WORLD PASSWORD DAY
6 May was World Password Day. Why is a day dedicated to such a trivial aspect of IT? Simple. Passwords are not trivial. They form the backbone of resilient cybersecurity defence but unfortunately are also its greatest weakness. A strong and unique password means that your data is kept out of harm’s way. Choose a weak one and you’re asking for trouble.
THE MISTAKES WE MAKE
There are 3 common mistakes that we make when trying to implement effective password management. There are:
- Using a weak password that is easy to guess, easy to hack and can be revealed using keylogging.
- Choosing a strong password but using it for multiple accounts, again easily cracked using keylogging.
- Not regularly changing login credentials.
DON’T GIVE HACKERS CLUES
Names of family members, loved ones, celebrities, pet names and many other memorable words are commonly used as passwords as they are easy to remember. These words are a bonus for cybercriminals. With so much personal data online about people, a little research and some help from AI means that hackers can find clues to break these passwords. A new report of cybersecurity specialist SpyCloud confirms that approximately 60% of individuals are putting themselves at risk by reusing passwords. The same report states that almost 1.5 billion account credentials were stolen in 2020.
CHECK YOUR PASSWORD
So names of spouses, siblings and pets are not an option. You need to apply passwords that are complex and difficult, if not impossible, to break. Use a password strength checker such as My1Login to see how long it will take a hacker to crack a password. Look at this example of using increasingly complex words and symbols:
|Password||Time to crack (s)|
So !rabbitpet1$1!£ would take a hacker with some know-how 1,814,400 seconds or 21 days to crack. They wouldn’t have the time or the energy your password is good to go. But how to remember it?
USE A PASSWORD MANAGER
Using a reliable password manager takes the frustration out of trying to remember complex credentials. It will generate a strong unique password for each account, store them and keep them secure. The only password you need to remember is the master password for the password manager. This is something that you mustn’t forget or you will have to start over. LastPass is a popular password manager for both businesses and individuals. The free version allows one user to store their passwords on one device, while the premium plan allows one user to share their stored passwords across all their devices, including iPhones, Android phones and tablets, and Windows and macOS devices via browser extensions.
HOW ZHERO HELPS
- install and maintain password management across your systems
- educate and train your employees about password management
- apply advanced threat protection and intrusion prevention systems
- protect your data with the latest antivirus and antimalware software
- use failover solutions and facilitate multiple cloud backups of your data