Strong Passwords

STRONG PASSWORDS ARE IMPORTANT

Businesses continue to fail to set strong passwords, as a result, 80% of hack related breaches are through stolen passwords or weak and guessable passwords. Fifty- nine percent of small businesses continue to have no visibility into employees’ password practices. As a result, employees fail to use strong passwords or they share passwords with others. Another prevalent problem is that sixty-eight percent of small businesses do not strictly enforce password policies. Thus, employees dismiss the importance to follow password polices. However, small businesses are strongly recommended to enforce password policies, for it is one of the cheapest solutions to strengthen security measures against cybercriminals.

Strong passwords should include the following:
Minimum requirements:

  • 8+ characters in length
  • Mix of upper and lower-case letters
  • One symbol
  • Change passwords every 60-90 days

Better requirements:

  • Using a pass-phrase rather than a pass-word
  • 14+ characters in length
  • Symbols
  • Upper and lower-case letters
  • Using spaces in pass-phrase (occasionally overlooked by password cracking tools)
  • Change passwords every 30-60 days
  • Using symbols not common in keyboards
  • Using 2-step authentication, requires cybercriminals to use a complete different attack pattern to compromise than the initial password.

Remember do not use default passwords, it makes cybercriminals lives easier. Using easy-guessable passwords do not cut it. Try to implement multi-factor authentications into payment card processing networks when possible. This might require cybercriminals to shift their attacks or move on to the next victim. If password and username is your only line of defense, then you are not doing enough to stop cybercriminals. Multi-levels of strong security measures are the best way to go.