How bizarre does your IT support firm in LA get with passwords? If the passwords are easy to read like a children's story, you've got a big problem, since hackers start with easy names. "Rumpelstiltskin" might seem like a good password because it's 15 characters and it's certainly safer than "humptydumpy," but you can still do better. Here are factors to think about when checking your password strength:
Why Simple Passwords are Dangerous
It goes without saying that the most basic default passwords such as "admin," "password," or "1234" are the most vulnerable to a dictionary attack. Anyone in business who has never heard of the dictionary attack may not be as knowledgeable about cybersecurity as grade school students.
A dictionary attack involves software that tests cracking passwords by going down a list of A-Z possibilities. You may think: "Well, that would take forever," but never underestimate high-speed software that can test tons of possibilities in a split second. Meanwhile, the uneducated hacker is out on the golf course as the software does its job. You didn't think cybercriminals were hard workers, did you?
If you're aware that dictionary hacking software can crack passwords after a few weeks of testing millions of possibilities, give yourself an "A." Any type of password that remotely resembles "sesamestreet" such as "bigbird" (as educational as that show may be) is very helpful to speeding up the hacker learning curve.
IT Must Understand Strong vs. Weak Passwords
When employees lacking proper education about cybersecurity get to choose their own passwords, you can get some pretty mixed results. That may seem open-minded to some managers, but the last thing you need is even one vulnerable password that allows bad guys to invade your system. Alphanumeric characters are strong as long as they aren't too short and simple. Long passwords are strong as long as they aren't easy to read. Here's a list of weak passwords that are easy to crack:
Your IT team must "spin straw into gold" to make your passwords valuable. Otherwise, your business might die since it can lead to confidential information of many customers getting stolen, leading to lawsuits and a poor reputation. Essentially, anyone who uses simple passwords in this day and age has the wisdom of a manikin. Here are examples of strong passwords:
How to Test Strong vs. Weak Passwords
Your IT support partner in LA, as well as employees, can use online tools to test the strength and weaknesses of passwords. The most modern tools will rate the quality of your selections and give you data on which factors present vulnerabilities, such as number of characters, symbols, and upper or lower case. Here are steps anyone can take to make sure they're not helping hackers:
- Find a tool by searching for a "password strength checker"
- Test the password
- Look for high scores and strong complexity
Double-check your passwords to make sure they make no sense to cybercriminals. It will help you determine whether your IT team is sophisticated or lazy. If you're ready to upgrade your IT support in LA, contact us at DCG Technical Solutions and learn more about your options for security and encryption. We offer a proactive and affordable approach to IT.