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Why good password hygiene is essential

Many people, a survey finds, continue to use weak passwords. Yet even with secure passwords, hackers can present a risk. Is it time to move towards biometrics?

Photo by Joshua Woroniecki, <a href="https://unsplash.com/s/photos/laptop?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Unsplash</a>
Photo by Joshua Woroniecki, Unsplash

The importance of good hygiene has been a common discussion point over the past year and is likely to remain so into the foreseeable future. With World Password Day coming up on May 6, it is useful to be reminded that good password hygiene is important.

In fact, good password hygiene is an essential way for businesses and individual users to protect the health of their data; especially in light of the FBI estimated 4,000 ransomware attacks being carried out on a daily basis. With the approaching World Password Day in mind, Don Boxley, who is the CEO and Co-Founder of DH2i, explains to Digital Journal why strong password maintenance is essential.

Boxley begins by explaining why so many get password security wrong: “While few would argue the necessity of choosing a strong password, many continue to ignore how best to do so and instead choose the types of easy-to-guess, predictable passwords that have plagued data security since the beginning of digital login credentials. However, the truth is that when it comes to data security, even the most complicated, random and continuously changing password is rarely enough.” These means other forms of data protection are needed.

There is a boost in workplaces from IT professionals, as Boxley points out, these key workers “know this and have worked to fortify their organization’s network and data security with additional enhancements. While VPNs have historically been the data access and security solution of choice, more recently they have proven to be less than reliable.”

In terms of the current situation, Boxley finds: “Research conducted prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and the unfathomable increase in ransomware and other bad actors showed that of those already utilizing VPNs, 62 percent cited inadequate security as their number one VPN pain point. And almost 40 percent of those responsible for keeping ransomware and other malware from penetrating their network, believed that in fact, it already had.”

As to the solution, this follows on logically according to Boxley: “This is why so many in the industry are now turning to software defined perimeter (SDP) solutions to replace their outdated VPNs. With SDPs, users are able to construct lightweight, discreet, scalable, and highly available “secure-by-app” connections between edge devices, on-premises, remote, and/or cloud environments. Contrary to VPN design, SDP solutions were engineered specifically for the way we work and live today — which when combined with effective passwords, will provide virtually impenetrable protection now and into the future.”

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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