If you’re looking for one place to start improving your cybersecurity measures, make it passwords. Way too many employees and executives use passwords that are easy to hack. To make matters worse, they often use these passwords across several platforms and websites. If that one password is compromised, the potential harm increases exponentially. It’s best practice to have different passwords for different sites.
“I would recommend changing your password to a complex password (yes, take time to include letters, numbers and symbols in your password!),” said Taylor Toce, CEO and founder of Velo IT Group. “The simple act of changing your password will lock out anyone who might have it. For example, if your password was compromised as part of a security breach, or if you simply shared it with one too many co-workers, you can tighten the security on those accounts by just using a new password. Further, a complex password is your best defense against the very common dictionary or brute-force attack methodology, which is widely exploited today.”
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Brute-force attacks are when hackers run automated programs that plug in a variety of potential password combinations. A dictionary attack is a form of brute-force attack that tries every word in the dictionary as a potential password. Brute-force attacks are particularly effective against companies with obvious username information and simplistic passwords.
Strengthening your organization’s passwords immediately reduces the risk of a successful cyberattack against your business, and it doesn’t take long. It can take just a few minutes to change a weak password to a secure one. “All passwords should have at least 10 characters or more, including at least one uppercase, one lowercase, one number and one special character,” said Myles Keough, CEO of Spade Technology.
Long passwords with different symbols and capitalization of letters tend to combat brute-force attacks. A fix as simple as changing your password can prevent a cyberattack. Using strong passwords is a critical step in the early process of improving cybersecurity.