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1 Feb

Keep in Mind the Dilemma of Security Versus Convenience

An old maxim that has withstood the test of time is the idea that security and convenience are on opposite sides of a spectrum. The more you have of one element, the more you sacrifice the other. Physical security measures, for example, such as locks, keypads, and passcodes slow down your entrance and make movement inconvenient. Having a security camera watch main entry points, on the other hand, is more convenient but often means that a threat can enter a building long before being stopped. 

The same principle is true for cybersecurity: safe systems are inconvenient both when you set them up and when enforcing daily adherence. But more and more tools are becoming available that make increased security against attacks and data leaks less of an obstruction. 

Enable single sign-on for multiple corporate portals. 

Office workers have more than one password. Or, at least, they have multiple different logins, each of which should have a different password. But security and compliance departments often have to force the adoption of different passwords by setting up programs that prevent duplicate passwords and require password revisions every sixty or ninety days. 

Mandating those changes, as well as implementing password standards that are higher than typical baselines are potentially good first steps for keeping employee login information secure. But employees will resent the inconvenience and come up with weak passwords. This won't be out of spite but because human minds can't remember a wide selection of regularly changing, randomized passwords. Eventually, they'll start repeating key components in passwords across different systems. They might even start to just change passwords by a character or two each time the deadline rolls around. This lack of variety creates a large vulnerability in your systems.

Instead of taking the risk, implement single sign-on through a secure company intranet. Link all of your company's sales pipeline portals, financial programs, and word processors through this central hub that only requires one regularly used password. If you minimize password strain and take the time to tell employees about why strong passwords without guessable patterns are so important, they're far more likely to comply. Being given both a reason for a task and a convenience so they don't feel penalized for compliance can go a long way.

For more cybersecurity tips and tools, go to folio1 here.

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