I’ve been working in IT for nearly 20 years now and over the years I have encountered some things that have stayed with me to this day. Usually, the memories revolve around Security and in particular passwords.
I would be a very rich man if I had a pound for every time, I’ve seen someone’s password on a sticky note under their monitor, or even more sneaky, under their keyboard!
Over the years I have noted how people are starting to take security much more seriously now. When you hear of big names being hit by ransomware and hackers it makes you realise that you are just as vulnerable as the big names, if not more as they are spending tens of thousands of pounds every year on cyber security. Just this week alone two major US Government departments were hit by hackers.
So, what makes a strong password? Well obviously, your pets name on its own is not a good place to start. But repeating your pets name, two or three times and adding some numbers into the mix makes what was a very insecure password into a relatively strong password. Complex password, such as a string of random letters, numbers and special characters are a great way of securing systems you rarely login to, but as secure as they are, there is no way you would be able to remember a random 30 character password day to day.
This is where we find that most companies fail. They try to create strong secure passwords, but then no one can remember them so people either write them down “somewhere safe” or save the passwords in their internet browsers, which are extremely easy to extract that data from. This then makes the strong password redundant.
We always recommend having a strong password in place, but comprise it of things you will remember, such as your dogs name with a capital, followed by your favourite colour with a capital at the end and followed up with the make of your first car and the year your bought it.
Just by having a password such as that would take years to crack. Mine would be 21 characters and according to random-ize would take 494607663621551360000 years to crack.