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Foreign Policy Analysis

Implement Strong Password Policies | Federal Trade Commission


[MUSIC PLAYING] Passwords are critical gateways
to your company’s databases and networks, and potential
open doors for hackers who want your sensitive data. The Start With Security video
series, and the resources at business.ftc.gov,
offer tips for creating comprehensive password policies
to protect your business. Many of these tactics
are simple, inexpensive, and readily available. Take password
storage, for example. Encrypting the password data
of your employees and customers is a valuable ounce
of prevention. In one FTC case, a company
stored its network user credentials in
clear readable text. A hacker breached their system
and used this information to access customer
credit card data. Two-factor authentication
is another practice you can use to protect data. This requires employees
to combine something they know, like a password,
with something they have, like a code texted
to their phone or generated by
a hardware token, in order to access
sensitive data. It’s also important to
protect your network against brute force attacks that
rapidly try different character combinations to
crack a password. In several FTC cases, companies
failed to suspend or disable user credentials after a certain
number of unsuccessful login attempts. Your password policy should
limit the number of times anyone can attempt to login. Also, require employees
to use strong passwords in the first place. When it comes to passwords,
longer is stronger. And require employees to use
numbers, symbols, and a mix of upper and lowercase letters. For more useful tips about
strong password policies and building a culture of data
security in your business, visit ftc.gov/startwithsecurity.

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