Does Your Company Use Strong Passwords?

It is estimated that computer hackers have a negative economic impact of approximately $445 BILLION worldwide each year.  This figure is thought to be a low estimate, since the crime of computer hacking is under-reported.

Increasing cyber attacks against businesses, universities and health care systems require good judgement in protecting your information assets. To this end, we recommend implementing mire complex password requirements for your organizations computer network. Setting password requirement in your organization is best practices in computer network management and is the prudent thing to do to protect your organization and staff from the loss and hardship of a hacked computer network.
Several studies have shown that even an 8-character complex password can still be broken in a matter of hours (or less) by readily available hacker tools.  Adding length to a password has an exponential effect on its security. A 10-character complex password can take months to crack, a 15-character complex password can take centuries to crack and a 20+ character complex password could take on the order of 300,000 or more centuries to be cracked. However, continuous advancements in hacker tools will continue to make these timelines shorter and shorter.
Complex passwords can be a burden on the user and to that concern we suggest the use of pass phrase as a simpler way to be able to remember a secure password. Use 2 or more short words, use spaces or numbers between the words. Perhaps use numbers or special characters in place of letters (such as a $ in place of an s or a 3 in place of an e) if you use non-English words this will also increase the security dramatically. Here’s an example of an effective passphrase…  Say you like riding your motorcycle, you could use: I1ov3R!d!ngMyM0t0rcyc13  – 23 Characters and not too hard to remember or even type. On a side note, never use a password that is given as an example, make one unique to you!
Things to avoid in a pass-phrase include; your name, your username, employee ID #, the name of your organization, any variation of the word: password, repeating numbers or letters and keyboard patterns (qwerty 12345 asdfg and so on).
If you are looking for an effective way to implement good password policies and procedures, give eTop Technology a call. This is just one small aspect of how we help our clients.

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