Passwords are the gatekeepers to your most important personal and professional information. One of the easiest ways to arm your organization against cyber attacks is to make sure you have a culture of strong passwords. Something as simple as a hard-to-crack password is the first line of defense against opportunistic hackers. 

Is my business at risk?

As our world becomes more connected, passwords are now commonplace in our professional and personal lives. It's likely that each of your employees is responsible for one or more passwords as part of their day-to-day work duties.  

And while you may control your most sensitive data and protect it with strong passwords, it is important to realize that each employee and all of their devices are doors into your network. A weak password is like leaving a door unlocked on your entire network. 

How do password attacks work?

There are many ways hackers will attempt to crack passwords. Hackers usually work against password lists obtained from breached servers.  

One method is the Dictionary Crack, where software is used to check a password list against different combinations of common words/ passwords and patterns. If the hackers can obtain personal information about the users, then this speeds up the process enormously.  A recent study found that 1 in 50 people use their favorite sports team and the year as their password.

Another method is the Brute Force Attack, which uses trial-and-error to crack passwords with automated software. This software generates a large number of consecutive guesses and works best on shorter passwords. 

What does this mean for my organization

Creating a culture of strong, resilient passwords is a simple and effective way to improve your cyber readiness. The best password is a passphrase - current thinking is that it should have at least 12 characters and the more the better. Protect your business by: 

Changing attitudes

Educate your workforce to the dangers of weak passwords, both professionally and personally. 

Reinforcing the message

Use visual resources, like posters, to remind your workforce of the importance of strong passwords. 

Two-factor authentication

If an application or piece of software has two-factor authentication, make sure your employees are using it. 

The impact

The other cyber threats

USB use
A Universal Serial Bus (USB) is an easy target to be infected with malware that can compromise your systems.
Phishing emails
Phishing is an email-borne attack that attempts to use you or your email software to do something malicious.
Patching software
Patches are updates to your software and systems that can contain vital security measures.

want to know more?

We have plenty of useful resources and information available to help you become aware of the threats to your business.