Your team members may believe that their passwords are safe, but it only takes one leaked password to knock a whole company’s system down.
That is exactly why it is critical to educate and encourage staff to change their passwords periodically and to adopt other password protection strategies.
We’ll go over the importance of password security and why you need secure email encryption software to use in this section. Then, in seven simple steps, we’ll explain how to safeguard your passwords and how a managed services provider (MSP) can assist in keeping your company’s data safe and secure.
Why should businesses care about Password Protection?
Despite the fact that the Department of Homeland Security declared cyberattack security awareness to be “one of the top objectives,” hackers are no longer targeting exclusively secret databases of governmental organizations and public enterprises. Cybercriminals are increasingly targeting small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as their employees who work from home. Why?
Because personal devices and home Wi-Fi networks, which many people use for work, are simpler targets for hackers. Employing weak passwords for several accounts equates to leaving the office doors open for burglars to enter. Data leaks, phishing schemes, ransomware attacks, and other types of cyberattacks or financial theft can all be caused by weak passwords. As a result, cybersecurity—particularly password protection—should be one of the top objectives for small and medium-sized businesses.
Methods to Deploy a Strong Password
1. Avoid using frequently used passwords
Avoiding common passwords may seem straightforward, yet the most frequent (and weakest) passwords are the simplest (and weakest).
2. Create a robust password
Instead of using an easy-to-guess password like ‘123456’, choose a strong and unique password for each of your accounts. A strong password typically includes:
- A minimum of 12 characters, but preferably 30+
- A mix of letters, numbers, symbols, and special characters
- A complicated pattern that is frequently changed
One strategy is to replace specific letters with similar-looking numerals. For example, use the number 0 instead of the letter O, 5 instead of S, 1 instead of I, and so on. You can use this design, but try not to use it too frequently because it has become quite common. Instead of a traditional password, you may use a passphrase, which is a random string of words. It may be easier to remember, but it may be more difficult for hackers to exploit.
3. Add an additional layer of security
Two-factor authentication (2FA) is one of the most effective methods for protecting passwords and securing business data. You may apply it to all your workers’ business apps, especially if they access work accounts from personal computers, laptops, or mobile devices while working from home. Two-factor authentication may include:
- A verification code delivered through email or SMS, among others.
- A new password created at random every time someone logs in.
- An access link issued through email.
- A response to a specific, usually personal inquiry.
For further protection, employ multi-factor Email authentication, which combines more than two verification stages before providing access.
4. Change your passwords on a regular basis
Passwords should not be fixed in stone once they are created. Using the same password for multiple years may considerably increase the chances of your profiles being hacked. Passwords should be changed every three to six months.
If it helps you remember your passwords, you could devise a complicated pattern or phrase that you can convert into a strong password. The pattern may assist you in using letters, numbers, and characters in a precise manner. While using this strategy, however, remember to tweak this pattern on a regular basis.
5. Use unique passwords for each account
It may be simpler to use the same password for many programs (such as Gmail, Slack, PayPal, Facebook, Skype for Business, Zoom, online bank account, and others), but doing so might make your online presence singnificantly more susceptible. The use of the same passwords represents a vulnerability. If any of your accounts are compromised, fraudsters will have instant access to all your personal and professional accounts. To avoid this scenario, develop unique, strong passwords for each personal and professional account.
There’s much more that you can do to bolster your cybersecurity infrastructure in your organization. Get email security right by using EmailAuth. It helps you automate all your Email Authentication needs including deploying DMARC, SPF, DKIM. Use HumanFirewall to enhance or introduce Cybersecurity Training Awareness in your organization.