Benefits of improving password security for SMBs

Here at Creative Network Solutions, we are Manchester’s leading IT support and network services experts. And this is our guide to everything you should know about creating a strong password policy.

What are the steps for improving password security for SMBs?

Small businesses can improve the password policy by following a number of simple, actionable steps. These include:

  1. Following the 8+4 rule- This is a rule that can help you develop a strong password that is difficult to guess or crack. Essentially you use eight characters, and then add one upper and one lower case, a special character like an asterisk or a dollar sign, and a number.
  2. Spread the characters out- instead of piling your plus four right at the beginning or end, spread out your numbers and special symbols. This makes it much harder for hackers to gain access.
  3. Use a passphrase- using an abbreviated passphrase, where you take the first letter of each word as your standard characters can be significantly effective. For example using TSWCOT for The Sun will Come Out Tomorrow is both memorable and extremely difficult to guess. Remember to add symbols and numbers to make this even more effective.
  4. Avoid dictionary words- dictionary programs that search for clear words in your password, based on words in the dictionary, have been around for a very long time. So you can be sure that using a word that can be found in the dictionary, is not going to be as effective. That’s why interlacing symbols and numbers, or using a passphrase can improve your security.
  5. Never use the same password twice- using the same password for different accounts is a risk, because once the password is guessed for one account, it can also provide access to further accounts too. And this can leave you even more at risk. So whether its your company Facebook page, email or your financial accounts, choose a strong password, that is not the same as any others.
  6. Set a lockout limit- aside from choosing a strong and safe password, you can also improve your system security by setting a lockout limit We’ve all forgotten our password from time to time, but any of your employees will be able to resolve this in office, while remote cyber criminals will be locked out for good. If this system also includes an automatic email, you will be notified immediately about any potential security breaches.

What are the benefits of improving password security for SMBs?

There are a number of benefits associated with improved password security for SMBs. These include:

  • Improving cyber security in general- by improving your passwords throughout your company, and ensuring that your staff do the same, your general cyber security will be greatly improved. Passwords will be much more difficult to crack and hack, and this can keep criminals out of your stored data, or network in general.
  • Improving personal safety- with staff being asked to develop stronger passwords for the workplace, they may also consider making stronger passwords for their personal accounts. This not only helps keep your staff protected, but it also reduces the potential for social engineering attacks too.

For more information or advice, why not ask the experts today, here at Creative Network Solutions.