A password is arguably the single most crucial component for cyber security.
According to a recent version of the Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report “DBIR”, 63% of all reported breaches (regardless of size) involve weak, default or stolen passwords.
A password/pin number is a string of characters, numbers, or symbols (or a combination of all three) used in verifying identity to permit access to a computer-based resource.
We use passwords for entry to home and work computers, social media accounts, online banking, email and many other functions/accounts requiring login. The password equivalent a personal identification number (PIN) allows secure use of mobile phones (including voicemail functions), tablets, and banking at remote locations such as automatic teller machines (ATM).
The best way to create a secure password or PIN is to follow the old adage, “Easy to Remember, Hard to Guess.” As a nation, we are doing less than stellar in selecting secure passwords and PINs.
Last year the most common password, “123456”, was used by 17% of the entire population. The word itself, “password”, came in eighth place in the list of most-commonly used passwords.
Obviously, the more unique a password or PIN is, the harder it will be for a hacker to determine.
• Don’t share your password with anyone
• Don’t use simple dictionary words, family names, pet names or key dates like a birthday or anniversary
• Don’t repeat password usage for multiple computer resources
• Use a long password, one containing 14-25 characters (incorporate letters, numbers and symbols)
• Use a password manager (such as "LastPass")
• If possible, implement dual factor authentication
1. Implement a Cyber Security Awareness Campaign
2. Implement / Update IT Security Policies
3. Analyze password usage within your organization
HBK can assist you with cyber security topics or questions. Please contact Matt Schiavone at firstname.lastname@example.org, Bill Heaven at email@example.com, or Steve Franckhauser at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.