With the rise in data breaches over the last few years, it’s vital for your brand to enhance security so you don’t fall victim to an attack. While there are several ways a hacker can steal data, 63% of data breaches occur as a result of weak or stolen passwords. The following information can help you protect customer data by preventing password attacks specifically.
1. Educate Users about Password Attack Security
Even if you know all there is to know about cyber security, your employees might not—unless you educate them. To mitigate the risks of a password hack, teach your employees the elements of a good password. A complex password comprises a mixture of letters, numbers, symbols, and upper and lower case, and it should be at least ten characters long.
2. Make Passwords Complex
To take extra precautions, implement password complexity on your computers through a password manager software. This software requires employees to create a password that meets certain security requirements and to change passwords on a regular basis.
3. Use Multifactor Identification
You can protect customer data by also using multifactor identification. This security feature requires employees to verify their identities with more than just a complex password. For example, they must also identify a token, enter in a code, or answer a security question.
4. Monitor Physical Access to Computers
Recent research from the Harvard Business Review shows that the biggest cybersecurity threats are actually inside your company. To lower the risk of a password attack, control who has access to your on-site computers and monitor that physical access. This could include requiring ID badges for entry into rooms with computers, installing security cameras, or even getting help from screen monitoring software.
5. Encrypt Password Files
Take an added measure of security by encrypting password files with the best software available. Encryption software works by masking your stored password data in a code so hackers can’t see the real passwords.
6. Invest in Password Vaults
Password vaults store an encrypted version of all your passwords in one convenient location. The master user—you or another trusted employee—of the password vault creates one highly complex, thirty-character password that grants access to all the other password-protected information. This software application reduces the need for different passwords to access every individual account. It also helps you avoid having slightly different variations of the same easy-to-crack login.
7. Mask Passwords
Password masking is when a computer enters in a black dot in place of the letter, number, or symbol the user enters. This makes it difficult for anyone who may be looking at your screen, either near you or remotely, to steal your password.
8. Use Account Lockout Controls
Lockout controls give you two to three chances to enter your password correctly. If you don’t—or the hacker doesn’t—enter your password correctly, you will get locked out of the system. To get back into the system, you usually have to wait for a set period of time or reset your password after going through various verification steps.
9. Get Vulnerability Scanners
Vulnerability scanners offer several benefits to help minimize the risks of a data breach or a password attack. For example, many vulnerability scanners include a password-cracking tool that detects weak passwords so you can strengthen them before an attack occurs.
By following the steps outlined above, you’ll be less likely to fall victim to a password attack. For more information on how to keep your customer data safe, explore more of the Frontier blog.