How Secure is your Password?

Password security is important, it’s all that stands between your accounts and a cybercriminal accessing your information. If you have a weak password, it is far easier for cybercriminals to steal your information. This is even more important when your company holds other people’s information. Any attack can lead to hundreds or thousands of your clients’ personal data being stolen.

A recent study into the most common passwords across the UK determined that one in every 142 passwords used the string “12345”. How many of your employees might be unknowingly leaving your systems vulnerable to cyber attacks by using weak or common passwords?

Your companies IT security policy.

Does your company have a password policy in place? A strong password is not a 100% foolproof way to stop cybercriminals from attacking and gaining access to your systems, but it is one of the easiest methods at our disposal for protecting our accounts. Your IT policies should have a best practice for employees to follow on passwords.

We have included some helpful tips you should consider for your own policy.

  1. A strong password is your best defense against cybercriminals. You should:
    – Make sure it’s a minimum of eight characters long.
    – Use a combination of upper and lower case letters and at least one number.
    – Should include at least one character that is not a letter or number.
    – The longer the password the more difficult it is for cybercriminals to break. Be creative, combine a number of different words to make a nonsense sentence, and change some of the letters to other characters or numbers e.g. ‘a’ replace with ‘@’ or ‘e’ with 3.
  2. Have a different password for each account. It is not enough to just have a strong password. If you use it for every account you have then if you have one account breached this leaves your other accounts vulnerable. Ensure you use different passwords for each of your accounts especially those involving backing and finances.
  3. Password protect all of your devices. Your employees may access your systems via desktop, laptop, smartphones, and tablets, devices owned by your company or their own. You should ensure that employees follow the same password policies on all devices.
  4. Passwords should be changed regularly and your systems should be set up to make it a requirement your employees change their password. They should also never be saved to a computer or device. If your computer asks if you want to save your login credentials to memory always select no. If someone gained access to your device, if you also save all your passwords to your web browser, then cybercriminals quickly have access to all of your company and personal accounts.
Your Passwords are our first line of defence again cybercriminals. As a business, you should ensure you have a robust IT and security policy in place. All employees should be trained on these security protocols. They should also be told how data and information should be handled within your company, along with your company’s best practices.

Cybercrime is growing and even with all the best IT systems in the world, you can still be vulnerable to attacks. Cyber insurance is there if the worst happens and you do have a data breach. If you want to find out more about Cyber insurance and how it can protect your company checks out our dedicated cyber insurance page here. If you want a quote or further advice give our expert team a call today on 01242 898387.

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