Almost every online interaction, whether it be a financial transaction, company login, or a simple email conversation, requires the use of a password. With data breaches becoming more common and prolific, passwords have evolved into complex strings of characters that are difficult to remember. Ironically, this conundrum has resulted in stores selling password books for recording all the numerous credentials individuals use on a daily basis; however, this defeats the very purpose of passwords. Consequently, the National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST) began researching past data breaches and experimenting with various password structures to identify better authentication practices. Besides providing NIST definitions for cloud computing, the NIST has also now provided guidelines to create safer passwords. Do you know how to create a safe and effective password for your profiles? Learn about NIST password guidelines and NIST compliance by reading on.
Authenticate: To prove or serve to prove to be real, true, or genuine.
Thats how Merriam-Webster defines the word, but how does authentication apply to your computing life?
To access our various banking, retail, library, mortgage, etc accounts, we need to first authenticate our identity / credentials, to prove that the person signing in is the account holder or an authorized proxy.
We all think our passwords are more or less secure. We use multiple variations or letters, numbers and symbols and change them on a regular basis. We keep passwords carefully hidden on a spreadsheet or Post-it notes, all to keep cybercriminals from getting into our business. But the fact is, over 80 percent of all data breaches today are still password-related.
History shows that societies with the best cryptography dominate the world. From the ancient Persians, to Germany, to England and the USA, there is at least a strong correlation between the robustness of a societys information security and their resultant global influence & success.
But what does that mean for you and your business? Are you aware that you probably use (or should use) encryption every single day? Data stored on your PCs hard drive is considered at rest – residing in one physical location for most of the time.