It is true that passwords are the first line of defense to protect businesses form security breaches. The problem is, it all depends on the type of password that is used. Weak passwords are too easy for hackers to crack, which means that weak passwords leave the network vulnerable. Strong passwords, on the other hand, offer an extra layer of protection against security risks. Here’s a closer look as to why strong passwords are so important:
Weak Passwords Are Easy to Guess
Hackers are masters at understanding people’s behaviors. They understand that people often use key personal information as inspiration for creating their passwords. If they are able to get a hold of people’s personal data, they could guess, through trial and error, what the passwords are. If businesses were to require that employees create unique, strong passwords that have nothing to do with personal information, this would make it much easier for a hacker to simply guess.
Protects Against Dictionary Attacks
Attacks known as “Dictionary Attacks” can occur if the passwords are too weak. There are both online and offline versions of this attack. In this type of breach, the hacker either uses an automated program to test different iterations of a suspected password until they find the one that works, or they get a physical copy of a file that contains information about the password. In both of these dictionary attacks, strong passwords minimize the chances that this type of attack will work.
Guard Against Brute Force Attacks
Technically speaking, this type of attack is an offshoot of the standard “Dictionary Attacks.” Brute Force Attacks are where the hacker tries to guess what an individual’s password is once it is realized they can’t obtain the information any other way. Typically, a program is used to help the attackers guess the password by creating possible versions of it and then comparing it to what is in the files. However, if the password were strong enough, this would be a difficult attack to execute.
Strong passwords are an important part of every cyber security plan for businesses of all sizes because they can either slow down or stop most of the above-mentioned attacks. Passwords should be random and contain a variety of characters, such as lower case letters, upper case letters, numbers, and symbols. Individuals should also stay away from using personal information.
IT departments need to work closely with the rest of the company to insure that the passwords are as effective as they can be. Contact Roan Solutions for more information on how to create a winning password strategy companywide.