Is It Time to Change Your Online Passwords?

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This is not a drill.

GUEST POST By Craig Petronella



This is NOT a drill!

In a huge week for Hackers’ News, this is still huge.  Recently it was announced that BILLIONS of passwords and other sensitive information was leaked on the dark web via a 100GB text file almost 8-and-a-half billion passwords.

It’s being called “RockYou2020.”

<font face=”Sarcasm”>Cute.</font>

While it’s likely that this is a massive conglomeration of stolen credentials throughout the decades, it is still, well… MASSIVE.  And while breaches such as these can feel overwhelming, the last thing you want to do is stick your head in the sand, because all that will do is make it harder to breathe while the cybercriminals steal your data.  This breach, combined with all the other breaches, is practically a disaster waiting to happen.  And while the details are relatively slow coming and also relatively unimportant at this point, what IS important is what you do from here.

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Secure: Password Best Practices

  • Long, random mix of upper- and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols
  • Never use the same password more than once
  • Change the password regularly

More Secure: Software Managers like lastpass or roboform

  • Online – More convenient but more vulnerable
  • Device-based – Less convenient, but vulnerable if a hacker hacks your
    personal device

MOST Secure: Hardware/Token-based solution token like Yubikey or Gatekeeper

  • Hardware (key fob, USB, etc…) eliminates the need for manual login
  • Efficient, convenient and secure – no need to create, change, or remember long, secure passwords
  • Protects against phishing attacks and keystroke loggers

Everyone knows that strong, unique passwords are an absolute necessity.  But with the vast number of breaches, we urge everyone, not just business owners, to employ the use of a password manager.  You can use software, like lastpass or roboform, but with breaches becoming just ridiculous at this point, we STRONGLY urge you to invest in a hardware/token-based solution.

Additionally, ALWAYS employ multi-factor authentication (MFA) when offered to you.

Even before this breach, it was only a matter of WHEN, not IF you were going to get hacked, but with this breach, it’s now a matter of “how much longer?”  And if you own a business?  That time is even shorter; as of this year, 50 percent% of cyberattacks are now focused on businesses.

Source: Petronella Technology Group

About the Author
Craig A. Petronella is the CEO of Petronella Technology Group Inc, a cybersecurity group that specializes in helping law firms with security and compliance. With 30 years of experience, he is the author of “How Hackers can Crush your Law Firm,” Peace of Mind Computer Support” and other titles. MIT Certified: AI, Blockchain & Hyperledger. Phone: 919-601-1601; Helpdesk Support: 919-422-2607. For more information about a cyber-crime risk assessment call: 1-877-468-2721

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