Sadie Parkinson

Marketing Manager

Developing an optimised cyber security strategy for your business is a pivotal step in keeping all of your precious data secure, but the subject is often viewed as intimidating for many businesses. Whilst the assistance of an expert cyber security IT support provider is necessary for the more technical areas of the field, one of the ways that you can help secure your digital presence is through creating and distributing secure passwords. Here we show you some of our top tips when it comes to generating optimised passwords for your accounts.

What passwords are on the ‘blacklist?’

When creating a brand new password, the main way you can ensure its security is to consider the characters that you use. In the interest of keeping good cyber security, many platforms now have a ‘black-list’ of passwords that cannot be generated by users which essentially means anything that can be easily guessed or follows a sequential pattern, such as:

  • Password
  • Abc123
  • 123456
  • 111111

For individual organisations’ the black-list may also restrict passwords that have been compromised in previous data breaches. Luckily, most systems will prevent you from entering the password, however, if they don’t, you should not use them.

How are passwords compromised?

Hackers can use a variety of different methods to crack passwords, including both physical and digital attacks. Passwords can be physically stolen if they are recorded near their associated devices, and can also be taken through an observation technique known as ‘shoulder-surfing’. This means that someone is observing others when typing in their passwords and using their credentials to illegally access information.

Best practice for managing passwords in a workplace

Managing passwords can become an increasingly tedious task as your company grows. Inevitably passwords will be forgotten, however, giving users the opportunity to easily reset them will save time in the future.

Requesting employee’s to create strong passwords across all accounts is usually only effective if they have a clear and easy way to store them. Not providing such a solution is likely to have a negative effect on the strength of the passwords, for example, employee’s utilising the same password across multiple accounts, or shorter and simpler passwords are used for their convenience. At Westgate IT, we adopt the same method as the NCSC in regards to the creation of passwords, including using three random numbers and the scattering of special characters and/or numbers.

Configuring and documenting a clear password storage policy is key to increasing password strength. Allowing employee’s to utilise built in password storage features in web browsers, or providing a central password management solution such as KeePass or 1Password are most effective.

Good password management is a vital part of cyber security and impacts on many different areas of your business. Stopping the unnecessary storing and changing of passwords can also increase the productivity of your business.

To find out more, please get in touch with our team who can answer any questions you may have about improving your company’s cyber security and passwords.

Published: 3rd March 2020