Ask the Expert

Authentication - From passwords to passphrases

We're trying to improve password security and are unsure how. I just read about the PayPal key fob, and I know fobs are a hot topic, but I don't know if they're any better than other methods. We've been considering RSA for a while. What do you suggest? Or are some kinds better for others?

Requires Free Membership to View

Key fobs and other methods of two-factor authentication are definitely great if these are feasible solutions in your environment. However, there is a way to increase password security and do it in a quick and reasonable time frame that most people don't think about. That is to turn passwords into passphrases. Implement a password change policy that has only one restriction – length of password. Make the minimum password length of 15 characters or greater, but add no other restrictions. Let the user do all lowercase letters if they want. Give examples in your policy of 'passphrases'. Something like 'thisismyreallylongpassword' or 'igetupat6amandgettoworkat9' or 'wowmymachineisreallyslow'. Implementing this is simple and quick and will increase your password security 100 fold.

More information:

This was first published in January 2007

There are Comments. Add yours.

 
TIP: Want to include a code block in your comment? Use <pre> or <code> tags around the desired text. Ex: <code>insert code</code>

REGISTER or login:

Forgot Password?
By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy
Sort by: OldestNewest

Forgot Password?

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an email containing your password.

Your password has been sent to: