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Password policy

An effective password policy is a key element of the strong information security.  It helps avoid password interception and prevent a potential attack.

Password-protected information

Good password: must be hard-to-guess, must not include personal informationPasswords were first introduced in the 1960s to protect individual and organizational information. Since then, the conception of a reliable password has become much more elaborate. Password selection now plays a vital role in information security.

To protect your information against a potential attack, you need to implement a strong password policy as part of information security strategy. Password policy is a set of rules concerning accessibility, length, types, characters and symbols of the password and the frequency it is changed.

Password policy rules

Use Balanced Scorecard metrics designed in Excel to measure IT security performance.

The most useful approach to password policy is to view password-associated risks differently in different environment. Passwords must be hard-to-guess, however they should be memorable. The risk of password interception increases greatly if the password is written down on paper or stored in a specific file. Passwords must not include personal information, names, solely numbers or common words, as these are vulnerable to dictionary attacks. Strong passwords should contain at least seven to eight characters in a random combination of letters, numbers and symbols. To memorize a complicated password, one can use a mnemonic technique or a phrase, replacing each character in the password with a word.

Good password:

  • Elaborate security policy using concept and mind mapping techniquesMust be hard-to-guess

  • Must not include personal information

  • Should contain at least seven to eight characters in a random combination of letters, numbers and symbols

It is wise to use different passwords to access different files and computers. If the same password is used next to everywhere, a single successful attack will open access to a wide range of information for the attacker.

All passwords should be replaced periodically to prevent further abuse if an attacker obtains access to the protected file or computer. However, the new password must not resemble the previous one and be relatively easy to memorize.

Passwords are useless if anyone can recover temporary files. One could read your password protected MS Word document by recovering temporary file created by MS Word. Consider using Shred Agent background file shredder utility. This tool deletes securely even temporary files

Password policy and information accessibility

It is a hard thing for information security to balance efficiency with convenience. Most often, information must be secure yet all-time available. Too much security may bring undesired results, as it canít improve human memory performance. The practical solution is to create a strong password policy that works in the specific environment.

Find Protected is an utility to force Password Security policy

 

Find Protected allows to detect incidents, when one break Password Security Policy.

  • Prevent using password protection for not-sensitive documents

  • Prevent information leakage, when one keep sensitive file in non-secure location

  • Prevent in-appropriate using of password protection (for example, password protection of personal files)

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