For any large business or organization, the logistical issue of trying to remember all the passwords and data for your company can be tedious, time consuming, and costly. In addition to this, companies without a proper password policy run the risks of data loss, unauthorized account access, and lost time and productivity. In fact, one study by Verizon put forth that 80% of all known data breaches for businesses are caused by weak or stolen passwords. From there, it is also suggests 76% of all employees will experience password issues at some point. In addition to all of this, 43% of all cyber security attacks hit or target small businesses as opposed to larger organizations. If you’re looking then, to strengthen your company’s password security; you’ve come to the right place. We have a variety of tips you and your business can utilize to better your security and protect the sensitive data of your company and consumers alike.
The first, and simplest thing you can do to begin protecting your business from cyber security threats is through the implementation of a password policy. These are a variety of rules which help govern your company’s computer usage and network security. Typically, these rules will govern how passwords should be stored, how often they should be updated, and may even require employees to use a different password for their work accounts than the ones they’d use in their private life. Additionally, a business can consider implementing the use of complex passwords with digits, upper and lower case letters, and special characters.
For businesses struggling with remembering passwords and keeping them in sync with their apps, programs, and browsers; there are several password management tools available online for your company to utilize. These work by housing and encrypting the passwords for your company, which are then accessed with a master password to access these credentials. Additionally, many of these password management tools are highly sophisticated, able to inform you when your information has been leaked online or when your account has otherwise been compromised. Currently, the best password management tools on the market are considered to be LastPass, Dashlane, and LogMeOnce; but your business should perform its own research to find out which tool best fits your needs.
Multifactor authentication, or MFA, is a powerful tool in combating cyber security risks and compromised accounts. On top of your initial login, multifactor authentication also requires you to authenticate yourself in order to access your account. Typically, this is done through codes sent to your phone or email, or even things such as fingerprint scans. This extra layer of protection works particularly best in preventing unauthorized account access. In addition to using codes and scans for multifactor authentication, GPS data may be utilized in the event your device is logging in from a new location and needs to be confirmed.
Another great way to prevent unauthorized account access and cyber threats is to simply inform your employees on these practices. This can include both training them in your existing password policy, as well as ensuring your employees follow a closely monitored method of storing their information securely. By keeping your information tight and training your employees to as well, you work towards preventing information breeches which can be a detriment to your company.
This rule more so applies to larger industries who deal with sensitive information, particularly the finance and healthcare sectors. If you’re unsure where you need to begin with your cyber security, these industries follow a variety of compliance and corporate regulations to increase their security. For example, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act or HIPAA, have specific requirements for their passwords, asking they be at least twelve characters in length, use both upper and lowercase letters, and that the reuse of passwords be restricted. While this may seem a bit overboard for smaller companies, it is of vital importance for larger ones who deal with the sensitive flow of highly personal information.
If you’re still stumped on how to approach your Cybersecurity, or if you’re simply looking to discuss ways you can implement a great password policy; you can contact our team for free consultations and tech tips from our experienced staff.