Insights & Advice

Encouraging secure passwords in the workplace

By Ryan Browne on 04/02/2019

Could the passwords your employees use at work be putting your business’ security at risk?

With different websites and applications all requiring passwords with different specifications, and best practice telling us not to use the same password twice, it can be pretty difficult to keep track of all our passwords.  That’s why so many people fall into the trap of using the same, simple, unsecure passwords for multiple accounts. I mean, if Mark Zuckerberg was caught out by hackers after using the password ‘dadada’, then it’s not looking good for the rest of us!

Taking password security seriously is very important though, as there’s a lot at stake when it comes to securing your sensitive data online, and this is particularly true in the workplace.

If there’s one piece of IT security training that all employees require, it’s basic password security and best practice.

Why are secure passwords so important?

Your employees should be your first line of defence in the workplace.  If employees are using the same, unsecure passwords across multiple accounts, it only takes one account to be compromised for a hacker to gain access to everything, causing a major security breach.

If you fail to train employees in password best practice, then you’re falling at the first hurdle and immediately leave your business vulnerable to cyber criminals.

 

What makes a secure password?

To keep your business data and networks safe, employees should be required to always use secure passwords.  Here are 6 tips for creating a secure password.

  • At least 10 characters long.

  • Use a mix of capital letters, lowercase letters, numbers and symbols.

  • Don’t use words from the dictionary or names.

  • Do use abbreviated words and phrases where letters are replaced with symbols and numbers.

  • Make it random, not personal to you.

  • Don’t use the same password twice.

  • Don’t tell anyone your password or write it down anywhere

How can employers encourage staff to use secure passwords?

It is your responsibility to actively educate employees in cyber security and encourage the use of secure passwords.  Here are a few ways you can make it easier for your employees to create secure passwords and manage their passwords at work.

  • Provide secure password training sessions – at the bare minimum, all employees should be trained in why secure passwords are so important and how to create one.

  • Provide a password manager – a type of software employees can use to safely store and organise passwords.

  • Implement secure password requirements – all company applications and systems should force employees to create secure passwords.

  • Implement two-factor authentication – add an extra layer of protection by implementing a second (and third if required) form of identification during the login process.

 

A major security breach can ruin a company’s reputation and cost a small fortune to fix.  60% of small businesses that fall victim to a cyber attack go out of business within 6 months, so the security of your systems isn’t something you can afford to ignore.  Implement these small changes now to secure your business for the future.

For IT security help and advice, give our experts here at Everything Tech a call on 0161 826 2220.

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