Cyber security is a major concern of all companies and if it’s not one of yours, it needs to be! Don’t be naïve to think that your business is too small for cybercriminals to target. In fact, it’s because smaller companies don’t take their cyber security seriously that criminals tend to go after them.
One of the easiest ways to keep your network and data secure is through the use of strong passwords.
We’ve all been there – battling with a machine to accept your password suggestions after being told the one that you’ve entered is too weak. However, you need to remember that these password requirements are vital in protecting yourself and your business. Passwords act as a barrier between our sensitive data and attackers.
If you’re looking for cyber security in Milton Keynes or the surrounding regions, we can help. We offer a full range of IT services in Bristol and Milton Keynes. Protect your sensitive data and safeguard your digital assets with Cloud and More’s cyber security services. We can give you the peace of mind that your network and data are secure.
What is a strong password?
As a string of characters, a password allows users to access a computer system, a website or an application. It needs to be made up of upper- and lower-case letters, numbers and special characters in order for it to be a strong password that is difficult to guess or crack.
Why are strong passwords crucial?
If your password is compromised, a criminal could access your network and steal personal data. It can lead to financial loss or data breaches. A cybercriminal can cause significant damage to your business’s reputation.
How do cybercriminals hack passwords?
Cybercriminals will use a variety of techniques to guess or crack passwords. Here are some of the most common techniques:
- Brute-force attacks: The attacker will use a program that repeatedly tries different combinations of characters to find the correct password. Worryingly, automated tools can try millions of passwords in a short space of time.
- Dictionary attacks: With this method, they use the most commonly used passwords to guess the correct one. Criminals again often use tools to automate this process.
- Phishing attempts: Cybercriminals trick users to reveal their passwords by posing as a legitimate source. They usually send a link and ask the user to enter their details when they click on it.
- Social engineering: This is a method where the user is tricked into giving their password to a criminal that is posing as someone that they trust. They may claim to be their boss or someone in their IT department.
- Password spraying: This is where the criminal uses a list of common passwords and tries them against various accounts to see if one works.
- Keylogging: Malware is installed on a user’s computer and it records the keystrokes. Unfortunately, this method can capture even the most complex of passwords.
With the various methods used, weaker passwords are obviously extremely vulnerable and quicker to crack. When you use a mixture of characters, it makes the password much harder to guess, even with the use of automated tools.
Strong passwords also help to protect against password reuse attacks. This is where someone uses the same password for all their accounts. This means that their accounts are all compromised. You need to ensure that you are using a different strong password for each of your accounts or applications.
It is also important to practice good password hygiene. This means changing your password regularly, never sharing your password and never writing them down. It’s also critical to use two-factor authentication wherever possible.
The more difficult the password, the less likely your company will fall victim to a cyber-attack.
- Your password should contain at least 10 characters.
- It should include upper- and lower-case letters, as well as numbers.
- It should include special characters.
- Never write down your password.
- Never share your password.
- Do not reuse passwords.
- Don’t use personal information such as your birthday.
- Never use the same password for different devices or applications.
Strong passwords are just one of the ways you can protect your company from cybercriminals. If you need assistance in strengthening your cyber security, get in touch with Cloud and More. We provide cyber security in Milton Keynes and the surrounding regions. We also have an office in Bristol and we offer a full range of IT services in Bristol and beyond. We’d love to help protect your business from cybercrime.