When it comes to managing your company’s IT sector, convenience and security often feel at odds.
While complex, lengthy passwords made of up of a meaningless string of characters are great for deterring would-be hackers, they’re not so much fun when you and your employees find yourselves spending ten minutes just to type in a password. Worst of all, a forgotten password is just as much a security liability as a weak password. Having to constantly reset your passwords just leads to more, potentially dangerous mistakes and creates flaws in your security.
How, then, is a company expected to best balance security and convenience? In a time where companies are striving to squeeze out every last ounce of efficiency while at the same time being faced with more cybersecurity threats than ever before, both security and convenience are in high-demand. To help you achieve the optimum balance of both, here are our tips for balancing security and convenience when it comes to your business’s technology.
Use Unique Identifier Passwords
As you can imagine, a password such as “Xc435Btr2#!!” is magnitudes stronger than a password such as “password123”. Computer programs designed to crack passwords always start by guessing combinations of common words, so it really doesn’t matter what words your password uses – if your password isn’t a random string of characters then it is going to be easier to crack.
The problem is that passwords made from a random string of characters are difficult to remember. Because of this, many people end up using the same password for all of their accounts. This, though, is even more dangerous than using easy-to-guess passwords. If a cybercriminal is able to gain access to just one account you’ll have given them access to all of your accounts.
The solution, therefore, that is both the most convenient and the most secure is to use passwords that contain unique identifiers. To do this, take a string of random characters (for
example, Xc435Btr2#!!). This string of random characters will serve as the base for all your passwords and will stay the same for all your accounts. However, say you were creating a password for your Google account. This password would then look something like “Xc435Btr2#!!Google”. Your Yahoo password would be “Xc435Btr2#!!Yahoo” and so on.
Of course, this is just one example of the many different systems you could use to make unique identifier passwords. For example, you may want to use the first and last letter of the website as your unique identifier so that your Google password would look something like “Xc435Btr2#!!GE”.
The more creative you get with your unique identifier, the more secure your passwords will be. By making use of this method, though, you can make it so that you and your employees essentially only have to remember one password while at the same time ensuring that the passwords to all your accounts are unique.
Make Sure Everyone is on the Same Page
Convenience and security may be at odds, but being informed and on the same page is a benefit to both of them. If you would like to improve both the security and efficiency of your company, start by making sure you have proper security protocols in place and making sure that both you and your employees fully understand these protocols.
Putting together effective security protocols, though, can be a challenge. Making sure you and all your employees fully understand and follow these protocols once they are in place can be even more of a challenge. One way to surmount both of these challenges, though, is with a security assessment.
During a security assessment, IT security experts will thoroughly analyze your existing security procedures and technologies. Once this analysis is complete, they will recommend areas where improvements can be made and offer attainable ways to improve these areas.
Once you have an air-tight security system in place, the next step in a security assessment is to make sure everyone understands it. The experts performing the security assessment will go over the new system with you and your entire management staff, making it easy for the information to be relayed down to the entire company.
By making sure everyone fully understands the security system that is in place, costly mistakes can be avoided. At the same time, day-to-day activities involving your company’s technology can be made faster and more efficient. In this way, a security assessment offers you both convenience and security in a way that doesn’t compromise either one.
Embrace New Technology
As technology advances, convenience and security become easier and easier to balance. Already we’re seeing biometric security measures such as facial recognition, fingerprint scanning, and even iris scanning being implemented that make securing our devices and accounts highly convenient. Of course, so far, these measures are largely limited to mobile platforms, and even still there are a lot of bugs left to be worked out. For example, there’s the unfortunate incident where Samsung Galaxy S8 owners were able to trick their phone’s facial recognition software and unlock the device just by using a photograph. As time goes on, though, biometric security technology will undoubtedly become more and more advanced, offering high levels of security and convenience.
Another technology that many websites are starting to embrace is two-factor authentication. After correctly entering your password, a second, randomly-generated password is sent to your mobile phone. This second password must then be entered correctly as well before you are allowed access to the account. It’s a system that isn’t extremely convenient, but it’s just about as secure as they come. Unless a person has access to your phone there’s simply no way they’re getting past a two-factor authentication.
Biometric passwords and two-factor authentication are just two examples of how advancing technology is making securing our devices and accounts more effective and convenient. By embracing new technology at your company as it comes available, achieving both convenience and security will be much easier.
Find the Right Balance
Until the day comes when absolute convenience and absolute security are both made possible at the same time, it’s important to find the right balance between the two. By using secure, time-saving tactics such as unique identifier passwords, embracing new technology as it comes available, and making sure everyone in your company fully understands and follows effective security protocols, you should be able to create a system within your company that is both user-friendly and fully able to safeguard you against potentially devastating hacks.
Contact Us today if you have any questions.