While it is true that the passwords people use to log into various programs and applications are a viable security feature, they can also pose a security threat if utilized ineffectively. Many applications do require these passwords as a security feature and they do work well. However, if the passwords are too weak, a patient hacker will have no problem cracking the password and gaining access to a company’s network. In order to prevent this from occurring, businesses need to develop and enforce guidelines for people to follow concerning these passwords. Here are some guidelines organizations can use that will boost password security:
Passwords Should Be Unique
The more complex the password is, the more difficult it will be for a hacker to crack it. Avoid using obvious information such as names, cities, and birthdates. Include complex elements such as capital letters, symbols, lower case letters, and numbers. If a password seems to be random, it will be more difficult for a hacker to figure out what it is. Many employees also tend to use similar passwords for various applications and this should also be avoided. If each application has a similar password, it makes it much easier for a hacker to gain access to sensitive data.
Develop Protocols for Password Storage
Developing a unique and difficult password for each application is a good first step, but that’s not the only way a password can make the IT infrastructure vulnerable. Once a password is developed, many employees haphazardly store the information on their computers other devices, on slips of paper tacked to their desktops, or in filing systems by their desks. Security breaches can certainly happen by Internet hackers, but it is still a good idea to keep secure information away from prying eyes from within the office. Companywide policies concerning how employees store their passwords can help prevent this from being an issue.
Create Guidelines for Changing Passwords
People often don’t change their passwords frequently enough and this can leave the door open for hackers. The last thing businesses want to do is give the hackers enough time to crack even the most difficult of passwords! Changing them on a regular schedule can make it a lot harder for hackers to gain unwanted access into a company’s sensitive information. It’s equally important for people to change the default passwords that often come with equipment and software programs. Keeping them in place makes it even easier for hackers to gain unauthorized access!
The solution, then, is for IT to work closely with the rest of the company to establish a set of protocols that will govern the use of passwords within the company. By giving employees a set of guidelines that they need to adhere to, this will help minimize some of the security risks improper password usage can cause. Not only that, but the guidelines will enable employees to make password security a high priority, which can save businesses a lot of hassle.