There are few things that strike greater fear into the leadership of small businesses and nonprofit organizations than the thought of someone hacking into their private network. As a result, when a relatively easy way to help prevent data breaches by looking at passwords in a different light is developed, it makes sense to take the time to learn about it. One such new method that deserves your attention is known as three random words.
Three Random Words
The name of this new password technique, three random words, reinforces the simplicity and effectiveness of it. Instead of using easily cracked passwords or difficult to remember complex passwords, the concept behind three random words is to use basic easy to remember words that generally make no sense or have any relationship to the user. The UK National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) is one of the main backers of this strategy, and they have been heavily promoting it in the UK. Other cybersecurity experts also support this method as an effective way to improve password security.
Cybersecurity Threats Common Password Techniques
The reason that three random words and other innovative password methods have been developed is because of some of the weaknesses associated with traditional password techniques. The most common user passwords that involve a birthday, a nickname, a relative or pet’s name, or a favorite hobby or activity can be easily guessed by hackers who pore over publicly available information on social media and other online sources. Techniques such as substituting an exclamation point for 1, zero for the letter O, or $ for an S are also well-known to cybercriminals. Complex passwords are also somewhat ineffective as they are hard for users to remember, and hackers have developed software tools that can reveal them.
In addition, the advance of technology has assisted cybercriminals in their nonstop effort to breach networks and devices. With the increasing power of programs using algorithms designed to enter in countless random combinations of letters, numbers, and special characters, skilled cybercriminals are now able to crack a random alphanumeric password in less than three days. As a result, organizations must consider these significant threats when deciding upon an effective password protocol.
Strengths Of Three Random Words
The main strength of this technique is in the length of the password, which makes it more difficult and time consuming for hackers and their powerful algorithmic programs to crack. Cybersecurity experts note that while these programs can quickly guess a shorter password, they estimate it would take them hundreds of years to determine the letter combinations in three random words. These random letter combinations are much harder for hackers and their programs to predict. Even if these passwords aren’t as effective as these projections, a cybercriminal will quickly turn their attention to another target when they discover how difficult it will be to crack a three random words password.
In addition, the ease of remembering a unique three random words password makes it user-friendly and readily adopted by technical and non-technical employees. One cybersecurity expert noted that for technology and security methods to be effective, they have to be easily understood and implemented by users. Three random words accomplishes these objectives perfectly.
Improving The Three Random Word Method
No password technique is perfect, and three random words is no exception. Some users, for example, might choose words that aren’t as random as they think or are relatively short. Cybersecurity experts recommend that your organization use this technique as one part of a password strategy, which could also utilize the power of Two-Factor Authentication or 2FA. The added component of account authentication provides an extra layer of protection even if a password is compromised.
In addition, experts recommend combining the three random words technique with what is known as a compromised password deny list. This list specifically defends against a password dictionary attack, where a hacker uses a multitude of passwords obtained from a previous data breach to gain unauthorized access to an account or network. This list of previously used passwords will be blocked from further use with the use of the deny list, which will add extra password protection.
Consult With A Trusted IT Support Partner
The most important recommendation we can give regarding password techniques and protocol, as well as cybersecurity in general, is to consult with a trusted IT Support partner like Network Depot. Before undertaking any significant changes to your network security, please discuss it thoroughly with an experienced cybersecurity expert. A reliable IT partner has the experience to assist you in all aspects of your network security and will help you make the choices that are right for your unique business. Your IT partner is a valuable resource that can expertly advise your organization on how to implement and execute an effective password strategy that will keep your network secure against cybercriminals.