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Password Rotation

StrongDM Team
Written by
Dynamic Access Management platform
Fazila Malik
Reviewed by
Product Marketing Manager
Last updated on: March 18, 2024

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What is Password Rotation?

Password rotation is a security practice that involves changing passwords regularly to prevent unauthorized access to personal or business information. It is typically recommended to change passwords every 30, 60, or 90 days.

It is essential to note that password rotation alone is not enough to protect your data. It should be used in conjunction with other security measures such as two-factor authentication, firewalls, and antivirus software.

Password Rotation Key Takeaways:

  • Password rotation is the practice of changing passwords regularly to enhance security and comply with regulations.
  • It should be complemented by other security measures like two-factor authentication and antivirus software for effective data protection.
  • Regular password changes hinder cybercriminals' efforts and reduce the risk of unauthorized access.
  • Industries with high security needs, such as banking and healthcare, should enforce password rotation to protect sensitive information.
  • IT administrators should set a reasonable password rotation schedule and encourage the creation of strong, complex passwords.
  • Utilizing password managers can help generate and manage strong passwords efficiently.
  • Common mistakes in password rotation include overly frequent changes, reusing old passwords, and using predictable patterns, which can undermine security efforts.
  • Effective password rotation is crucial for cybersecurity, balancing between usability and security, and should be part of a comprehensive security strategy.

The Purpose of Password Rotation

The primary goal of password rotation is to keep personal and business information safe. Passwords are the most crucial line of defense against cybercrime. Regularly changing passwords makes it more challenging for cybercriminals to gain access to sensitive data.

Another purpose of password rotation is to comply with various regulations. Many industries, such as healthcare and finance, are required to follow specific password protocols to ensure that sensitive information is adequately protected.

The Importance of Password Rotation

Enhancing Security

Password rotation enhances overall security. By changing passwords regularly, cybercriminals have less time to attempt to hack into accounts. Password rotation is an essential component of an overall security plan. The most critical aspect of password rotation is to be consistent and disciplined with password changes.

It's important to note that password rotation alone is not enough to ensure complete security. It should be used in conjunction with other security measures such as two-factor authentication, firewalls, and antivirus software. Implementing multiple layers of security will make it more difficult for cybercriminals to gain unauthorized access to sensitive information.

Reducing the Risk of Unauthorized Access

Password rotation reduces the risk of unauthorized access to sensitive information. Employees and business owners can protect their information by regularly changing passwords. Without password rotation, it's easier for cybercriminals to brute force their way into accounts and gain unauthorized access to sensitive information.

It's also important to use strong passwords that are difficult to guess. Passwords should be at least 12 characters long and include a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Avoid using personal information such as birthdays or names, as these can be easily guessed by cybercriminals.

Protecting Sensitive Information

Password rotation is crucial for businesses that require a high level of security. For instance, banks, healthcare facilities, and government entities should require password rotation to keep personal and business information safe. Password rotation acts as extra security in case of a potential data breach. If accounts are breached, the damage will be limited to the period before the most recent password update.

In addition to password rotation, businesses should also have a data backup plan in place. Regular backups of sensitive information will ensure that it can be recovered in case of a data breach or system failure. It's also important to train employees on how to recognize and avoid phishing scams, as these are a common way for cybercriminals to gain access to sensitive information.

How Password Rotation Works

Most businesses require password protocols to remain compliant with regulations and to keep sensitive information secure. IT administrators will set the password policy in place to alert users that they need to change their password after a certain number of days. Administrators will also set up complex password rules, such as requiring a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.

Once the password policy is in place, users will receive reminders to change their password after the set periods are met. It is essential to follow these policies and create strong passwords to ensure that your data is protected.

It is also important to note that password rotation policies may vary depending on the industry, company size, and other factors. Some companies may require more frequent password changes, while others may not have any password rotation policies at all.

Password Rotation Best Practices

Keeping your online accounts secure is crucial in today's digital age. One of the best ways to ensure the security of your accounts is through password rotation. Password rotation involves regularly changing your passwords to prevent unauthorized access to your accounts. In this article, we will discuss some best practices for password rotation.

Setting a Password Rotation Schedule

IT administrators must set a password rotation schedule to ensure that users change their passwords regularly. Typically, this involves changing passwords every 30, 60, or 90 days. However, the frequency of password changes may vary depending on the organization's security policies and the sensitivity of the data being protected. It's important to note that password rotation schedules should not be too frequent as it may lead to users creating weaker passwords or writing them down to remember them.

IT administrators must make sure that users receive reminders to change passwords before they expire. The reminders should also provide clear instructions on how to create strong passwords. This will help users create passwords that are difficult to guess or crack.

Creating Strong Passwords

Creating strong passwords is a crucial aspect of password rotation. Users should create passwords that include a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. It's also important to avoid using predictable patterns or words. Passwords should be unique and not used for multiple accounts. Passwords that are easy to guess or crack can compromise the security of your accounts.

One way to create strong passwords is by using passphrases. Passphrases are longer and easier to remember than traditional passwords. For example, "I love to hike in the mountains" can be turned into the passphrase "Il2hitm!". This passphrase includes uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.

Utilizing Password Managers

Using password managers can help users create strong and unique passwords. Password managers store passwords, generate passwords, and autofill passwords across multiple accounts. Password managers work well for individuals or businesses with multiple accounts that require regular password changes. Some popular password managers include LastPass, Dashlane, and 1Password.

