Welcome!

Cloud Security Authors: Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Zakia Bouachraoui, Terry Ray, Yeshim Deniz

Related Topics: Cloud Security, Microservices Expo

Cloud Security: Blog Post

Wild Ways People Remember Their Passwords [#Security]

And why breaches are likely because of them

By Dean Wiech

Everyone has done it, used some kind of wild way to remember user names and passwords. Let’s face it, the rules for managing passwords is overwhelming. People are required to remember numerous sets of credentials for all of the systems and applications they need to access their job and personal life, but it’s often too difficult to remember them all.

In addition, passwords often are required to be complex with several different symbols and characters, and they often need to be changed every month or so. Given all of the rules and parameters, how is anyone supposed to keep track, and remember, all of this information on top of all the work they need to complete, PIN codes they need to recall and every other detail that takes up much needed bandwidth?

How do most people remember their passwords? Chances are they keep all of their pass codes in some type of non-secure method to remember them. Given my line of work with clients facing complex password issues, I’ve witnessed many wild ways in which end users use to remember passwords. Frighteningly so, some people even believe that their methods for password “storage” are safe and don’t realize that they are actually putting their organizations at risk.

Though organizational leaders may think that requiring employees to use complex passwords that get changed often is making their network secure, reality is this is often counterintuitive and leads employees to user unsecure methods.

Here are just some of wildest ways I’ve seen people store their passwords:

  1. Since employees feel they have to constantly login, many folks keep their credentials in front of them, written on Post-It notes, pasted to their computer screen in plain sight of passersby. That just makes it a lot easier for hackers to gain access to critical information.
  2. Some people think that if they hide their passwords, this will keep their information more secure. Many employees, however, actually keep their password sheets in their desk drawer or under their keyboards, falsely assuming no one will just open the drawer or move the keyboard and take a peek.
  3. Recently, one of our employees visited the doctor’s office and saw that the receptionist actually had her passwords listed on a recipe card atop the desk next to her monitor in clear view of everyone coming and going. Next to that card were instructions – step by step — for accessing all of her accounts.
  4. Some people even use an invention that they believe is helping them keep their passwords safe: A type of notebook that looks like a phone book allowing them to write down their passwords and organize them. Sure, this is good for organization, but what happens when someone finds the notebook and has access to all of the credentials?

Chances are, many employees in virtually every organization use these methods, but these strategies can cause security risks for any organization. Luckily, though, there are easy ways to stop employees from using such unsecure methods.

One way is with a simple single sign-on solution. An SSO allows employees to create a single set of credentials for all of their systems and applications, eliminating the need to write down passwords or use other unsecure methods for storing their information. Employees simply log in with their credentials and thereafter are authenticated in each of their applications automatically after they are launched.

So, while it may be funny to read how employees remember their passwords, it won’t be funny when your organization faces a security breach because of it.

Dean Wiech is managing director of Tools4ever, a global provider of identity and access management solutions.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Bob Gourley

Bob Gourley writes on enterprise IT. He is a founder of Crucial Point and publisher of CTOvision.com

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
The deluge of IoT sensor data collected from connected devices and the powerful AI required to make that data actionable are giving rise to a hybrid ecosystem in which cloud, on-prem and edge processes become interweaved. Attendees will learn how emerging composable infrastructure solutions deliver the adaptive architecture needed to manage this new data reality. Machine learning algorithms can better anticipate data storms and automate resources to support surges, including fully scalable GPU-c...
Machine learning has taken residence at our cities' cores and now we can finally have "smart cities." Cities are a collection of buildings made to provide the structure and safety necessary for people to function, create and survive. Buildings are a pool of ever-changing performance data from large automated systems such as heating and cooling to the people that live and work within them. Through machine learning, buildings can optimize performance, reduce costs, and improve occupant comfort by ...
The explosion of new web/cloud/IoT-based applications and the data they generate are transforming our world right before our eyes. In this rush to adopt these new technologies, organizations are often ignoring fundamental questions concerning who owns the data and failing to ask for permission to conduct invasive surveillance of their customers. Organizations that are not transparent about how their systems gather data telemetry without offering shared data ownership risk product rejection, regu...
René Bostic is the Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America. Enjoying her career with IBM during the modern millennial technological era, she is an expert in cloud computing, DevOps and emerging cloud technologies such as Blockchain. Her strengths and core competencies include a proven record of accomplishments in consensus building at all levels to assess, plan, and implement enterprise and cloud computing solutions. René is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a m...
Poor data quality and analytics drive down business value. In fact, Gartner estimated that the average financial impact of poor data quality on organizations is $9.7 million per year. But bad data is much more than a cost center. By eroding trust in information, analytics and the business decisions based on these, it is a serious impediment to digital transformation.
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
Predicting the future has never been more challenging - not because of the lack of data but because of the flood of ungoverned and risk laden information. Microsoft states that 2.5 exabytes of data are created every day. Expectations and reliance on data are being pushed to the limits, as demands around hybrid options continue to grow.
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities - ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups.
As IoT continues to increase momentum, so does the associated risk. Secure Device Lifecycle Management (DLM) is ranked as one of the most important technology areas of IoT. Driving this trend is the realization that secure support for IoT devices provides companies the ability to deliver high-quality, reliable, secure offerings faster, create new revenue streams, and reduce support costs, all while building a competitive advantage in their markets. In this session, we will use customer use cases...