Password Best Practices for Small to Mid-Size Businesses

Easy Steps You Can Take to Implement Your First Line of Defense

World Password Day

With the increasing threat of cyber-attacks and data breaches, this World Password Day we are reminded - it's essential to have a strong password policy and use multi-factor authentication to protect your business and your customers' sensitive information. Here are some guidelines which are easily implemented by small to mid-size businesses: 

Password Best Practices

A strong password is a crucial first line of defense against cyber-attacks. Here are some password best practices to follow: 

  1. Use a unique password for each account: Using the same password for multiple accounts increases the risk of a data breach. If a hacker gains access to one account, they can easily access all your other accounts. 

  2. Use a long and complex password: A strong password should be at least 12 characters long and contain a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. 

  3. Avoid using common words or phrases: Avoid using easily guessable words or phrases such as "password," "123456," or "qwerty." 

  4. Change your passwords regularly: Changing your passwords every few months reduces the risk of a data breach. 

  5. Don't share your password: Avoid sharing your password with anyone, including employees, family members, or friends. 

Having a Password Policy 

Implementing a password policy in your small business can help enforce password best practices and ensure the security of your digital assets. Here are some tips to create a password policy: 

  1. Create a strong password requirement: Set a minimum password length and require the use of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. 

  2. Implement password expiration: Set a password expiration policy and require employees to change their password every few months. 

  3. Limit password attempts: Limit the number of times an individual can enter an incorrect password before being locked out of the system. 

Using Multi-Factor Authentication 

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) adds an extra layer of security by requiring users to provide more than one authentication factor before gaining access to a system. MFA can help prevent unauthorized access to your business's sensitive information, even if a password is compromised. Here are some types of MFA: 

  1. SMS authentication: A verification code is sent to a user's phone number via text message. 

  2. Authenticator apps: A code is generated by an authenticator app installed on a user's smartphone or computer. 

  3. Biometric authentication: A user's fingerprint, facial recognition, or other biometric data is used to authenticate their identity. 

  4. Hardware tokens: A physical device is used to generate a one-time password. 


In conclusion, password best practices, having a password policy, and using multi-factor authentication are essential for small businesses. By implementing these practices, you can protect your business and your customers' sensitive information from cyber-attacks and data breaches. Remember, a strong password policy is only as strong as your employees' adherence to it, so be sure to train your employees on password best practices and the importance of cybersecurity. We offer affordable and effective employee training, customized to your business, which is non-intrusive, systematic, and with built-in accountability. Contact us for more information.


Password Best Practices for Small to Mid-Size Businesses
Citadel6, Catherine Kennedy May 4, 2023
Share this post
Implement These 10 CIS Controls
Increase your cybersecurity level with these 10 CIS Controls