The Issue With Weak Passwords

Despite the increased security of passwords, we have determined that hackers are still able to hack the process. Moreover, according to Verizon, 81 % of all data breaches occurred due to weak or stolen passwords. We find these statistics extremely alarming. You definitely should get rid of weak passwords to improve your security before it becomes too late. We have researched two-factor authentication due to the second password required for logging in. There are changes currently in process we believe will permanently eliminate the need for passwords in the future.

Why Passwords Are Weak

We believe the majority of people are lazy because they do not want to remember long, complicated passwords. We have found the most secure passwords are the most difficult to remember, create and type. For this reason, the majority of employees use simple and more easily hacked passwords. Hackers already possess a list of stolen passwords and usernames. They continue to use them until they find the ones that work. Since most users have the same username and password for multiple accounts, the situation has become dire.

Stolen Passwords

We have seen numerous users share passwords. Moreover, many of the defaults are easy to guess because the user store them publicly in manuals. Sidefaultsnce most users do not change passwords regularly, hackers can use stolen passwords for long periods of time. Hackers use password cracking tools to guess passwords. Unfortunately, we have found these tools works also for strong passwords. Hackers steal the passwords through various hacker websites or unsecure networks and emails.

Many businesses take a long time to realize that their passwords have been stolen by a hacker. During this time, hackers are stealing sensitive information. We have also found malware enables hackers to steal passwords fairly easily. Many businesses remain unaware there is an issue. When a business does not remove the passwords and accounts of previous employees, there is a risk the former employees will access unauthorized information.

Improving Password Security

We highly recommend every business takes steps for improving password security and get rid of all weak passwords. Importantly, all strong passwords should include a combination of:

  • Three random words
  • Lowercase letters
  • Uppercase letters
  • Symbols
  • Numbers
  • A minimum of 16 characters

More Security Awareness Needed

We recommend changing passwords every 90 days, refraining from storing passwords or writing them down using sticky notes and eliminating all common numbers and known names. When employees are not paying attention, errors occur leading to successful cyberattacks. All employees should receive security awareness and basic cybersecurity training for the protection of the business. We believe this is imperative to help ensure sensitive data remains safe and secure.

Businesses can remain safer through the generation of complex passwords. We recommend a combination of a password generation tool and complex passwords for the effortless management of all passwords. To ensure passwords are unique and more difficult to hack, a minimum of 16 characters should be used. We have found a wide selection of password generator tools offering automated functions designed for the creation of complex password strings.

The tool stores and rotates the password strings to eliminate the need to memorize countless passwords including unique words, symbols, characters and uppercase and lowercase letters for each password. We also recommend MFA or multifactor authentication. We have found this critical for all modern businesses. MFA adds an additional security layer to help prevent advanced persistent threats for both the business and the customers.

Protect your account

What is FIDO?

FIDO is a new technology capable of overhauling the log-in-process. Businesses can combine new technology referred to as hardware security keys, fingerprint and face recognition and phones. We believe FIDO will get you rid of weak passwords such as 123456. With FIDO2, users authenticate themself for common devices of desktop and mobile online services.

FIDO standardizes hardware devices including security keys for secure authentication. Apart from that, it is being developed by numerous companies including Microsoft, Google, Nok Nok Labs, PayPal and Yubico. A security key is very similar to a digital house key, which means that the key is simply plugged into either a Lightning or USB port. This enables one digital security key to work seamlessly and securely with numerous apps and websites. The key can also be used with biometric authentication including Windows Hello and Face ID from Apple. Moreover, some security keys are even wireless.

FIDO enables services and sites to completely eliminate passwords. We believe this will make logins easier and more secure because hacking becomes a lot more difficult. We believe every major internet service will be using an alternative for passwords in the next five years. FIDO offers a wide range of benefits including:

Preventing Phishing

FIDO will only work if the website is legitimate to prevent phishing. This type of security attack enables hackers to use a bogus site and fraudulent email to trick users into providing their information for logins. FIDO additionally helps relieve business concerns regarding critical data breaches containing sensitive information such as account credentials. FIDO ensures hackers using stolen passwords will be unable to log on. If FIDO becomes popular, business passwords may be eliminated.

No Passwords for Signing On

Sign-ons using FIDO can work without passwords. The first step is opening the login page of the website. Once the user types the username in, tapping a button enables the biometric authentication feature of the laptop including Windows Hello and Touch ID from Apple. We like the convenience because the user can use smartphones as a security key. Once the user enters the name, the phone provides a prompt so it can be unlocked. The user then engages the biometric authentication system for approval.

Bluetooth establishes communication through a laptop. FIDO supports protection by multifactor authentication. At the end, users prove their log-in credentials in a minimum of two separate ways.

The FIDO Authentication Process

The first time we used FIDO, the experience was very similar to two-factor authentication. We typed in our conventional password first, then used FIDO for the connection to a hardware security key. This can also be accomplished by plugging-in. However, we still needed to use passwords. We found that the process was a lot more secure than passwords by themselves, enhanced by SMS codes or retrieved from any authenticators including Google.

