IT Update: Password Protection

By Dan Spruill, Director of IT

Continuing our theme of IT security, in this issue I want to discuss one of the most basic steps in protecting your information—your password.

We’ve all experienced that “what is my password again?” moment when trying to log on to any application used infrequently. The problem is that the last time you logged on, the system asked you to change your password to a 10-digit string which had to include a capital letter, a number, and a special character and now you can’t remember if it was the name of your first dog and high school graduation year or your birthday and your mother’s maiden name.

Passwords can be anything from funny phrases, to reminders of important dates and people, to a nonsensical combination of numbers, letters and characters. No matter their makeup, they should be easy to remember but difficult for anyone else to guess. Whether it be for a work application or access to personal data, such as an online banking application, it is imperative to use a password that is secure.

There are several approaches to creating passwords which are both secure and easy to recollect, including:

In each of these methods, letters can be replaced with numbers or special characters, which are often required and make a password harder to predict.

One of the projects we are working on in IT, which we aim to implement across the company, is Single Sign On (SSO). This service will allow each employee to use a single username and password across our business applications, like JDE and our network resources. This capability will be increasingly useful as we add third party applications to our available resource pool, like our learning management system and applicant tracking system. Without SSO, employees would soon be required to remember multiple usernames and passwords and manage them in separate applications. As a part of the SSO service, we will ask employees to update their password periodically to increase security. Employees will be able to change their own password or recover a forgotten one without requiring IT intervention, automatically updating their login information across all included Ruppert applications.

As always, the IT department appreciates each team member’s help in keeping our company and our clients’ valuable information secure, whether it be through forwarding suspicious emails, as many of you have continued to do, or by using a secure password to access our systems. Until we have the SSO service fully in place, we in IT are more than happy to update your password for you if you feel it should be more secure.