How Hard-to-Decipher Passwords Can Help Prevent Company Data Breaches

Published on
Data protection

There are many complicated, expensive, high-tech methods to reinforce a cybersecurity strategy. Companies should invest in robust resources and holistic protocols, but instilling strong password creation habits is a great place to start when preventing data breaches. Every business, regardless of size, can research the requirements for devising hard-to-decipher passwords to save employee and customer data from cyber threats.

What Makes Powerful Passwords

Cybersecurity professionals recommend various criteria to follow when creating a new password. These have changed over time as hacking methods became more advanced, meaning they could be subject to change in the future.

Understanding the industry’s volatility is essential because it reinforces staying in the loop. Read the news and consult cybersecurity experts in the future to ensure you’re abiding by current recommendations.

Here are the industry’s current standards for creating passwords that confuse cybercriminals:

  • Use unique passwords for every account that are contextually different, not just one character off
  • Have more than 14 characters
  • Employ every possible character, including uppercase and lowercase letters plus numbers and symbols
  • Avoid passwords that provide personal information, such as family members’ names or pets’ names

Companies can offer password managers or secure password generators for those who struggle to create or remember credentials. These resources are a few among many that provide additional security measures for passwords because they are internally encrypted and secure behind other authentication measures, including a well-constructed password.

How Hard-to-Decipher Passwords Protect Companies

Companies should expect a data breach now, even if their defenses comply with industry standards. Cyberattacks are not partial to large or small companies – everyone is susceptible. Therefore, a cybersecurity strategy should start with the basics because that will be the more influential player in protecting a company from data breaches.

Compromised passwords and stolen credentials cause over 80% of breaches. If a corporation prevents these breaches by training employees with better habits and incorporating better password policies, the company could make that number close to zero. It will save millions for companies as the cost of recovering from a cyberattack increases. Additionally, it will save an organization’s reputation. If customers know your business is secure to use, patronage and loyalty will increase.

Passwords secure more than names and email addresses – they are the way into digital resources. Imagine a hacker manipulating everything from schedules to recorded materials or sending false communications from supposedly secure software. Especially if a company’s software manages customers alongside employees, mismanaged passwords could influence their lives, like credit card applications or applications to a university.

Enterprises should know that one secure password could protect countless insecure passwords. Suppose a hacker enters a company-wide database with one set of credentials, accessing numerous customer accounts. In that case, a company can’t know how many customers employed security measures, such as email notifications for new-device logins. They may not know anything happened until your company releases a statement about the breach.

What Habits Supplement Strong Password Creation

A method closely tied to strong password use is two-factor or multi-factor authentication (2FA or MFA). Most of us use MFA and don’t even know it by that name. Ever received a text message or email with a code to complete a login process? That’s MFA at work.

An extra layer of security like that halts hackers – even if they have your credentials – because it’s unlikely they also have access to the device receiving the authentication alert. Plus, if you receive an authentication alert you didn’t prompt, you can start appropriate account recovery and protection measures, like reporting fraudulent activity. Add security questions for a bonus layer of account protection.

Businesses should also monitor and update systems. Passwords, like programs, need regular updates and scans to ensure no vulnerabilities or breaches occur without your knowing about it. IT teams can schedule regular prompts for employees to change their passwords regularly and perform security scans to ensure nothing has been tampered with.

A company can also take charge of educating employees. Teaching them how to create strong passwords is only one piece in a long list of password management advice, including but not limited to the following:

  • Always sign out of your accounts when finished.
  • Never sign into devices that are not yours.
  • Don’t input credentials while using unsecured internet connections.
  • Don’t respond to any requests for your password.
  • Keep passwords off post-it notes or easily accessible apps.
  • Never allow your browser or apps to save passwords.

Prevent Data Breaches With Passwords

Creating a strong password is one of the most reliable foundations for stopping data breaches. It isn’t infallible, but education on smart passwords creates better digital behaviors. Learning this strategy encourages better cybersecurity hygiene and joins other efforts to create a safe and secure digital environment.


Join 34,209 IT professionals who already have a head start

Network with the biggest names in IT and gain instant access to all of our exclusive content for free.

Get Started Now