Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Password Complexity

 The complexity of a password can significantly affect its security. A password that is too simple or predictable is easy for an attacker to guess or crack, which could compromise the security of the account or system it is protecting. In the past, though, I've expressed a somewhat controversial view regarding complex passwords: overly complex passwords can actually decrease security because they encourage users to write down their passwords or use the same password across multiple accounts, which can increase the risk of a data breach.

Instead of focusing on complexity, organizations should encourage users to create longer passphrases that are easy to remember but difficult to guess. A passphrase is a sequence of words or other text that is used as a password. For example, "correct horse battery staple" is a passphrase that is recommended by some experts for its combination of length and randomness. Even better, substitute numbers and/or symbols for some of the letters (e.g. "c0rr3ct 4or5e 6@ttery st@pl3")

A strong password should be both complex and memorable. It should be long enough to resist brute-force attacks, which involve guessing every possible combination of characters until the correct one is found. A password that includes a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols can make it more difficult for an attacker to guess, especially if the password is random or uses a phrase that is not commonly used.

However, the complexity of a password alone is not enough to ensure its security. Other factors, such as the length of time a password is used, how it is stored, and how it is transmitted over the network, also play a role in determining its overall security. It is important for users to follow good password hygiene practices, such as not reusing passwords across different accounts, regularly changing passwords, and using two-factor authentication, to maximize the security of their accounts and systems.

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