Passwords and policies for the new corporate generation

The password, which continues to be the tool of choice for secure authentication, is now becoming our weakest point of attack

Passwords are everywhere. Despite great advances in computer technology over the last 20 years, the first use of computer passwords predates the Apollo 11 moon landing. So, while our technical capability with computers has grown over the years, our means for basic authentication, via the use of passwords, has not. The password, which continues to be the tool of choice for secure authentication, is now becoming our weakest point of attack. Since the password will not go away anytime in the immediate future, there are some things that you can do to make yourself more secure.

First, stop using simple passwords. Passwords need to be lengthy (at least 10-12 characters) and complex. Simple words, local or foreign, are not secure. There are many tips and mnemonics available to assist with strong password creation, but it will take practice. The use of strong passwords should be set forth in a policy, and employees should be trained on how to build and use stronger passwords. Firms can really benefit from holding brief training sessions on how to build and maintain a strong password.

Contributing Author

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Mark Brophy

Mark Brophy serves the director of IT Security and Risk Management Services at Keno Kozie Associates. Mark brings extensive knowledge on information technology networks and...

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