Security best practices: Your ultimate guide to creating unbreakable passwords

Security best practices: Your ultimate guide to creating unbreakable passwords

While passwords remain a cornerstone of digital security, they're no longer enough to hold the line against today's cunning cyberattacks. A single compromised password can leave your entire digital defense vulnerable, leading to negative financial and reputational consequences that your business may never recover from.

Don't settle for good enough passwords. To truly fortify your defenses against today's sophisticated attacks, follow these essential password best practices:

Create a hack-proof password

Hackers often crack passwords through brute force attacks, using advanced software to guess all possible combinations of a password until they find the right one. Brute force attacks are powerful, but they can be stopped with the right strategies:

  • Don’t use personal information: Don’t use important dates, your loved ones' or pets' names, or your address in your passwords. If the cybercriminal trying to crack your password knows who you are or has access to your personal information, they can use this knowledge to guess your password.
  • Use a minimum of 12 characters: The longer your password, the more possible combinations there could be, which makes guessing your password exponentially more difficult, even for a computer.
  • Combine different characters: The more possible character types that can go into a particular slot, the harder it is for password-cracking algorithms to guess. Using letters, numbers, and symbols in concert can make brute-forcing your password more trouble than it’s worth.

Use a password manager

Creating unique, long passwords with multiple nonstandard characters is great for security, but not so great for the person having to remember them all. You could keep them on a sheet or document, but then your security is only as strong as that sheet.

A password manager is software that remembers and securely stores all of your passwords and automatically types them in for you when you log in to your accounts. It can even generate strong passwords for you.

Apps such as Dashlane, NordPass, and Chrome’s onboard password manager can suggest and store unique passwords for all your logins so you don’t have to spend a single second rifling through your documents to find the right one.

Don’t let passwords get stale

One of the most common password mistakes people make is not changing their passwords. Remember, the longer you use the same password, the more time someone has to figure it out. Set a schedule for changing passwords periodically, such as every three to six months, and always after any security incidents or suspected compromises. When changing passwords, make sure to prioritize length, complexity, and uniqueness to significantly hinder hacking attempts.

Enable multifactor authentication (MFA)

MFA is a feature that requires a user to present multiple credentials before being granted login access. Think of it as a layered security blanket. Even if a determined attacker unravels the first layer (your password), they're still left facing additional challenges to reach your data.

MFA typically requires one of the following pieces of information on top of passwords:

  • One-time passcodes generated by an authenticator on your smartphone or sent to your email
  • Simple push notifications on your smartphone
  • Answers to personal questions you have preset
  • Biometric data, such as fingerprints or facial scans
  • RF keys, USB fobs, or other physical keys

Partner with cybersecurity experts

For many cybercriminals, cracking your password is a full-time job, so you need someone on your side whose full-time job is to outmaneuver these relentless attackers. That's where cybersecurity experts come in. They dedicate themselves to staying ahead of the latest threats and implementing robust defenses to safeguard your business's critical assets.

Just like cybercriminals constantly refine their tactics, our cybersecurity experts at XBASE Technologies continuously update their knowledge and strategies. Partnering with us means you have a dedicated team by your side, always on alert and well equipped to combat evolving threats. This allows you to focus on your core business functions with the peace of mind that your data and systems are in capable hands.

Don't wait for a breach to happen. With XBASE as your partner, you can count on cybersecurity specialists to keep your systems safe from all manner of cyberattacks. Contact us today.