The role that passwords play in securing an organization’s network is often underestimated and overlooked. Passwords provide the first line of defense against unauthorized access to your organization.
Weak passwords provide attackers with easy access to your computers and network, while strong passwords are considerably harder to crack, even with the password-cracking software that is available today. Password-cracking tools continue to improve, and the computers that are used to crack passwords are more powerful than ever. Password-cracking software uses one of three approaches: intelligent guessing, dictionary attacks, and brute-force automated attacks that try every possible combination of characters. Given enough time, the automated method can crack any password. However, strong passwords are much harder to crack than weak passwords. A secure computer has strong passwords for all user accounts.
A weak password
- Is no password at all
- Contains your user name, real name, or company name.
- Contains a complete dictionary word. For example, Password is a weak password.
A strong password
- Is at least 8 characters long.
- Combines letters, numbers, and symbol characters within the password.
- Is not found in a dictionary.
- Is not the name of a command.
- Is not the name of a person.
- Is not the name of a user.
- Is not the name of a computer.
- Is changed regularly.
- Is significantly different from previous passwords.
Strong passwords are extremely important to prevent unauthorized access to your electronic accounts and devices. The Importance of Choosing Strong Passwords