The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has updated its guidelines on password protection. Here are insights on these changes in protecting your digital assets and why you need IT support in Dallas.
Keeping Up with Password Guidelines
Passwords started as the answer to data privacy. Then they became puzzles for hackers to solve. Now that cybercriminals have become more sophisticated using software that tests passwords for them, it’s important to work with reliable an IT support provider in Dallas as a safety net to protect against breaches. While no system is perfect at blocking hackers, implementing strong security policies with the help of IT experts is your best defense.
NIST has updated its password guidelines to help IT consultants pass along the information to clients. Federal agencies have already adopted these new guidelines, which in some ways contradict old guidelines. For the past several years, security experts have suggested businesses use complex alphanumeric passwords to make the hacker’s job more complicated.
Now NIST is saying passwords can get too complicated to the point of users forgetting them and mixing up similar-looking characters. A small case “l,” for example, can easily be confused as the numeral “1.” It’s great that it fakes out hackers, but it can also fake out the person who created the password. NIST now says the longer a password is, the harder it becomes to decrypt. But the standard-setting organization also says that complex passwords with special characters may be less secure.
Implementing New Guidelines
One way your IT team can better connect with your business model is to get them involved with training your staff on cybersecurity issues. An IT consultant can explain why certain security methods are necessary to help people understand operating in cyberspace. The new NIST guidelines call for businesses to stop changing passwords periodically, since it can create user confusion and diminish productivity.
Changing passwords often can lead the user to adopt certain patterns that help them remember the passwords, but patterns can help hackers as well. As long as employees don’t leave evidence of password hints on their devices, they don’t really have to worry about developing hard-to-remember passwords.
Your IT team can limit the number of login attempts with passwords, which is fairly strong protection against hackers. Another strategy for strengthening account security is to use multifactor authentication. It may involve using a code sent to the user’s phone, a fingerprint or an answer to a security question.
Working with an IT support provider in Dallas can help your staff stay current with best practices for cybersecurity. Contact us at Technagy to learn more about what you can do to protect your business network and digital assets.