Security: Password Protection: Smart Tips for Fortifying the First Line of IT Security

By Brian Prince  |  Posted 2012-07-18 Print this article Print
Mind Games

Mind Games

Remembering passwords can be a challenge for any user. According to an October 2011 survey of 300 IT pros by Lieberman Software, 51 percent of respondents had at least 10 passwords to remember for use in their work, and 42 percent said that in their organizations IT staffers are sharing passwords to access systems or applications.
Yahoo admitted July 12 that hackers had stolen an older file containing log-in information belonging to Yahoo Voices users. The passwords—which were unencrypted—are sterling examples of lame security practices and weak password management. According to security vendor ESET, of the more than 440,000 entries, the most frequently used password was "123456." The next most popular one was "password." Rounding out the top five were: "welcome," "ninja" and "abc123." It is a common story among data breaches—a treasure trove of passwords that underscore the challenges of password management for individuals as well as for enterprises. The situation reveals a fundamental truth—telling people what to do when it comes to security is the easy part; actually getting them to do it is hard. This eWEEK slide show puts together a series of tips for organizations and their employees to improve password management and make passwords stronger and easier to remember.

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