Most organisations don’t have a password policy until the worst happens. Passwords are your first line of defence; they protect your business data and customers information. But many companies have weak or non-existent password policies, putting them at a heightened risk for data hacking.
From preventing unauthorised access to your accounts to helping your team to understand their responsibilities, this Bandicoot blog will teach you how a password policy can strengthen your defences against cyber crime.
What Is A Password Policy?
A business password policy is a set of rules that you and your team follow to increase cyber security and reduce the risk of the bad guys getting access to your systems. A password policy will contain details about:
- How often passwords will be updated
- Where they will be stored (e.g. in a password manager)
- The requirements for password complexity
- Acceptable use
- Best practices
You might choose to add your password policy to your staff handbook so that everyone in your organisation is aware of the correct procedures to follow. The National Centre for Cyber Security has further guidance on secure password strategies you can implement.
Reasons Why You Need A Business Password Policy
Protects Your Business Against Cyber Attacks
Safeguarding your business’ data and customer information is crucial and there are countless consequences that a cyber attack or security breach can have. These include financially, professionally and legally.
A password policy that works to prevent repeat passwords from being used across multiple accounts and platforms can help to make you less of a target for cyber crime.
It Keeps Your Team Informed
Cyber security can seem daunting. However if your team understands the processes, it can help employees to be aware of cyber threats in both their day-to-day role and their personal lives.
As employees come and go in your business, you might be concerned about data leaving your business. You can check in the settings of most accounts to see which devices are currently linked, revoke their access remotely and remove any unauthorised devices.
It Makes Sure Your Procedures Are Followed Consistently
It’s key that the advice within your policy is followed consistently, from the top down, throughout the entire organisation, to minimise any weak links.
This can have a wider impact on your reputation in the eyes of your consumers, as you can show you’re prioritising security and their data privacy. Especially if you’re handling confidential information.
Tips On Creating A Password Policy For Your Business
Have A Strong Password
I know it might seem an obvious statement, but you’d be surprised at how many employees and organisations don’t adopt it. Create a password that’s not easy to guess, doesn’t contain a common word or expression in general and is aligned with your companies sector, products or name, or any personal information people can access.
As a general rule of thumb, your password should have a minimum of 8-12 characters, with a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, special characters. It needs to be memorable, yet super hard or nearly impossible to guess.
Have Different Passwords For Different Accounts
The biggest mistake you can make is to use the same password for all of your logins. In this case, if one of your applications gets hacked, the rest do too.
You need to ensure you’re using different passwords for all your accounts. If it’s confusing for you to remember them all, you can use an advanced password management tool to store your passwords
.Ensure each one of your passwords is completely unique. This will mean nobody can hack all your accounts together in one shot!
Think Like A Hacker
If you want to protect yourself from being hacked with an effective password policy plan, it’s important you think like a hacker.
An innovative approach is to hire a professional hacker and ask them to try to hack into your system. This might give you a better understanding and allow you to take a proactive approach to your password policy as well as your security in general.
Pay them a fee for their services and for sharing their way of hacking you, and then think about ways to beat the hacker’s mindset.
If you don’t have the knowledge or feel comfortable putting all of this in to practice within your business, then why not seek professional help?.
At Bandicoot, we are specialists in protecting your data. From hosting your domain to maintaining the internal and external look and feel of your website. We can assure you one thing; you won’t have to worry.
Having a good IT support package in place will give you the confidence of knowing your business data is in safe hands. We monitor your systems with a professional, diligent eye.
For more information, please call us on 01282 506 616. Alternatively, you can use our contact form to send us a message. We’ll be back in touch as soon as possible.