Cyber-Security Begins With a Password

by Ed Davis, CEO, Systems Support Group


According to Wikipedia™, “a cyber-attack is any type of offensive maneuver employed by individuals or whole organizations that targets computer information systems, infrastructures, computer networks, and/or personal computer devices by various means of malicious acts usually originating from an anonymous source that either steals, alters, or destroys a specified target by hacking into a susceptible system.”

Stories of corporate data breaches and cyber-terrorism can be overwhelming when we’re deciding how to secure our personal and business networks.

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Before concern turns to panic, and before you begin the journey to bolster your systems, it’s important to understand one key reality: Cyber-security is not a product or group of products. It is a mindset and process that begins with the most basic piece of cyber-security defense – your password.

If your passwords are not created and managed properly, your investments in other security measures are worthless. If your passwords are compromised, your company’s proprietary information can be stolen, often without your knowledge.

There are many other layers involved in truly secure environments, but passwords remain the foundation of security in computer networks. And while we are beginning to use other types of authentication, the password will be the primary tool frontline security tool for some time to come.

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Want to ensure your IT system will be breached?

  • Write passwords on post-its, then stick them to laptops, monitors and computers
  • Create easy-to-remember passwords: ILoveYou, 12345, and “Password”.
  • Reuse the same passwords across several web sites.
  • Don’t change your passwords for years.

Want to ensure your passwords are as secure as possible?

  • Use strong passwords of at least 8 characters, no words, names, etc.  Mix text, numbers and symbols.
  • Change passwords regularly (once a month).
  • Use different passwords for different applications and websites.
  • Don’t give a password to anyone and don’t attach it to a device.