With the recent announcement that Twitter was waving goodbye to password logins on their dedicated mobile app, talk quickly turned to how such a huge organisation with huge influence could protect themselves against hacker attack. It’s safe to say that it won’t be easy for the social media giant, whose main reason for the move to a password-free zone was that users in developing countries simply didn’t have email addresses.
Whilst this may work for Twitter, disregarding the importance of a strong password is a no-go for businesses of all sizes and niches. Here we explain why passwords still reign supreme, the implications of using weak passwords throughout your organisation and the golden rules for creating an iron clad password policy to lower the risk of malicious breaches.
A password’s role in a security breach
According to recent research passwords are still the weakest area of cyber security for the majority of businesses, with those operating a substandard password policy quickly being targeted by hackers and fraudsters. High profile security breaches involving Dropbox, iCloud and NeedMyTranscript have been widely reported and their devastating effects have made other organisations think twice about their usual ‘password123’ combo.
In fact a hacker’s ability to swipe login credentials rather easily has led to the birth of a whole new industry. With Experian reporting that there was a 300% rise in the trade of usernames and passwords last year than in the same period in 2012.
How are passwords hacked?
There are many methods used by experienced and amateur hackers alike to gain access to both personal and company data. From the brute force attack and dictionary attack to personal attacks and key logging, hackers have fine-tuned techniques to crack the strongest of passwords so how can you improve your line of defence?
How to create a super strong password
As an experienced provider of IT services, Syntax One IT Support London have helped a number of businesses successfully implement and manage appropriate security solutions. As part of our IT services and security management options, we educate companies on best practice for creating passwords and here are just some of the golden rules you should follow to cultivate a culture of secure password access…
- Make every password unique
- Use a range of characters, including numbers, letters and symbols
- Change your passwords every one to two months
- Don’t use significant information as the basis of your password.