World Password Day: 5 Best Practices To Protect Your Data

For World Password Day 2024, Cyber Magazine shares some of the most important strategies for businesses to protect their information from threat actors

World Password Day is celebrated on the first Thursday of May each year. 

It aims to raise awareness about the importance of password security, evolving threats and best practices for organisations and individuals to follow. With cybersecurity risks continuing to rise, more businesses are being irreversibly impacted by data breaches or cyberattacks.

As a result, passwords increasingly need to be supplemented with additional layers of security to be effective.

“We can no longer rely on passwords alone to maintain good cybersecurity hygiene in organisations,” cautions Thomas Epps, IT Product Specialist at LG. “Bad actors are skilled at using brute force to decode passwords and breach systems.”

With this in mind, here are some of the leading ways that organisations around the world can work to protect themselves, their data and their business operations moving forward. 

5. Biometrics 

Supplementing password protection with newer innovations such as biometric technology can help support users to better protect their online identity. 

Biometrics are one of the more secure methods for protecting online accounts and information. As it is unique to an individual, it is harder to steal and cannot be forgotten, much like a password can.

Adding this extra level of security alongside a password can work to make the signing-in process more secure and efficient for the user.

4. Facial recognition

It has been found that consumers will accept a longer sign-up process if it results in better personal data protection. As the cyber risk landscape continues to develop, these tools are becoming more important - particularly when considering password theft.

Face, eye and gaze sensing can be instrumental in intuitively locking and unlocking screens. Artificial intelligence (AI) smart security can help to support this by identifying unusual activity in real-time and alert relevant business professionals to any data breaches.

As a result, individuals and companies alike can be more empowered to better protect their digital identities.

3. Multi-factor authentication (MFA)

MFA is another crucial layer to security that is frequently used within business environments. Even if an individual’s password becomes compromised, the extra authentication steps make it harder for unauthorised users to gain access to essential systems.

Businesses can gain visibility into their software-as-a-service (SaaS) platforms used by using real-time data. As a result, they can identify unusual or suspicious activity, in addition to those within the organisation who are using weak or reused passwords.

2. Human Risk Management (HRM) platform

A HRM platform refers to solutions that manage and reduce cybersecurity risks posed by and to humans. 

Forrester describes this process as detecting and measuring human security behaviours and quantifying the human risk, in addition to initiating policy and training interventions based on the human risk.

Effective HRM platforms will identify risky employee behaviours in real-time, but also provide education at the point of risk. This aims to ensure that employees can make better security decisions at work.

1. Make your passwords more complex

Avoid repeating the same password for different services as, if someone guesses it, they would have the ability to hack more than one platform and compromise more sensitive data.

According to leading telecommunications company Telefónica, it is recommended that the length of a password be longer than 10 characters. This is because more characters means that it is more challenging for cybercriminals to crack the password.

Likewise, Microsoft suggests a minimum of 12-14 characters, including a combination of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers and symbols.

“38% of employees are logging into web applications using passwords they've already used elsewhere,” John Scott, Lead Security Researcher at CultureAI, highlights. “By embracing proactive security measures and leveraging cutting-edge insights, you can safeguard sensitive data and mitigate the ever-evolving threats in today's digital landscape.”


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