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Security Magazine Outlines Examples of Password Vulnerabilities, Security Breaches; Hikvision Cybersecurity Director Offers Six Steps to Reduce the Threat of Password Hack

July 18, 2018

Six Tips to Improve Password Strength, Reduce Vulnerabilities

Six Tips to Improve Password Strength, Reduce Vulnerabilities

 

In the Security magazine article, “The Plight of the Password,” the author outlined various examples of password vulnerabilities and how they can influence an organizational security breach. Hikvision has longstanding commitment to cybersecurity awareness and Hikvision’s director of cybersecurity, Chuck Davis, offers several steps to help reduce the threat of a password hack and improve password strength.

From the Security article: “Some of the largest public breaches have occurred in the past few years, revealing security vulnerabilities that exposed billions of pieces of personal data users assumed were protected behind the veil of their passwords.”

The author, Ted Ross, referenced a few recent cybersecurity breaches in the piece, including Twitter and Equifax. Ross also cited a high-profile incident of weak password usage by Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, whose Twitter and Pinterest accounts had been hacked. Zuckerberg had been using the same password for LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest. Re-use of the same password across multiple accounts invites hackers to attempt to hack passwords, according to the article.

Educating Employees on Types of Risks and How to Avoid Them
Employees pose the greatest risk of introducing malware or other security breaches into organizations, but typically do not understand the mistakes they are making. Ross refers to them as “the unaware employees.” It’s important to educate them on phishing, use of strong passwords, and other precautions to avoid viruses and malware. Ross recommends that  “organizations turn to automating their tracking and breach detection, and strengthening their login and authentication,” as examples of proactive corporate cybersecurity policies.

Helping employees understand what constitutes complex passwords and how to manage them across multiple sites is a good starting point. Below, Davis provides an overview of password basics to advise employees.

Six Steps to Improve Passwords and Reduce the Threat of Hack
The following are six tips from Hikvision’s cybersecurity director to improve passwords and reduce threat of a hack or cyberattack:

  1. Create a long, strong password: Develop a strong password, which includes multiple character sets such as uppercase, lowercase, numbers and special characters. Make it long—eight characters or more. Davis added: the longer the password, the better.
     
  2. Change default passwords: It’s critically important to change default passwords on all devices, and set a complex password (see tip number one).
     
  3. Use a password management tool: As you create more complex passwords that different from site to site, you may find it difficult to remember them. A best practice is to use a “password management tool,” which can help you generate and retrieve complex passwords.
     
  4. Where possible, enable the lock-out feature: Enable the password lock-out feature after a certain number of invalid login attempts, and receive notifications of those attempts. This prevents brute-force password attacks.
     
  5. Where possible, enable multi-factor authentication (MFA): Enable MFA, especially where you have only a username and password protecting sensitive data. Many sites support MFA but not many people are aware that they have the option to enable MFA. The following site lists popular sites and shows how to enable MFA on those sites. https://twofactorauth.org/
     
  6. Assign unique, individual usernames: Ensure individual accountability by assigning everyone their own unique username and password, with no sharing of accounts allowed.

Some of these password tips were shared recently by Davis in a video interview with Campus Safety magazine, “How to Keep Your Physical Security Systems from Getting Hacked.” In the video, Davis said: “Hackers love to focus on defaults because they realize a lot of people don’t change defaults, whether it’s default passwords or ports or different configurations. So, always make sure you’re changing those defaults."

For more Hikvision cybersecurity tips to improve passwords, reduce hacks, and minimize security concerns and potential breaches, click here. To read the entire Security magazine article,  click this link.

 

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