Drug testing

Passwords and the Human Factor

Passwords have a strange dual nature. The stronger and safer the password the more likely it will be undermined by human weakness.

It is widely known that passwords are the most common means of access control. It is also common knowledge that passwords are the easiest way to compromise a system. Passwords have two basic functions. First, they allow initial entry to a system. Next, after access, they grant permission to various levels of information. This access can range from public data to restricted trade secrets and pending patents.

The best passwords are a lengthy and complex mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. The tendency for people when using these formats is to write them down, store them on a hand held device, etc. thus destroying the integrity of the password.

The integrity of passwords can be circumvented through "Human Engineering." People can unwittingly make grave errors of judgment in situations that they may view as harmless or even helpful. For example, a password is shared with a forgetful employee and a system can be compromised. In more ominous cases, a con artist or hacker can phone a na?ve employee and present themselves as senior executives or help desk personnel and obtain that persons password. People have also been duped by callers claiming emergencies, cajoling or even threatening the employees job if a password is not provided.

These human lapses can be addressed through employee training and written policies that provide solid guidance and procedures in these circumstances. Training in information security, including password protocols, should be mandatory for every employee of the enterprise. Management support of this training and the security policy is critical to its success. To be effective, training should be repetitive with quarterly reviews of the company policy. There can also be frequent reminders, such as banners, about password security that appear during logons.

Management must not only support security measures, they must also provide a written and enforced policy statement. These written policies should be developed with assistance from the I.T. department as well as the human resource and legal departments. Written policies should be a part of the employee's introduction to the company and should be reviewed at least twice a year. It is also critical that the employee sign off on the document indicating that they received, read, and understood its contents. Firms that ignore these practices do so at their own risk.

Enforcement is an important partner to training. A policy that is not enforced is far worse than no policy at all. In fact, haphazard enforcement or lack of enforcement can increase a company's liability in many legal actions. To work, a policy must have "teeth". There should be a range of consequences for lapses whether it is a single event or multiple or flagrant incidents. This can range from a verbal warning all the way to termination.

In summary, passwords can be kept more secure by recognizing the human factor. Through management initiative, communication and training, as well as written and enforced policies and procedures, companies can have more control over their information assets and keep their clients and partners much safer.

About The Author

Terrence F. Doheny

President, Beyond If Solutions,LLC

www.beyondifsolutions.com

terry@beyondifsolutions.com

In The News:

Aircraft manufacturer Airbus has revealed an airliner concept design that bears a striking resemblance to a ‘bird of prey.”
With the launch of its Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft, India is planning to join an exclusive group of countries that have successfully landed on the Moon.
Marine scientists have released a stunning video of a strange critter, the piglet squid, floating along with its tentacles waving above its head in the central Pacific Ocean near Palmyra Atoll.
The remains of a 1,200-year-old mosque have been discovered in Israel’s Negev desert. The ancient structure is one of the earliest known mosques in the world, according to experts.
If you thought fictional zombies walking around on film were scary, the condition that turns creatures into mindless eating machines actually exists in nature. — in ants.
If creating a Facebook event to "storm Area 51" wasn't ridiculous enough, perhaps storming the Bermuda Triangle will be the coup de grace.
The world rejoiced when Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins safely splashed down in the Pacific Ocean on July 24, 1969, after their incredible journey to the Moon.
Perhaps the most famous steps in history, the Mayflower Steps have supposedly been located in a surprising, yet somewhat cheeky spot — under a women's restroom in an English pub.
News of a 4,600-year-old "pyramid" or "pyramid island," supposedly discovered on a Greek island in the Aegean Sea, has been making the rounds online.
It could be described as fate, luck or good timing. A female turtle rescued by a conservation group as an egg was miraculously returned to the same New Jersey wetlands group almost 19 years later to the day that they released it back into the wild.

Healthy Webmasters Choose Ergonomic Computer Products

Webmasters usually sit at their computers much longer in a... Read More

How I Started Working With 3D Modeling Programs

So I'll start from the very beginning.One day I was... Read More

EDTV vs HDTV

Confused by EDTV vs HDTV? We don't blame you. The... Read More

Build Your Own Computer

I'm eighty-one years old and I bought my first computer... Read More

What Exactly are Screensavers? - part I

After reading this good article you will know some important... Read More

Is DVD Storage An Attractive Alternative For Your Computer Backup?

If you have a computer for home use or for... Read More

If You are the Only User on Your Windows XP Computer, Do You Think One User Account Is Enough?

I am going to assume that you are running windows... Read More

The Many Benefits of Owning a DVR

Has This Ever Happened To You? OK.. it's Friday night,... Read More

Gain Control Over Your Screensavers With These Simple Steps

We all enjoy our favorite screensavers but in the same... Read More

Microsoft Great Plains Dexterity Customizations

Microsoft Business Solutions is on the way to popularize it's... Read More

Put Order and Information into File Names

Unless you place your faith in internal search engine software... Read More

MobiTV and Visual Stimulation Imput for Personal Cognitive Performance

Stimulus thru Caffiene or Visual Input?It appears that the Mobi... Read More

Be Your Own IT Department

If you use a computer, you need to know more... Read More

Help, I Need a New HDTV! (Part 2 of 5)

Feeling overwhelmed in selecting a new TV? With all the... Read More

Palm PC critique

I met an entrepreneur who hole heartedly disagree with an... Read More

Learn the Lost Art of Touch Typing

Computers have replaced typewriters, but two-finger, hunt-and-peck typing can never... Read More

How To Speed Up Your Aging PC And Make It Healthier Too

With a little tweaking and with proper tools, you can... Read More

Cisco Certification: The Most Important Cisco Study Youll Ever Do

All of us are familiar with the pyramids of Egypt.... Read More

How to Use SQLXML to Retrieve Data from SQL Server Database?

Using SQL Server 2000 and above versions you can retrieve... Read More

A Tale of Two Regeds

Tech support tells me to type 'regedt32' as opposed to... Read More

Home Electronics: The Facts About Plasma TV

Not so many years ago, homes across the country watched... Read More

Tips For Finding Great Deals On Computer Accessories & Supplies

Tip #1. Do a Google search. Don't be to general... Read More

Troubleshooting Computer Freeze (Lockup) Problems

How familiar does the following sound? Your computer was working... Read More

Windows Task Manager in English

You use Ctrl+Alt+Del to see what's running on your PC,... Read More

A Beginners Guide to Avoiding Viruses

"Aaaaaahhhhhh! I've been invaded by a virus!" Getting a virus... Read More

induction lighting led bulbs for sale Pete's produce ..