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
    What you need to know for compliance coast-to-coast. Back in 2020 we posted an article containing links to data breach laws from each state, and it has proven to be one of our more popular posts.  Because laws surrounding the use (and abuse) of technology are always evolving, we thought it was worth taking another […]
    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! In the spirit of October and Halloween we have put together a gallery of our “spooky” Awareness Posters at halloween.infotex.com. Use them to help decorate for the holiday! Check […]
    With nearly three in four people using third-party payment services tied to their bank accounts, the risk isn’t limited to your own policies and procedures… An article review. When working on cybersecurity awareness messages for your customers you may be inclined to focus on your own systems, but a new study on security in digital […]
    PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE BUSINESS NEWS NEW EMPLOYEE FOR INFOTEX infotex is excited to announce that Cody Smith has joined the team as the newest Data Security Analyst. Cody holds several industry certifications (including the most recent: SSCP) as well as a B.S in Cyber Security & Information Assurance from Western Governors University. […]
    It’s all about protecting Customer information . . . In 1999 the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) directed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and other federal banking agencies to ensure that financial institutions have policies, procedures, and controls in place to prevent the unauthorized disclosure of customer financial information.  The FDIC and other federal banking agencies […]
    A Ghoulish Gallery! Just a few scary-themed Awareness posters from our collection, which you can see at posters.infotex.com! Below you will find both the vertical and horizontal versions of each of the posters, all you need to do is “right-click > “Save link as…” to download! Vertical 8.5″ x 11″ Format   Horizontal 11″ x […]
    What to Expect in an Annual Information Security Report to the Board Webinar-Movie Information security ranks as a top risk to financial institutions, both in terms of likelihood and overall impact. It is important that boards receive annual comprehensive reporting from management about the information security risks and incidents, and the actions taken to address […]
    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! Check out posters.infotex.com for the whole collection! Download the large versions here: Awareness Poster (Portrait) Awareness Poster (Landscape)   You are welcome to print out and distribute this around […]
    With the potential to break all existing forms of encryption, quantum computing poses a unique challenge… An article review. While quantum computing has been a buzzword for some time now the technology remains largely theoretical, with small scale proofs-of-concept that still suffer from serious limitations.  That hasn’t stopped security researchers from worrying about the technology’s […]
    A new way of helping people “read” new guidance… Look for more in the future! To save you time, we are proud to present “Adam Reads” . . . recorded versions of our Guidance Summaries! Below you can find an embedded player for the audio file. If you are having issues with that working, you […]