Everyone can easily agree that both passwords and the end users making those passwords can bring a lot of security faux pas to your organization. In fact, 63 percent of breaches in 2016 used weak, default, or stolen passwords.
Mitigating the user credential threatscape doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, a simple combination of techie common sense and logical policy management can make that data breach risk, somewhat, disappear. Organizations should be urging end users to create strong, unique passwords. Poor password behaviors can endanger business. Although most users know what safe passwords should be, most people tend to ignore what they know and instead use easy to remember passwords.
BEST PRACTICES FOR ENTERPRISE PASSWORDS
Anyone with password security knowledge would tell you that using recycled passwords is a huge NO. Unfortunately, this best practice is overlooked with such an alarming regularity that it can easily explain why there are so many breaches. Let’s take a second and learn a few simple steps to securing your enterprise password management:
1. Complexity is key
Make your passwords as random and long as you can. Use as many characters as you can, with a mixture of upper and lower case, numeric, and special characters. Many people will take common, easily remembered phrases and paraphrase them. Which is better than a common word, but it still isn’t random enough. There are tools you can use, like a password management consoles, to create truly random mixtures. If you are worried about remembering these, well that’s what the password management solution is for.
2. Change often, but never recycle
It is good policy to change your password once every 3 months (once a quarter) to limit potential damage of a breach. Make sure your organization has policies in place that keep users on a regular change cycle. This will tighten your security by not allowing users to bypass.
3. Two factor authentication
Never rely on just one password alone for protection. Implementing a multi-layered approach will cancel out the single point of failure and add value to your security best practices.
4. Centralize IT
Centralizing IT can have so many benefits for your organization in general. When it comes to security, it can be more than cost efficient…it can improve your security posture as well. By connecting and reducing the footprint, there are fewer updates to remember and a smaller attack window for the bad guys.
5. Say good bye to human error
This can never be cut out completely and because of that it is best to let the machines do what they do best. Automate the password management process by creating a dynamic, policy-based solution that will streamline your security.
6. Keep your policy dynamic
Setting your password policy in stone isn’t the best practice either. Your policy must be dynamic and change with event driven and intelligence driven updates. Update it as it seems necessary and keep educating your end users across the board.
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