ignore the importance of this small yet powerful step.
8 Ways Media understands the importance of online security and its impact on your business. If you’re seeking better ways to protect your business online, speak to a member of our team today to discuss your options.