Cybersecurity Identity Management: Tips to Creating a Strong Password to Protect Your Company
How many times have you felt like you are running out of password options? Too many, I'm sure! Picking a strong password can feel like a menial task in the defense against data breaches but doing your part in making sure your access is entirely secure can go a long way. If you create something with uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols equaling 11 characters total, it will take the average hacker 400 years to break your password - more time than they are probably willing to dedicate! With that said, let's break down some key points to creating a secure password.
Make it long
This is the most crucial part of making a strong password. The longer the password, the better chances you have in combatting data breaches. Experts typically advise professionals to have a password of at least 15 characters or longer. That seems long, but with so many options available for use, the possibilities are endless.
Avoid something that identifies you
If someone knows you, it can be easy to guess your password, and if you incorporate personal information into your passwords you are providing attackers with a strong head-start. For example, a last name + year of birth combination like Roberts1977 - though this example uses 11 characters and includes letters and numbers, it has both a name that can be associated with you and other identifying pieces of information (your birth year), which means it can easily be hacked.
Use a mix of characters.
A little bit of this and a little bit of that. The more ingredients you add, the more complicated the recipe becomes. Adding letters, numbers, and symbols will make your passwords more potent and challenging for a brute force attack to breach. Play with the keyboard, and feel free to use some of your favorite faces in your password. My favorite is ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, and yes, you use these symbols in your password creation.
Don't use keyboard paths.
Remember, you need to add more ingredients, so using keyboard paths like "ghjkl" or "yuoi" are entirely out of the question. These are the types of passwords that are usually the first to be guessed. So, if your password includes keyboard paths, then a hacker could easily break in and steal your company's data OR your personal data.
Use a phrase and incorporate shortcut codes or acronyms
Say you have a quote you live by or a phrase that lives in your mind, this is the perfect time to put it to good use. For example, the option "2BorNot2B_ThatIsThe?" breaks down to the famous Shakespeare quote, "To be or not to be, that is the question." Using some of your favorite catchphrases is an easy way to create a strong password.
Lastly, DO NOT REPEAT PASSWORDS
This might go without saying, but I will add it in here anyway, do NOT reuse old passwords. Hackers know we tend to be a bit lazy with changing our passwords and let's be honest, no one wants to make a brand new unique one every six months. However, think of this as a chance to get creative! In all seriousness, protecting your data is no laughing matter, and it's time we buckle down to do what we can to shield ourselves from breaches.
Identity Management is a critical part of cybersecurity infrastructure. The first step to employees doing their part to avoid a data breach is having a strong password. Human error is the primary cause of successful malware breaches globally and I think it's time to get creative with passwords and stop giving hackers the keys to the castle so easily. United Training can assist you in planning your cybersecurity strategy with training solutions for every member of your team. Click here to view our cybersecurity offerings.