In today’s digital age, passwords are the keys to our online lives. From personal email accounts to online banking and social media profiles, we rely on passwords to protect our sensitive information from prying eyes and cyber threats. However, as technology evolves, so do the methods of hackers. To stay ahead of these threats, it’s essential to understand the state of password security in 2023 and adopt robust practices to protect your digital assets.
Password security has come a long way from the days of simple, easily guessable passwords. Many organisations have implemented stricter password policies and encouraged users to implement password managers, like LastPass, or Dashlane, as well as MFA (multi-factor authentication) tools like Microsoft Authenticator.
Unfortunately, cybercriminals continue to adapt and devise more sophisticated methods to breach our accounts. With the evolving landscape of password security, it’s crucial to stay informed and adapt to the changing threats. Here are some best practices we recommend for modern password security in 2023:
Use Complex Passwords & Password Managers: Never reuse passwords across multiple accounts. Generate strong, complex passwords that include a mix of upper and lower-case letters, numbers, and special characters. You can do this using password managers, which are often easy to install and some are free to use. This ensures that you have strong, unique passwords for each account without the burden of remembering them all.
Implement Multi-Factor Authentication: Whenever possible, enable MFA for your accounts. This adds an extra layer of protection, making it challenging for attackers to gain access, even if they know your password. If you want to find out more about how these work, read our article about MFA here.
Educate and Train Employees: Provide regular cyber security training to employees, emphasising the importance of strong passwords and how to recognize phishing attempts. Teach them not to share passwords, even with colleagues. Or better yet, work with an technology provider who can take on this task for you – always ensuring your staff are prepared to guard your business against cyber crime.
Use Account Lockout Policies: Implement account lockout policies that temporarily suspend or lock user accounts after a specified number of failed login attempts, which helps deter brute force attacks. If your business is using Microsoft 365 tools, as many of our customers are, these policies are readily available for you to implement.
Regularly Audit User Accounts: Conduct regular audits of user accounts to identify and remove inactive or unnecessary accounts. Disable or remove accounts for employees who no longer work for the company. If your technology provider is not currently doing this for you, we can.
Monitor for Anomalous Activity: Implement real-time monitoring and alerts for unusual login patterns or multiple failed login attempts, as these may indicate a security breach. There are lots of cyber security tools on the market that can do this for you, but managing them is a full-time, 24-hour job. With a team of cyber security experts, Virtuoso monitors all customers systems and accounts for unusual activity, preventing cyber attacks at all hours of the day and night.
Conduct Security Assessments: Periodically assess your organisation’s password security through penetration testing or vulnerability assessments to identify and rectify weaknesses. If you don’t have a cyber security expert or IT department in-house, this can seem like a daunting task. We do this for all of our customers, so why not partner with us and reap the benefits?
Stay Informed and Adapt: Keep up-to-date with the latest cybersecurity threats and password security best practices. Adapt your policies as needed to address evolving threats and do so with the help of industry-leading tech experts who can make regular recommendations to strengthen your security posture.
As technology continues to advance, so do the strategies of cyber criminals. Password security in 2023 demands a proactive approach to protect your online accounts and personal information. By adopting practices such as using unique, complex passwords, enabling multi-factor authentication, and staying informed about the latest threats, you can reduce the risk of falling victim to cyberattacks. However, to really strengthen your business’s security, you should work with a technology partner who can help build you a detailed and robust strategy around not only passwords, but the entire security of your digital environment.
Get in touch with our team today to find out more!