Strong Password Enforcement for SFTP Service Admins
When you have a large user base (as is common in the world of business), to say that it's important for administrators to manage passwords effectively is something of an understatement. Each user represents a potential vulnerability just waiting to be exploited by someone who knows what they're doing - weak or ineffective passwords make it far too easy for your business to fall into this trap. All the encryption in the world is useless if someone’s password is cracked. Strong password enforcement SFTP guidelines are put in place to help make sure this doesn't happen.
How to Create Stronger SFTP Passwords
Best Practices for Strong Passwords
When it comes to strong passwords, the number one rule involves the use of numbers, letters (both upper and lower case), special characters and more - all in an effort to generate a password that is impossible to guess and as hard as possible to compromise by way of a "brute force" attack. Passwords should also be changed on a regular basis - usually every few months or so - to render any passwords that have been compromised worthless. Whenever password information is transmitted, it should be encrypted at all times - transmitting password information in plain text is a security disaster just waiting to happen. Don't let it happen to you.
Enforcing Strong Passwords
The key to enforcing strong passwords across your organization is to put a strong password enforcement policy in place as soon as you can. You should clearly outline exactly what types of passwords can be used, how often they must be changed and other important rules that employees will have to agree to follow. The penalties for violating the password enforcement policy should be severe, as the potential effects of a data breach or other catastrophic situation can result in data loss, fines and even regulatory action that a small business might not be able to recover from. A good SFTP service will allow service admins to manage all aspects of password strength requirements and password expiration intervals.
SFTP Password Controls
When choosing an SFTP provider for all of your file sharing needs, there are a number of important things to keep in mind regarding strong passwords and certain user authentication features. By default, all logins should require password authentication for maximum security - regardless of how strong or how weak a password happens to be. Your SFTP provider should also give you the ability to manage public SSH keys on a per-user basis, helping to keep things more secure but still require the superior authentication that is typically used for scripted connections.
As an administrator, your SFTP provider should also give you the ability to set whether a user is using a password, an SSH-key or both at the same time. This will help keep things flexible - whether a user just wants to use their Web browser or have automated certain SFTP functionality, they're protected in both situations.
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About Martin Horan
Founder of FTP Today and an expert in secure file transfer and Internet protocols. A software and IT geek since a young age, Martin has successfully led his companies through the digital age by spotting market niches and filling them with quality IT services.