Passwords are an integral part of any business. They’re there to protect valuable data from would-be hackers out to steal information and use it for their gain. Businesses of all sizes, large and small, are targets for cyberattacks. In fact, small businesses tend to be more preferable targets due to generally weaker online security measures.
No matter what your size, you need to protect your passwords to keep your data safe from crafty cyberthieves. Here are a few things to keep in mind to help you determine the best password security for your company.
The Importance of Password Security
Password security is crucial for your business, no matter how large or small it is. Weak passwords are easier for hackers to figure out, meaning it’s much more likely that they’ll be able to break into your system and access sensitive data. The risk of a password attack is also higher if you use the same password across multiple accounts.
Choosing Good Passwords
One of the first things you need to do is make sure that you (and everyone that works in your company) selects strong passwords. Many people use words and numbers based on personal information because they’re easy to remember. The problem with this tactic is that these types of passwords are typically the easiest to crack.
While they might be more challenging to remember, you need to select long passwords that include a mixture of uppercase letters, lower case letters, numbers, and special characters. Avoid using things such as famous quotes and song lyrics.
Best Practices for Password Security
Creating a strong password is just the beginning of ensuring password security. Here, we’ll talk about a few other tactics that can help you keep your business data safe from prying eyes:
Discourage Password Sharing
If you need someone else to do something on your computer, you might think the easiest solution is to provide them with your login credentials. Avoid doing this at all costs, and discourage your employees from doing the same. The person who receives the password could forget to log out, or they could leave the piece of paper with the written password in view of others. In the worst-case scenario, the employee could take the password and steal information.
Add Another Layer of Security
Even the strongest passwords can get cracked now and again. One way to keep your accounts safe is to add an additional layer of security with multi-factor authentication. What is multi-factor authentication? It’s a way to authenticate someone’s identity by requiring a second piece of information beyond a password, such as a passcode sent to their mobile device or biometric data like their fingerprint to prove they are who they say they are. Even if a hacker gets the password right, they won’t be able to provide the second piece of information, which keeps them from accessing accounts and sensitive data.
Avoid Storing Passwords
Remembering numerous passwords, especially complex ones, is difficult. It’s tempting to write them down in a notebook or store them somewhere on your computer. While you might think they’re safe, you’re putting your passwords at risk by doing this. A passerby in your company could walk by your desk and take the notebook containing your passwords. If someone else is using your computer, they may stumble across the folder where you keep the information. Avoid writing your passwords down.
Consider a Password Manager
If you can’t write your passwords down anywhere, how are you supposed to remember them? One solution to this issue is to get a password manager and encourage your employees to do the same. With a password manager, you and your employees only need to remember one complex password. That password opens the tool. From there, you can select the account you want to access. The password manager retrieves your credentials from an encrypted vault and opens the account you need.
Your passwords are vital for protecting your data, as well as the information of your customers or clients. With the right combination of strategies, you can keep your passwords secure and reduce the risk of unwanted cyberattacks.