man working on computer at desk with strong password policy

From Start to Finish: How to Create a Password Policy for Your Small Business 

Considering that nearly two-thirds of people reuse the same password over multiple accounts, a strong and up-to-date password policy is more important than ever to keep your business safe from hackers and data breaches.

With the right tools and strategies, you can create an effective password policy that provides robust protection for all of your employees and customers. Learn what these strategies are to protect your accounts.

What Is a Password Policy?

A password policy is a set of guidelines for users to follow when creating and managing passwords. It outlines the type, length, and complexity of passwords that must be used as well as how often they should be changed. The policy also addresses how passwords are stored and shared between personnel.

Why Does Your Business Need One?

Creating an effective policy for passwords can help your business protect itself from the risk of data breaches, hacking attempts and other security threats. Having a comprehensive policy in place is essential for any organization that stores sensitive customer or business data.

4 Essential Principles to Include in a Password Policy

When creating your password policy, there are several key principles to include that can help you avoid unnecessary risks and vulnerabilities within your company.

1. Invest in a Password Manager

A password manager allows users to store and manage multiple passwords securely. Rather than creating and remembering complex passwords, a password manager can do this for employees, which helps to eliminate password fatigue. Plus, password managers keep your login credentials in an encrypted format. If a malicious actor gains access to your employee’s device, they wouldn’t be able to get into the company’s systems.

2. Update Passwords Regularly

Shockingly, 57% of people who have had their password compromised in a phishing attack still failed to change their password in the aftermath. To avoid repeat passwords, a password policy should require employees to update their passwords on a regular basis, such as every 90 days or after a password leak.

3. Implement Multi-Factor Authentication

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) adds an extra layer of security to a user’s account, requiring them to verify their identity through multiple methods such as entering a code sent via text message or scanning their fingerprint.

This practice is becoming increasingly essential as more and more businesses look to bulk up their password policies—in 2017, only 28% of accounts used MFA, but in 2021, that percentage jumped to a whopping 78%.

4. Require a Complex Password Length and Difficulty

The longer and more complex a password is, the harder it will be for an attacker to guess. In a password policy, requiring users to create passwords that are 8 characters or more can help protect their accounts from being easily hacked.

Additionally, mandating passwords contain a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols can further strengthen the security of user accounts.

Partner with Envision Consulting for Your Cybersecurity Needs

Envision Consulting is a leading cybersecurity consulting firm that provides businesses with the tools and strategies to stay secure. Our team of experts can help you create a comprehensive password policy for your small business. We’ll also provide additional security solutions that meet your small business’s unique needs.

Schedule your IT risk assessment today to learn more about how we can help keep your business safe from cyber threats!

Envision Consulting

Envision Consulting

We started Envision Consulting for businesses that share our passion for building long- term and healthy relationships. While we might be technology experts, we’ve always known that trust, reliability and looking after a client’s best interest are paramount to succeeding in business. But in 2001 and to this day, there were few managed IT providers available that embodied our customer-centric values. There were countless support companies more interested in reacting to issues than paving the road forward for clients, making it far too difficult to build long-term relationships. We felt a strong pull to make something different, and we did.