It’s time to rethink your password

December 14, 2018Manhattan Tech Support

Business IntelligenceIT Consulting & StrategySecurityTech Support & Managed IT ServicesTelecommunicationsConstructionEducationFinanceHealthcareLegalReal Estate

In 2003, a manager at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) authored a document on password best practices for businesses, federal agencies, and academic institutions. More recently, however, the institute has reversed its stance. Find out why and what great passwords are made of.

The problem

The issue isn’t necessarily that the NIST advised people to create passwords that are easy to crack, but it steered people into creating lazy passwords, using capitalization, special characters, and numbers that are easy to predict, like “[email protected]

This may seem secure, but in reality, these strings of characters and numbers could easily be compromised by hackers using common algorithms.

To make matters worse, NIST also recommended that people change their passwords regularly, but did not define what it actually means to “change” them. Since people thought their passwords were already secure with special characters, most only added one number or symbol.

NIST essentially forced everyone to use passwords that are hard for humans to remember but easy for computers to guess.

Recently, the institution admitted that this scheme can cause more problems than solutions. It has reversed its stance on organizational password management requirements, and is now recommending banishing forced periodic password changes and getting rid of complexity requirements.

The solution

Security consultant Frank Abagnale and Chief hacking officer for KnowBe4 Kevin Mitnick both see a future without passwords. Both security experts advise enterprises to utilize multifactor authentication (MFA) in login policies.

This requires users to present two valid credentials to gain access to their data. For instance, a code texted to an employee’s smartphone can serve as an added security measure to thwart hackers.

Moreover, Mitnick recommended implementing long passphrases of 25 characters or more, such as “correcthorsebatterystaple” or “iknewweretroublewhenwalkedin5623”. These are much more difficult to guess and less prone to hacking. As for the frequency of changing passphrases, it will depend on a company’s risk tolerance.

Simply put, passwords should be longer and include nonsensical phrases and English words that make it almost impossible for an automated system to make sense of.

Even better, you should enforce the following security solutions within your company:

  • Single sign-on – allows users to securely access multiple accounts with one set of credentials
  • Account monitoring tools – recognizes suspicious activity and locks out hackers

When it comes to security, ignorance is the biggest threat. If you’d like to learn about what else you can do, just give us a call.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Related Articles

IT Talent Shortage – This is Your Workaround

calendar June 23, 2021

author Manhattan Tech Support

Business Intelligence Cloud Services IT Consulting & Strategy Security Software Development Tech Support & Managed IT Services Telecommunications Construction Education Finance Healthcare Legal Non-Profits Real Estate Startups

IT Talent Shortage – This is Your Workaround

Skill gap got you down? MSPs can help fill the technical void left in your business.

Read More
How To Protect Your Distributed Workforce From Cyber Threats

calendar June 15, 2021

author Manhattan Tech Support

IT Consulting & Strategy Security Tech Support & Managed IT Services Construction Education Finance Healthcare Legal Non-Profits Real Estate Startups

How To Protect Your Distributed Workforce From Cyber Threats

Take a deep dive into how companies can deal with cyber threats with a multi-location team. Whether near or far, Manhattan Tech Support can help you ensure you’re not a victim of those sneaky hackers.

Read More
What are NOC and SOC?

calendar June 7, 2021

author Manhattan Tech Support

IT Consulting & Strategy Security Tech Support & Managed IT Services Construction Education Finance Healthcare Legal Non-Profits Real Estate Startups

What are NOC and SOC?

The NOC and SOC are critical aspects of keeping your business safe, but do you know what they do and how they help your business?

Read More