World Password Day: Expert Advice to Keep Hackers at Bay
Passwords remain a weak link for cybercriminals to exploit. Three executives from nCipher Security offer recommendations to shore up your defenses.
Each year on the first Thursday in May — that’s today — World Password Day is intended to promote better password hygiene. Passwords are essential for securing digital identities, allowing us to access online shopping, dating, banking, social media, private work and life communications.
According to National Day Calendar, security researcher Mark Burnett first encouraged people to have a “password day,” where they update important passwords in his 2005 book Perfect Passwords. Inspired by his idea, Intel Security took the initiative to declare the first World Password Day in 2013.
Still to this day, passwords continue to provide a poor user experience and represent risks for all users, employers and more. Consider that billions of stolen passwords reside on the Dark Web. This makes businesses and individuals vulnerable to the risks of credential stuffing attacks that exploit weak and compromised passwords.
While there are no shortage of tips and best practices available online to reference, following are recommendations provided by executives at nCipher Security, an Entrust Datacard company.
Peter Galvin, chief strategy officer — Citizens can play their part in cybersecurity and personal data privacy by practicing good password hygiene. This includes vigilantly changing passwords and signing up for multi-factor authentication where available, avoiding insecure public Wi-Fi networks and shared computers, and resisting the urge to click on links from unknown sources. Outside of the workplace, the average citizen can more effectively – and securely – shoulder the burden of passwords by using a password manager app.
Cindy Provin, general manager — Password creation and change are often key themes of cybersecurity and personal data privacy conversations. But expert opinions on these subjects vary, and actual consumer behavior related to password creation and change frequency is mixed. Including the current year, our personal information such as birthdates and names, in passwords, is not ideal. It makes it easier for bad actors to guess your password. Yet many of us do that anyway because it helps us to recall the array of passwords we need to remember.
John Grimm, VP of strategy and business development — Security that relies on just a password is inadequate for public WiFi and home networks which haven’t been set up with security in mind. Hackers are already exploiting the work from home surge, preying on poorly protected networks and users whose guard is down. It’s critical to secure and protect the digital identities of remote workers working with sensitive data and applications – underscoring the importance of high-assurance, credential-based authentication.
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