About Us | Contact Us
View Cart

Time To Re-Think Mandatory Password Changes?

By Matt Jolley | Monday, March 7, 2016 - Leave a Comment


Aging, in an attempt to be security-focused policy, could have unintended consequences which put data at risk. 


ServIcons_ITAudit_01

A new blog post by the Federal Trade Commission’s Chief Technologist offers new research and insight on a subject our Managing Partner Dan Hadaway originally brought up all the way back in 2009*: the unintended consequences of mandatory routine password changes.

While it is a common industry practice to require users to change their passwords on a regular basis–usually every 90 days but sometimes as frequently as every 30–in practice this can cause users to select weaker passwords that are easier to remember even as they change, and are equally easy to guess if someone has found one of the previous passwords.

This was the conclusion of a study published by researchers at UNC Chapel Hill which went on to find that if a previous password was known for a site which required regular changes that the new password could be found for 41% of accounts within only three seconds’ work from a password cracking application.

In addition, the study found that users who had to perform frequent password updates were more inclined to use weaker passwords to begin with and they were more likely to write those passwords down–both things which can compromise security and negate the perceived benefits of regular password changes.

The study author concludes by saying that while there may be some justification for such policies in some situations, in others passwords should be changed only when there was reason to: if there was a suspicion the password may have been compromised, if the password had to be given to a friend or a phishing attack was suspected.

Regardless of whether such policies are changed as a result of this study, it is important to be aware that they may not confer as many benefits as has been accepted as common knowledge in the past.

*(Note, the Dan’s New Leaf article we linked to was a re-post of the original article, The Password Manifesto, published in several bank trade magazines in late 2008.)


Original article by Lorrie Cranor, Chief Technologist at the Federal Trade Commission.


same_strip_012513


 

Posted in Article Reviews

Latest News
    Another awareness poster for YOUR customers (and users).  Now that we have our own employees aware, maybe it’s time to start posting content for our customers! Download the large versions here: Awareness Poster (Portrait) Awareness Poster (Landscape)   You are welcome to print out and distribute this around your office. Interested in one of ours […]
    Many organizations still fail to consider the unique risks posed by cloud computing… An article review. Last month thousands of Western Digital MyCloud device owners learned about the risks of cloud-based solutions the hard way: their data had been wiped remotely due to a flaw in the internet-facing component of their external hard drives. While […]
    infotex does not use Kaseya… We are protecting our Clients! Another blog post meant to inspire thought about IT Governance . . . . To all infotex managed security service Clients: As you may be aware there was a large ransomware attack recently that leveraged a remote management tool called Kaseya that is used by many […]
    While we’re not a news service, we often use current events to comment on trends and our services. This blog is intended to get people thinking about topics and trends in Technology Risk Management, through our article reviews, as well as through original blog articles about current events and our MSSP services (such as our […]
    PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE BUSINESS NEWS Dan Hadaway and Sara Fultz co-wrote an article in the Spring 2021 issue of the Ohio Record, the Official Magazine of the Ohio Bankers League.  Find out on page 20 and 21 of the magazine how tabletop testing strengthens bank cybersecurity. You can read the article here! […]
    You’ve heard it from every MSSP you’ve met: the definition of a SIEM is in the eye of the beholder. But at infotex, we are not talking about the database – an asset whose definition is continuously evolving. We’re talking about the way three teams collaborate in an overall Technology Risk Monitoring process. And whether […]
    After the large number of high-profile breaches in the recent months, it is easy to become disconcerted about how to prevent such things from happening to your Bank. The answer to preventing a breach is a very complex one. infotex will explore this with you! The heightened level of awareness and extra protective tendencies that […]
    A follow-up on Dan’s 2008 Password Manifesto On the NIST Publication on Digital Identity Guidelines Another one of those Dan’s New Leaf Posts, meant to inspire thought about IT Governance . . . . In June 2017, NIST released a special publication on digital identity, NIST SP 800-63, that is starting to get the attention […]
    Another awareness poster for YOUR customers (and users).  Now that we have our own employees aware, maybe it’s time to start posting content for our customers! Download the large versions here: Awareness Poster (Portrait) Awareness Poster (Landscape)   You are welcome to print out and distribute this around your office. Interested in one of ours […]
    Over Seven Billion Usernames Have Been Leaked in Breaches Since 2011… An article review. An unfortunate fact of modern life seems to be the inevitable announcement of new data breaches, and if you’ve lost track of how many breaches you’ve had to perform a risk assessment on you’re probably not alone…but just how much personal […]