FTP Server Password Policy Recommendations: Keeping Your Passwords SecureNo one can escape passwords. 

Whether it is the password for your Cerberus FTP Server, email, online banking, desktop login, or your favorite online media streaming service, passwords are something that everyone has to deal with regardless of profession. And because of that ubiquity, insecure passwords are one of the most common security risks faced by any organization. 

Understanding password security, especially when related to file transfer protocol and server security, could make the difference in keeping your files and data out of the wrong hands. So today, let’s take a look at some of the risks and best practices surrounding password policy to help make sure your ftp server is as secure as possible.

 

A Short List of Password Policy Risks

 

Password Policy Risk 1: Reuse

In spite of all the warnings, many users still reuse passwords across different systems and accounts:

FTP Password Security Best Practices - The Extent of Password Reuse

That’s a scary thought considering how many breaches involving password data have been announced just in the past 6-8 months.

Password Policy Risk 2: Simplistic Passwords

The tech community shouldn’t have to produce top 100 lists of the worst passwords of the year, but people are still using terrible passwords. Number one on the worst password list this year was “123456”. Recently, a security researcher who kept seeing a long random string of characters in compromised password lists discovered that he was seeing the typed Mandarin version of “My password”.

 

Terrible Passwords vs Secure File Sharing

Password Policy Risk 3: A Lack of Understanding of Basic Password Security

Despite claiming they have “too many passwords”, only 24% of users in a recent survey use any type of password manager at all. 

FTP Password Security Errors

These users are often sacrificing security for convenience, not understanding that more convenient options exist because they do not understand basic security practices. If they were educated on the necessary measures to keep their information and data secure, there’s a good chance that breaches would become far less common.

7-Point Password Policy Checklist

Below, are is the Cerberus Team’s seven-point password policy checklist to help avoid the risks mentioned above:

  1. Require users to create longer passwords – 12 characters should be your minimum (for more information on why, read this article on password cracking times)
  2. Prevent users from including any personal information (names, addresses, company names, etc.) in their passwords
  3. Require users to change passwords every few months to prevent breach-related password use
  4. Prevent password reuse, for the same reason
  5. Require passwords to use random characters
  6. Immediately flag failed and unrecognized login attempts to identify potential attacks
  7. Use Cerberus FTP Policy Manager to manage your FTP server’s passwords

 

Keeping Data Transfer Secure Using Cerberus FTP Server Policy Manager

At Cerberus, we take security seriously, and we want to do our best to help you and your users be more secure. One of the best ways you can enhance security on your server is by enforcing a strong password policy for your users.  The Policy page in the Cerberus User Manager allows you to enhance security for your user accounts by increasing password complexity, requiring more frequent password changes, and preventing users from reusing passwords.

Best Password Protection: Cerberus FTP Policy Manager

Other Ways Cerberus FTP Server Keeps Your Accounts Secure

In past releases, we added support for Two Factor Authentication, and more specificallyDUO Security for 2 factor authentication to keep your accounts safe and secure. You can also read more about how to safely secure passwords and how Cerberus FTP uses hashing algorithms instead of storing passwords to prevent breaches. 

Have Password Policy Suggestions? Tell Us!

We want to know what security features would you like to see added to Cerberus FTP! Join the conversation in our community forum, and submit a Feature Request if you have ideas that you feel would improve your security experience in Cerberus.