Passwords May Be “Ineffective,” But They’re Still Necessary

May 31, 2015

b2ap3_thumbnail_security_solution_password_400.jpgIt seems like we can’t go on the Internet without reading about some sort of data breach. Sometimes they’re caused by poor security measures, like lack of data encryption or two-factor authentication; other times, it’s because of lackluster password security. Despite the antiquity of the username and password, they’re staples in the modern office. Thus, it’s important that they’re as secure as possible at all times.

Passwords might have their flaws, but they’re necessary if you want to maximize your business’s security from online threats. It’s not just your organization’s future at stake; it’s also yours as an individual, not to mention your employees and anyone associated with your company. Here are three ways you can improve the security of your passwords in the workplace.

Educate Your Staff About Best Practices
According to Processor magazine, “In establishing a pragmatic password policy, the first step is balancing risk, compliance, and usability needs, followed by education and enforcement.” This means that it’s the responsibility of you, the business owner, to make sure that everyone is exercising precaution and following strict security standards for their passwords. The usernames aren’t so important, so long as they aren’t “admin,” or other similar common denotations.

Passwords should include many different types of characters, including symbols, numbers, lower-case, and upper-case letters. You should avoid using whole words whenever possible, and strive to make them as difficult to replicate as you can; and whatever you do, do NOT use your Social Security number or birthday. Taking these preventative measures will decrease the chances of hackers accessing accounts without permission.

Integrate Two-Factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication is growing in popularity, and it’s easy to see why. These measures add an extra layer of security to your online accounts, which require an external credential in order to crack. This could be your mobile device, or it could be a set of credentials emailed to you or sent via SMS. Regardless, this adds another step to a hacker’s process which often requires them to have physical access to your mobile device, which could discourage them. CTN Solutions can help your business set up a two-factor authentication system that can help your business achieve optimal security.

On the Server-Side, Use Strong Network Security Practices
We all remember how technology supergiant Sony got hacked a few months back. Sony foolishly labeled the folder which held their passwords, “passwords.” This meant that, once hackers got into their infrastructure, they knew exactly where to look to steal passwords from the lax company. This isn’t something you want to experience first-hand, as the fallout from the Sony hack so painfully showed us.

Instead, you should prioritize making sure that hackers can’t get into your network in the first place. A Unified Threat Management (UTM) solution is capable of such a feat. Armed with a firewall, antivirus, spam blocking, and content filtering solution, you’ll have little to fear from both internal and external threats. Still, it never hurts to be prepared for the worst.

Always take precaution when dealing with passwords, especially if they protect sensitive information. For more security advice and to establish two-factor authentication, our UTM, or more, contact us at (610) 828- 5500.

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