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Just like email, passwords are intricately part of our digital experiences. These days, each individual has dozens of services that require password usage.
A multi-billion dollar industry is now in place working on effectively and safely managing passwords through companies like LastPass, Dashlane, etc.
Ensure passwords being created and maintained are strong, stored safely, and changed on a periodic basis. Weak passwords being breached either because of poor storage or brute force are a common phenomenon. In fact, the SolarWinds hack from 2020 was partially attributed to a weak password, solarwinds123, being used on an internal system that hackers got access to.
To ensure internal systems being used at the workplace have a safe, strong, and confidential password, organizations should have a password policy in place. A good password policy should cover the following aspects of password management:
What Makes a Good Password:
1. Length of the password:
A good password should ideally be at least 8 characters with different types of characters being used (alphabets, numbers, special characters)
2. Password active duration:
The passwords can be toggled regularly so that the chances of an old password being used across multiple systems reduces, thereby strengthening the security of the systems.
A good password policy can also include a set of weak yet most commonly used passwords as part of the block list. This would ensure that the employees don’t end up getting a weak password making the system potentially vulnerable.
4. Secure Storage:
To store the passwords, it’s advisable to use password managers like LastPass or Dashlane against written passwords on an Excel spreadsheet or post-it notes. In the event of the system being hacked or breached, the passwords stored in dedicated password management systems would still remain safe but passwords stored in plain text in note-making tools are a security risk.