Every year, the month of October is observed as National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. And there is no better time than now for DoD contractors and CMMC MSP Virginia Beach experts to review their organization’s cybersecurity posture and identify ways to strengthen data security.
When it comes to data security, the first thing that pops into our minds is a robust password strategy. Now is your chance if you haven’t had time to reevaluate your password strategy.
If you’re unsure whether your current password security is effective enough in safeguarding your systems and data, you can refer to the guidelines released by the NIST. These guidelines are simple to follow and easy to implement.
Let’s look at some of the essential guidelines outlined by the NIST for password security.
- Prefer Password Length Over Complexity.
Having a strong password is vital to data security. However, strong passwords don’t mean complex passwords. When setting passwords, make them lengthy rather than complex. The more characters your passwords have, the harder it would be for cyber criminals to decipher and crack.
One might think that adding complexity to a password, such as alphanumeric or capital characters, will keep their accounts safe. However, what actually happens is it becomes difficult for the users to come up with unique passwords and remember them. So, what they do is they use variations of the same password combination. This, in turn, makes their account vulnerable.
- Avoid Periodic Password Resets.
Most organizations require their users to reset passwords after a certain time. However, according to the NIST, this is not an effective password strategy. By adding complexities to passwords like this, the users will be forced to adopt a predictable pattern when resetting passwords. This, in turn, will make the passwords weaker and more predictable. If the hacker already has your old password, they can guess your new password and infiltrate your system.
- Enable “Show Password While Typing.”
Most browsers and organizations enable users to see passwords while typing. This feature helps users avoid typos while typing their passwords. If users are able to see what they are typing, they will prefer keeping longer passwords.
- Enable Password “Paste-In” Feature.
Do you know an average person has over 100 passwords? Now imagine having to remember all the passwords.
Allowing users to paste the password when logging in instead of having them type it will encourage them to keep lengthier passwords. This feature is more convenient as it allows users to keep their passwords safe.
- Use Breached Password Protection.
if you’re one of the DoD companies following NIST password guidelines, you must be aware that each new password should go through a thorough blacklist check. Passwords like dictionary terms, prior breached passwords, common phrases, or repetitive sequences of characters should not be used as a password. If the password set by the user is on the blacklist, it shouldn’t be accepted.
- Limit Password Attempts.
Most organizations in the financial sector only allow limited password attempts. After a certain number of failed login attempts, the company will bear the users from making another attempt for 24 hours. This strategy is effective in preventing brute-force attacks.
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