According to Verizon’s 2022 Data Breach Report, over 80% of breaches are due to stolen or compromised passwords. Not only that, but it takes longer to identify stolen passwords as the cause of a breach than any other cause. This means that password security is one of the most important considerations you have when it comes to the security of your organization.
What Is Password Security?
Password security is the combination of policies, processes, and technology that are used to ensure the security of passwords and authentication methods. A password is one type of authenticator that is used to verify the identity of an individual and that they have permission to access a network, system, or device. This password must be protected to avoid it falling into the wrong hands.
You might be thinking that everyone knows you need to create a strong password. While this may be true, that doesn’t mean everyone does. Many people don’t realize just how important creating a strong password is and many people don’t know what creating a strong password entails. Plus, there are other factors that go into password security. With this in mind, let’s look at what you need to know about ensuring password security.
How to Ensure Password Security
There are four critical components to ensuring the best possible password security. None of these are good enough on their own. Instead, they must be used together for the greatest effect.
Create Strong Password
Every password you create must be long and unique. It should never be connected to your birthdate or any other personal information. The length and complexity of the password is key—essentially, the longer and more complex the better.
Passphrases that use a combination of uppercase, lowercase, numbers, and special characters are your best bet. They can make it difficult to guess the password but still be something that is easy for you to remember.
When creating your passwords, make sure you create a unique one for each account you have. It’s unwise to use the same password for all of them.
Use a Password Manager
Password managers are the best way to keep track of your passwords. They will keep all of your passwords in one location for easy access, and they are often connected to services that can identify if your login credentials were used in a hack.
Use Caution if You Write Down Your Passwords
Should you use a physical password book to record your passwords? While it’s better than only having one or two passwords for every account, it isn’t ideal. If you do choose to use a password book, keep it in a secure location away from your computer or mobile devices. At home, keep it locked up, so no one, such as a burglar, guest, or service provider (i.e., plumber or electrician) doesn’t find it.
When traveling or working outside the home or office, keep your password book separate from your devices. This way, if the device is stolen or accessed, the instigator won’t have the password readily available.
Use Multi-factor Authentication
Finally, it is important to understand that using a password is not enough to keep networks and systems secure. Even with our best efforts, passwords can become compromised or stolen. For this reason, you should implement multifactor authentications for all accounts.
Multifactor authentication is part of a robust identity and access management (IAM) policy. It typically requires a password and one or more other authentication methods. These can include:
- Biometrics, such as fingerprints or facial recognition.
- Security codes sent to a user’s email or phone.
- Token authentication allows a user to verify their identity and receive a token that allows them access for a certain amount of time while the token is valid.
- A digital certificate that identifies the user before they can gain access.
Contact Platinum Technologies today to find out how we can help you implement the strongest password security available.