Nov 07 2016

Secure Passwords and Best Practices to Protect Your Business. Bearingstar Cyber Security Tip #2

In our first Cyber Security Blog Post, we mentioned in tip #1 the importance of having a complex, strong password for your wire transfer system. That’s probably not the first time you’ve heard that advice. But has anyone ever fully explained to you or your employees what a powerful password actually means?

Cyber Security Recommendation #2: Password Protect Everything and Protect Your Passwords

At Bearingstar we believe that a review of best practices never hurts. So here are the most important password “Dos and Don’ts” from Brian Krebs of Krebs On Security. You’ll notice there are only a couple of “Dos” but several bad practices that could leave you and your company vulnerable to hackers.

DO

  • create unique passwords that use a combination of words, numbers, symbols, and both upper- and lower-case letters
  • make your passwords as long as possible because every additional character you add to your password makes it exponentially harder to attack; length is actually as important, if not more important, than complexity these days
  • change your passwords every few months

DO NOT

  • use your network username as a your password
  • use easily guessed passwords, such as “password” or “user”
  • choose passwords based on personal information like your birth date social security number, phone number or names of family members
  • use words that can be found in the dictionary
  • use simple adjacent keyboard combinations, e.g. “qwerty” and “asdzxc” and “123456”
  • use the same password for systems where sensitive information is stored
  • share your password with anyone

Once you and your employees have established secure passwords for all networks and devices, how are you going to remember them? Krebs suggests third-party vendors like LastPass, DashLane, and 1Password who store all passwords in the cloud and secure them all with a master password. Or, if you’re more comfortable with something local, then there are storage programs for your computer such as Roboform and PasswordSafe. Whichever option you choose, it’s essential that you pick a very strong master password.

As your business insurance partner, Bearingstar wants you to be prepared at all times. Whether you are an individual running a business out of a home office, or a small business owner with many employees, protecting yourself from a cyber security threat is equally important. If you have questions about what is covered under your policy please contact us today at one of 18 Massachusetts or Connecticut offices for a complimentary review and free business insurance quote.

Looking for more information to protect your business against cyber security threats? Read our first blog post: Do You Know What the “The CEO Scam” Is?

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