Weak passwords are one of the most serious security risks that businesses face. Employees at all levels of an organization, including executives, are guilty of reusing and utilizing obvious passwords.
Passwords are the first line of defense against hackers breaking into your accounts. As a result, the necessary passwords are strong enough to protect your data and those of your customers. A hacker who cracks a weak password gains access to more than just one account or device. They have complete access to your private network.
A weak password is one that is easily deciphered by people as well as computers. The current specifications Most firms' policies for guiding employees toward a "strong password" are insufficient.
Signs that your or your workers' passwords are weak:
1. You’ve used it before.
Adults repeat passwords at an alarming rate of 80%, posing a significant security risk. It could have already been compromised, regardless matter how powerful it is. Hundreds of millions of people's personal information have been stolen in data breaches just this year. It's possible that it's already for sale on the dark web. It's a poor password unless it's unique to each and every account you have.
Additionally, if your employees use the same password they use to log in to their work computers elsewhere online, they're putting your company's security at risk, especially if they're doing it on unprotected networks where free Wi-Fi is available (like a coffee shop or a retail store).
2. Your password contains information that can be used to identify you.
Names, numbers, and words that you recognize should never be used as passwords. It should never be part of your email, your child's name, a birthday, a pet's name, or any other personal information. A sophisticated hacker may find this information easily on the internet. In fact, unless it's a pass and it's 5 words or longer, you shouldn't use dictionary words at all.
It's unrealistic to ask people to generate and remember hundreds of different, complex passwords. Instead, you can make use of tools. There are a number of password management services available that will generate and store strong passwords for you.
Your business is at risk if you don't use these tools.
3. Your password isn't changed on a frequent basis.
The frequency with which you should update your password is determined by how complicated it is in the first place. This brings us to the next sign of a bad password.
4. Your password is too short.
A difficult password should include letters (uppercase and lowercase), special characters, and digits and be at least 20 characters long. Password cracking software that is easily available on the internet can hack your password in 58 seconds if it is 8 characters or fewer. Passwords should be at least 20 characters long and changed every 3-6 months. Weak passwords should be updated on a much more regular basis.
5. You aren't employing detecting tools or enforcing lockouts.
In theory, any password, no matter how strong or weak, can be cracked. On a keyboard, there is a limited number of characters. That means your password must be a single character combination. With today's computational capability, millions of different combinations can be tested in an astoundingly short amount of time.
A brute force login is also known as a password guessing attack. Hackers employ a trial-and-error strategy to guess your password in sequence. When a brute force attack is detected, your company's software should take immediate action to block it, warn administrators, or both. Lockouts should ideally occur after an account has attempted and failed to log in an excessive number of times. Unfortunately, many businesses still lack this essential security element.
After a brute force attack in 2014, Apple failed to install this functionality, resulting in the distribution of a slew of leaked celebrity images.
The worst of it isn't even a bad password.
Attacks using brute force aren't going away anytime soon. Computing power is cheap and easy to come by in a world of botnets, scalable grids, and cloud infrastructure. Brute force assaults grow more common and successful as your computing capability increases.
As a result, we advocate multi-factor authentication (MFA) as well as all of the above-mentioned strategies for avoiding weak passwords.
Multi-factor authentication does not replace a strong password. It's not bulletproof, notwithstanding recent conversations.
It should be used alongside a secure password. It protects you by putting hackers through another ring of fire. Most hackers will then move on to a more straightforward target. They'll go after the millions of workers who use weak passwords and don't use multi-factor authentication.
There is no justification for not deploying MFA if your organization or any of its third-party affiliates host sensitive consumer data of any kind.
Regrettably, we now live in a time when a new data breach occurs every day. Data security is a priority for businesses. day. Companies must protect data and its right to privacy.
Services and Resources
Although not every organization deals with sensitive information, the majority of them do.
As a result, for some businesses, MFA, password management, and intrusion detection are sufficient. Depending on the nature of your profession, your firm may require more or fewer measures.
The first step is to determine your position. aNetworks provides a free cyber security evaluation to identify your cyber security's strengths and shortcomings.