Depending on the nature of the business, a hacked password can have potentially catastrophic and far reaching consequences. Compromising financial security and customer privacy can lead to the loss of profits, costly lawsuits, and the ruin of one’s business reputation. Regardless of the best or worst case scenarios, why suffer the hardship of either of them when implementing simple preventative security measures can help keep your business safe and continuing to function well?
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How Your Team Should Manage Passwords
Passwords should never be created from everyday words or information that could be easily guessed with a little deduction. Hackers use software that tests passwords against a standard dictionary and can very quickly run through thousands of word combinations in just a few minutes.
The best passwords are those that are made from a combination of letters, numbers, characters and upper and lower case letters. Mnemonics or memory prompts can also be used to create complex passwords. For example, taking the first letters from the phrase ‘My wife is Susan and she has blonde hair’ becomes MWISASHBH. Add a few numbers and character shifts and you’ve instantly created a virtually unbreakable password.
STRONGER SECURITY POLICIES
One of the most common reasons for passwords being stolen and compromised is failing to implement well-designed security policies and protocols that are strictly adhered to. Many businesses mistakenly believe they are not large enough to be considered a target and online security concerns are seen as low on the list of priorities.Another danger is the perception that password and antivirus protection is costly or overly complicated. With dedicated solutions like the Panda Protection Service this needn’t be the case.This antivirus designed by Panda Security includes a password manager that allow you to manage all your online access by simply remembering one master password. Developing a password policy and making sure it is followed is a basic first step that any business is capable of doing.
CHANGE ALL PASSWORDS FREQUENTLY
Once the issue of passwords has been given the priority it deserves and policy has been implemented it is important that all staff change their passwords on a regular basis. If a password should become compromised, it will lose its value as soon as the user creates the change to their account access. Passwords should never be shared, written down or stored in a central file or document that can be easily accessed.
ILLUSTRATING THE SERIOUSNESS OF THE THREAT
Often all that is needed to encourage change is to be exposed to pertinent information that drives the message of risks and rewards home in a powerful way. When team members realise how important the issue of cyber security is they are more likely to remain vigilant and respond positively to policy.
Watching security related videos that highlight the risks, reading case studies about the damage hackers have caused or having an industry specialist come and speak directly to employees can dramatically increase understanding and compliance.
Whether large or small, every business needs to learn how to best handle the use of passwords and develop practices to protect their interests. Being aware of the potential risks but still failing to take preventative action is both ill-advised and foolhardy. 🙂