The internet has expanded in the past few decades to include nearly all of the necessary tools for both personal and business needs. That means we are using a password to access everything from our grocery lists and accounts for every retailer we shop with to our corporate network and multiple cloud-based applications that we depend to get our work done every day. The average business employee has to remember 191 different account passwords according to a 2017 report from Last Pass and it is all too easy to use the same password for multiple accounts. Businesses need to protect their systems to ensure that a data breach of a popular grocery list application doesn't expose the password that your employee used for remembering to pick up milk AND to log in to business-critical applications on your network.
Requiring users to use strong passwords is an important way to improve the cybersecurity of your network, but do not replace the need for other effective security controls. There is no single definition of what makes a strong password and like all things in technology, the requirements continue to evolve as hackers develop more sophisticated tools themselves. Common guidelines for creating strong passwords include:
At Least 12 Characters, Minimum
While there is no minimum password length that everyone agrees on, passwords that are 12-14 characters in length are generally considered strong.
Include Numbers, Capital Letters & Lower-Case Letters, and Symbols
Passwords are case sensitive and using a mix of character types makes a password harder to crack.
Avoid Dictionary Words or Combinations of Dictionary Words
Don't use obvious dictionary words or a combination of words, especially if they're obvious combinations. For example, Road is a bad choice, and Long Road is equally bad.
Avoid Character Repetition and Keyboard Patterns
The top 15 Most Commonly Used Passwords include various lengths of 123456789 as well as 666666, 111111 and qwerty. Any sequence of letters and numbers on the keyboard or repeated character weakens a password.
Don’t Use Obvious Letter/Number/Symbol Substitutions
Don’t rely on common character substitutions in dictionary words, replacing O with zero or A with @, it's just obvious.
Avoid Using Personal Information, Names, Dates or ID Numbers
Avoid using any information that another person might associate with you or that could in public records such as your own name, names or relatives or pets, anniversary or birthday dates, addresses, or nicknames.
Ensuring employee compliance of a strong password policy can only be ensured if the applications require strong user passwords. OpenEye Web Services allows administrators to require strong passwords and also define the structure of the passwords of both users and guest users independently. Guest users' password requirements might be less strict than users who have access to search cameras, change settings and create reports. Because OpenEye recorders and OWS use single sign-on, the strong passwords set in OWS will protect your system no matter where they sign in whether they are at the console, at a work station or on a web browser.
How to Define and Enforce Strong Passwords in OWS
Keep your accounts secure and ensure compliance with cybersecurity best practices for passwords. Define and enforce strong passwords for OWS user and guest user accounts.
Customize the password requirements for user accounts and for guest user accounts. Set the minimum number of characters for password length, uppercase characters, lowercase characters, numeric characters, and special characters.
Strong passwords are just one part of a strong cybersecurity policy. Multifactor Authentication (MFA or 2FA) and Restricting Remote Access are other tools to make sure that only authorized users are logging in to your video security system. Learn more about OpenEye's commitment to cybersecurity and data protection to see how we make your network more secure while reducing the burden on IT and operations.