Using both a security key and password enables the use of FIDO on Google, Twitter, Facebook, Dropbox and Microsoft services such as Windows and Outlook.com. We found the hardware security keys extremely secure. This is the reason they are being used by all Google employees, the computing services division of the Canadian government and congressional campaigns. Numerous customer services mandate plugging in the keys when a user logs in for the first time using a new phone or PC.

A plug-in may also be required for changing a password or sensitive actions including money transfers from a bank account. Having the security available when necessary is not difficult. FIDO identification is provided to browsers and websites through the WebAuthn feature. Android apps have FIDO built-in for users. Even Apple is now part of the FIDO alliance. This means there will be support for FIDO for iPhone apps. Microsoft is also a major supporter of FIDO. No-password logins have been enabled for numerous online services including Office, Outlook, Xbox Live and Skype.

Windows Hello fingerprint ID and face recognition technology require a hardware key. All phones using the authenticator app from Microsoft requires the combination of a PIN code and a hardware key. FIDO has been using the technology of public-key cryptography for decades for the pmrotection of credit card numbers. FIDO security devices offer a tremendous advantage. Both phones acting as hardware security keys and the keys themselves will not work with a fake website.

The importance Of Security Keys

One of the traps most frequently set by hackers is using a bogus website to phish for passwords. The registration of security keys makes it impossible to access anything other than legitimate websites. A security key means the website must provide proof to the security key as opposed to the website being verified through the user. Once Google mandated all employees must use security keys, all phishing attempts were effectively eliminated.

When no passwords are required, hackers have a lot less sensitive data available to steal. Our IT administrators consider this a type of computer magic. FIDO has successfully eliminated centralized databases hackers use for stealing company credentials. FIDO has earned our recommendation.

The Issues of Eliminating Passwords

Even though we are certain the efforts are worth the results, we realize the move to eliminating passwords will not be easy. Both businesses and individuals have become comfortable with the use of passwords. Everyone has developed a system for sorting passwords. It is more difficult to set up a security key than to create a password. The process can be complicated due to the range of procedures different websites use for the registration of security keys.

Certain services only allow a single security key. Until this changes, a backup key will not work. The good news is the current process for the registration of a security key is expected to significantly improve. During the period of time security keys have been available, the process has already become a lot simpler and smoother. Despite the number of security keys necessary for all of our accounts, we believe learning key management is worth the hassle due to the benefits we have received.

Hardware Security Keys To Enhance Security

We are not denying registering security keys can be difficult. We firmly believe the process is much safer and more secure than the use of passwords. Hardware security keys are a much better defense against cybercrimes than passwords. Although a forgotten password can be reset, the process is expensive and vulnerable to hackers interested in stealing accounts. We have learned the hard way creating and remembering unique and strong passwords for every site is nearly impossible.

FIDO empowers passwordless logins through the use of security keys to greatly enhance security. We know there are a lot of individuals more than willing to purchase an expensive safe for the protection of their valuables. These individuals use the latest in technology to ensure everything remains secure. We believe the protection of sensitive data is just as important if not more so.

Cloud Identity & Access Management Platforms

As every business team continues to grow, the management of user accounts and passwords increases in importance. We believe the answer is an identity management solution such as Teamstack. This convenient service is appropriate for all sized businesses. Teamstack is one of the best cloud identity & access management platforms currently available. The platform offers businesses convenient and secure access and above all, Teamstack works with more than 500 applications to simplify the process.

Teamstacck supports FIDO 2.0 to ensure businesses can place a Webauthn layer over not just normal passwords, but every login as well. The cloud identity management offered is simple to use in addition to working with tools previously installed on the computers. The other apps used by the business are automatically connected by Teamstaack to enable growth for the team of users. When customer, contractor and employee ability is automated, access to the most frequently used apps becomes a seamless experience.

More Security And Efficiency With Teamstack

The mission of Teamstack is the protection of business identities. This means the right people are able to log into the business systems, apps and websites. Users can log in whenever necessary because passwords are no longer required for access. This is due to the multi-factor authentication provided by Teamstack. Enterprise-grade security is provided by Teamstack in a simple and secure manner and the user does not need to be an expert in cybersecurity to use or understand the system.

The plans were created to be affordable for all sized businesses. Every company can now enjoy the same security features the majority of Fortune 500 companies have been using for years. Depending on the needs of the business, Teamstack offers both paid and free plans. The company is responsible for the creation of over 500 app integrations and has in excess of 750 teams using the tool including both Fortune 500 companies, new startups and everything in between.

Teamstack offers tools for linking systems using integrations to other apps and tools currently used by the business in a cloud-based environment. Teamstack can be custom-built for the business or built on-site and integrated for the company. Every sized modern business requires the best possible security. Teamstack is there to ensure the complex is much more manageable. In short, businesses save valuable time managing users and access through universally compliant access, security and logins.

The Bottom Line

When only the right people have access, the business systems and apps are safe. Although passwords may have been effective in the past, we believe new technology has made hacking and data breaches far too common. The best way to get rid of weak passwords and to protect any business is with Cloud Identity & Access Management Platforms such as Teamstack.