094 90 48200     Get SUPPORT

Aniar IT Services Blog

Understanding the New NIST Guidelines for Password Security

Understanding the New NIST Guidelines for Password Security

The National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) has released Special Publication 800-63B, titled Digital Identity Guidelines. The document outlines major changes to the ways password security should be approached and leaves a lot of what network administrators and software developers have implemented recently to be wrong Today, we’ll take a look at the publication, and try to make sense of the sudden change of course.

NIST is a non-regulatory federal agency that works under the umbrella of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Its mission is to promote U.S. innovation and competitiveness by advancing a uniform measurement standard. Many NIST guidelines become the foundation for best practices in data security. As a result, any publication they produce having to do with cyber or network security should be considered.

A Look at SP 800-63B
The newest password guidelines are a swift about-face in strategy as compared to previous NIST suggestions. Instead of a strategy of ensuring that all passwords meet some type of arbitrary complexity requirements, the new strategy is to create passwords that are easier and more intuitive. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Passwords should be compared to dictionaries and commonly-used passwords
  • Eliminate or reduce complexity rules for passwords
  • All printable characters allowed, including spaces
  • Expiration of passwords no longer based on time password has been in use
  • Maximum length increased to 64 characters.

Basically, the new guidelines recommend longer passphrases to the complex passwords as they are hard for people to remember, and even with complexity rules in place, it was becoming increasingly easy for algorithms to crack passwords (seen in the comic strip below).

ib nist cartoon 1

As stated before, NIST is not a regulatory organization, but federal agencies and contractors use NIST’s information in order to set up secure computing environments in which to display, store, and share sensitive unclassified information.

In making these changes to password strategy, NIST is now considering the fact that many industry professionals knew: a password you can’t remember may be secure, but if it’s so secure that you have to rely on third-party software to utilize it, it’s not really that effective at mitigating risk. NIST now looks at the passphrase strategy, along with two-factor authentication as the go-to risk management strategy. SMS-based two-factor authentication was not mentioned in the final report but has come under scrutiny as it has contributed to multiple hacks in recent times.

The NIST also explicitly commands that network administrators be mindful to forbid commonly used passwords; effectively creating a blacklist of passwords. The new guidelines also suggest that users shouldn’t be using the password hints or knowledge-based authentication options; a common practice among banking and FinTech applications to this day. We’ll see if there is a strategic alteration in these companies’ practices as the new NIST guidelines become best practices.

If you are looking for more information about best password practices and data security, the IT experts at Aniar IT Services are here to help. Call us today at 094 90 48200 to have your password strategy assessed by the professionals.

Comic by XKCD.

Cryptomining is Inspiring Cybercrime
Know Your Tech: CMS


No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Wednesday, September 26 2018

Captcha Image

Mobile? Grab this Article!

QR-Code dieser Seite

Tag Cloud

Tip of the Week Security Technology Best Practices Privacy Tech Term Google Cloud Business Computing Email Hackers Network Security Innovation Microsoft Data Backup Malware User Tips Hardware Internet VoIP Android Mobile Devices Cloud Computing Data Recovery Data How To Backup Internet of Things Smartphones Communication Managed IT Services Small Business Artificial Intelligence Computers Chrome Cybersecurity Browser Smartphone Communications Windows Saving Money Network Collaboration Applications IT Services Cybercrime Windows 10 Software Gadgets BDR Data Security Data Protection Outsourced IT Workplace Tips Office 365 Hosted Solutions Efficiency Business Spam Connectivity Vulnerability Business Management Mobile Device Management IT Support Two-factor Authentication Word Ransomware Router Passwords Facebook Money Virtualization Managed IT Microsoft Office Update Business Intelligence Unsupported Software Data Storage Business Continuity Server Website Windows 7 Miscellaneous Identity Theft Managed IT services Spam Blocking Upgrade Information Redundancy Social Media Virtual Assistant Telephone Systems Bring Your Own Device Social Engineering Operating System IT Management Sports Managed Service CES Avoiding Downtime App Save Money Phishing Paperless Office BYOD Encryption Computer Infrastructure Comparison Content Management VPN Remote Monitoring Password Law Enforcement Apps IT Plan Settings Blockchain OneNote HaaS Scam Legal Automation Machine Learning Amazon Web Services Accountants Windows Server 2008 Password Manager Nanotechnology Mobile Computing Public Cloud Cryptocurrency Wireless Charging Inventory Training HIPAA USB HBO Big Data Data loss Criminal YouTube Botnet Telecommuting Computer Fan Holiday Computer Care Business Mangement Smart Tech Smart Office Disaster Recovery Software Tips Digital Signature Safe Mode Google Apps Mobile Device Remote Worker Skype Electronic Medical Records Wire Networking Outlook Government Voice over Internet Protocol Cortana Alert Addiction Travel Remote Work FENG Online Shopping Productivity Patch Management Gmail Document Management Camera Tools Work/Life Balance Credit Cards PDF Workers Access Control Wiring Start Menu Data Management Enterprise Content Management Frequently Asked Questions Recovery Evernote Cleaning Sync Multi-Factor Security Meetings Recycling Devices Millennials Wi-Fi Solid State Drive Fraud Downtime Authentication Firewall Windows 10s Google Drive Human Resources Password Management Excel Keyboard Practices MSP Screen Mirroring Cache Servers Augmented Reality Telephone System Flash Google Docs Employer-Employee Relationship eWaste Thought Leadership Entertainment Value Workforce Audit Physical Security Amazon Root Cause Analysis Bandwidth Unified Threat Management Specifications Private Cloud Staff NIST Tip of the week Charger Hosted Computing File Sharing Telephony Trending Cast Wireless Internet HVAC The Internet of Things Compliance Budget Customer Relationship Management Hard Drives Competition IP Address Search Regulation Users Twitter Customer Service Quick Tips Emergency CrashOverride Mobile Office Company Culture Domains Wireless Windows 10 Managed Service Provider Managing Stress Public Speaking WiFi Hiring/Firing Printers Presentation Lithium-ion battery Fun Tech Support Wireless Technology 5G IBM Safety Marketing Hacker Productivity