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Some password advice

Published: 2015-09-13
Last Updated: 2015-09-14 12:54:55 UTC
by Mark Hofman (Version: 1)
5 comment(s)

No not from me, but from the UK government. 

GZ (thanks) sent a link through to this document https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/458857/Password_guidance_-_simplifying_your_approach.pdf published by the UK government.  

The document is a little bit different to many other such advise handed out by many organisations in that it is aimed more at system administrators rather than end users.  As far as the actual advise to system administrators.  It is nothing too revolutionary, but then we are dealing with passwords.  And there isn't anything there that most of us wouldn't agree with.  It does server as a little reminder that we should all be taking some care with passwords.  

The 7 tips are: 

  1. Change default passwords
  2. Help users deal with all their passwords
  3. Understand limitations of user generated passwords
  4. Understand limitations of machine generated passwords
  5. Prioritise Administrators and Remote user accounts
  6. Use account lockouts and protective monitoring
  7. Don't store passwords as plain text

None are earth shattering, yet all of us know that pretty much every organisation has users with passwords of Password123, Changeme, Welcome1 and of course Ashley Madison user favourites 123456.  Numbers 1 and 7 feature in most penetration testing reports you  read or write.

So whilst these tips provided by the UK government aren't new or fantastic I would encourage you to spend a few minutes reading the document and on Monday see how your organisation meets, exceeds or perhaps fails in one or more of them.  

We'll be stuck with passwords for a while yet, we should at least make people work for them a bit harder.  

Cheers

Mark H 

 

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