5 ways to celebrate World Password Day

(Last updated on December 19, 2017)

To those that aren’t familiar with the “holiday,” World Password Day was created to promote good password habits. Last year, we celebrated with Betty White who gave the world a password pep talk. This year, we want to share five ways to make this World Password Day one to remember:

  1. Educate end-users. Every year we get a new list of the top 25 most common passwords, we are reminded that we have turned a year older but none the wiser. Are your users safeguarding their accounts with weak passwords like 123456, qwerty, or password? It helps to educate your employees on password best practices. Start by showing them what a strong password should look like.
  2. Implement strong password policy. We know you feel bad for contributing to password fatigue when users already have 19 passwords to remember, but the burden falls on you to ensure that company’s data is not susceptible to attacks. Instead of leaving it up to users to create secure passwords and hope for the best, enforce a truly strong password policy that prevents them from creating weak passwords in the first place. Are your password policies enabling poor practice? This free tool, Specops Password Auditor, provides an overview of your password policies including change interval, dictionary enforcement, as well as relative strength.
  3. Review your password policy. If you already have one, time to revisit it and evaluate where adjustments can be made, especially after NIST and Microsoft had brought forth new password recommendations that veer away from conventional best practices. If navigating through new recommendations while meeting various compliance standards presents a challenge for you, this whitepaper Compliance and beyond: Future-proofing your password policy will help. Specops Password Auditor can also be used to measure your password policies against industry and compliance recommendations.
  4. Promote good password hygiene. A year ago, we ran a meme contest on Spiceworks asking IT professionals to create memes that captured their password management challenges. With over 100 submissions detailing various password faux pas, it is evident that most people still practice poor password hygiene today. If your users still write passwords down or never change them, here’re some tips on how you can better enforce good password practices.
  5. Layer up. Passwords are susceptible to a host of problems – keylogging, phishing, dictionary attacks, social engineering, to name a few. The JPMorgan breach, Target breach, Sony Pictures hack, IRS hack all highlighted the importance of having multi-factor authentication, which is known to mitigate against security risks because it is harder to compromise two or more credentials than the password alone. Enable multi-factor authentication where you can like Betty White suggested – lock it down twice and you won’t regret it!

So how are you going to celebrate World Password Day? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter @Specopssoftware!

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