In the world of information security, few things make CIOs roll their eyes more than the topic of poor user passwords. Business compliance leaders know that weak passwords on any type of device can be disastrous for their organization. In the world of IoT and BYOD, an easily-guessed password on a connected mobile device could theoretically bring down some of the country’s largest healthcare companies.
Emails and presentations may not be the only thing that’s lost due to a poorly-chosen password. The same always-on business model that allows employees to work remotely with ease can be a ticket directly into your organization’s network. Here are 4 steps that healthcare IT consulting teams recommend you and your staff should follow to create stronger passwords.
1. Create an Original Password
The Department of Homeland Security recommends some guidelines when it comes to creating a stronger password. The first is the most important: make it complex! When you use something that can be easily guessed such as a family member’s name, birthdate or anniversary all include information that can be found with a quick search of the web. Instead, think of a phrase that makes sense only to you or that has unique meaning to you and think of how you can add complexity.
2. Create a Complex Password
A complex password is one that includes a variety of lower- and upper-case letters, numbers and special symbols. The more interesting and complex you make the password, the stronger it will be. Many organizations require passwords to be at least 8 characters long and include a combination of letters, symbols, and numbers.
3. Diversify Your Passwords
Sure, using the same password for all of your sites makes it extremely easy to log in from various devices without having to be concerned that your memory fails you. Unfortunately, healthcare IT consulting professionals recommend that employees at healthcare organizations be particularly careful to create varied and complex passwords. The heightened access to personally identifiable information makes security even more critical for these employees.
4. No More Sticky Notes
Remembering a series of complex passwords can be a challenge, no doubt. However, the answer isn’t to post a sticky note on the side of your computer or under your keyboard that includes all of your passwords and the sites to which they relate. This is an incredibly dangerous activity, especially if your position provides you with access to the personal information of others. If you absolutely must write down the passwords, consider putting them on a hidden piece of paper inside a locked desk drawer or in a storage app on your phone (only if it’s secure!).
Following these simple recommendations will help keep your healthcare business safe and secure from the number one threat to your organization: cyber attacks.
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