It's important to note that while password managers can make password management easier, they also come with their own security risks. Users should make sure to choose a reputable password manager and enable two-factor authentication to add an extra layer of security.

In conclusion, password rotation is an essential aspect of online security. By setting a password rotation schedule, creating strong passwords, and utilizing password managers, users can better protect their online accounts from unauthorized access.

Common Password Rotation Mistakes

Password rotation is an essential security measure that helps protect sensitive data from cybercriminals. However, some common mistakes can render this practice ineffective. In this article, we will discuss some of the most common password rotation mistakes and how to avoid them.

Overly Frequent Rotation

Overly frequent password rotation can become cumbersome. Users may forget passwords, and it can lead to frustration. Instead of overly frequent changes, IT administrators need to establish a schedule that provides enough time to create strong passwords while still maintaining overall security. For example, changing passwords every 90 days can strike a balance between security and usability.

Reusing Old Passwords

Reusing old passwords is a common mistake that can lead to data breaches. Cybercriminals can gain access to accounts by guessing old passwords. Users should create new passwords each time there is a schedule change to minimize the potential risk of data breaches. Additionally, users should avoid using the same password for multiple accounts. In case one account is compromised, the attacker will not be able to access other accounts.

Using Predictable Patterns

Using predictable patterns is a common mistake that potentially leaves accounts open to attacks. Examples of predictable patterns include using pet names, birth dates, and phone numbers. Passwords should be unique, complex, and difficult to guess. A strong password should contain a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. Moreover, users should avoid using common words or phrases that can be easily guessed.

Another effective way of creating strong passwords is by using passphrases. A passphrase is a series of random words that are easy to remember but difficult to guess. For example, "correct horse battery staple" is a passphrase that is much harder to crack than a short, complex password.

In conclusion, password rotation is an essential security measure that helps protect sensitive data. However, users and IT administrators need to be mindful of common mistakes that can render this practice ineffective. By avoiding the mistakes discussed in this article and following best practices for password creation, users can create strong passwords that are difficult to guess and protect their accounts from cyber threats.

Conclusion

Overall, password rotation is part of a cybersecurity plan. By regularly changing passwords, individuals and businesses can stay ahead of the curve and minimize the potential for data breaches. IT administrators must establish a policy that is feasible for users to follow and must provide education and guidance to ensure all users understand the importance of password rotation. By following password rotation best practices and avoiding common mistakes, users can keep their information safe from cybercriminals.


About the Author

, Zero Trust Privileged Access Management (PAM), the StrongDM team is building and delivering a Zero Trust Privileged Access Management (PAM), which delivers unparalleled precision in dynamic privileged action control for any type of infrastructure. The frustration-free access stops unsanctioned actions while ensuring continuous compliance.

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Customer Identity Access Management (CIAM) is a specialized branch of identity and access management designed to facilitate secure and seamless customer...

What is Cyber Threat Hunting?

Threat hunting is the cyber defense practice of proactively searching for threats within a network. Threat hunters look for threats that may have evaded...

What Is Disaster Recovery Policy (DRP)?

Disaster Recovery Policy is a strategic framework outlining procedures and resources to swiftly restore essential business functions after a disruptive...

What Is eXtensible Access Control Markup Language (XACML)?

eXtensible Access Control Markup Language (XACML) is a standard for specifying and exchanging access control policies in computer systems. It provides a...

What Is Fine-Grain Access Controls?

Fine-grain access controls are a type of access control that enables granular access to systems, applications, and data. Access is based on specific...

What Is Group-Based Access Control (GBAC)?

Group-Based Access Control (GBAC) is a security model that regulates access to resources by assigning permissions based on user group membership. It...

What Is Identity Fabric?

Identity Fabric refers to an integrated set of identity and access management services that provide seamless and secure user access across a diverse range...

What Is NoSQL Injection? Examples, Prevention, and More

What is NoSQL Injection? NoSQL Injection is a type of injection attack that exploits vulnerabilities in NoSQL databases by injecting malicious code into...

What Is Policy-as-Code? Tools, Examples, Implementation

Policy-as-Code refers to the practice of managing and implementing policy decisions through code, making them enforceable and verifiable within IT...

What Is Privileged Identity Management (PIM)?

Privileged identity management is the process companies use to manage which privileged users—including human users and machine users—have access to which...

What is Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP)?

What is Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP)? Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) is a proprietary protocol developed by Microsoft that allows users to remotely...

What Is Segregation of Duties (SoD)?

Segregation of Duties (SoD) is a risk management principle that ensures critical tasks are divided among different individuals to prevent conflicts of...

What is Vendor Privileged Access Management (VPAM)?

Vendor Privileged Access Management (VPAM) is a cybersecurity strategy that focuses on controlling and securing third-party access to an organization's...

What Is Zero Trust Data Protection?

Zero Trust Data Protection is a security framework that assumes no inherent trust, requiring verification from anyone trying to access data, regardless of...

X
X11 Forwarding: What Is It, Why Use It, How to Set It Up

X11 Forwarding is a feature of the X Window System that allows a user to run graphical applications on a remote server while displaying them locally. This...

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Zero Trust

Zero Trust is a modern security model founded on the design principle “Never trust, always verify.” It requires all devices and users, regardless of...

Zero Trust vs. the Principle of Least Privilege: What's the Differences?

As cyber attacks become more advanced and frequent, organizations are realizing the importance of enhancing their cybersecurity strategies. Two approaches...

Zombie Accounts

Zombie accounts: forgotten accounts that open the door to bad actors looking to insert malware, steal data, and damage your internal systems.

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