As we approach a fall semester that most probably is going to continue to be, at least in part, a virtual experience for many of us, there are many issues for information technology managers to consider. Cybersecurity is one of those.
Over the past few years, cybersecurity has become a prime concern at all levels of society, from small town municipalities to the development of cyberwarfare commands in all branches of the military. Passwords are quite literally the key to many IT systems.
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Passwords have become longer. Eight to 10-character passwords are now the recommended standard, with a dozen character passwords common. Beyond an eight-character password, passwords that are simply longer are not necessarily better–although mathematically, yes, it will take a supercomputer a longer time to generate the password via a brute force attack. In fact, NIST states that in many cases a six-character digital password is acceptable.
End users are much more likely to need to write their passwords down as they increase in length–making physical discovery easier. I do hope the days of writing your password on a sticky note under your keyboard are over, but many users still need to write down a password when they are forced to change it regularly or follow arcane complexity rules.
Dr. Steve Baule is a faculty member at Winona State University (WSU)
, where he teaches in the Leadership Education Department. Prior to joining WSU, Baule spent 28 years in K-12 school systems in Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa, and two years teaching in the University of Wisconsin System. For the 13 years prior to moving to the university level, Baule served as a public -school superintendent. He has written 10 books on a variety of educational and historical topics and has served on the editorial boards for two journals. Baule earned an advanced diversity and equity certificate while in the UW system. He holds a doctorate in instructional technology from Northern Illinois University and a doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies from Loyola University Chicago.
Baule’s scholarly interests focus on online student engagement, educational technology-- particularly the impact of 1:1 implementations, social-emotional learning, and the history of education. Baule led several efforts to improve student emotional health and reduce discipline issues prior to moving into higher education. He also writes on aspects of early American history.
Baule has held memberships in the American Association of School Administrators, the American Library Association, the American Association of School Librarians, the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, the Consortium for School Networking, the International Association of School Librarians, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, the National Staff Development Council, and many of their state affiliates. He has served as a consultant in the areas of educational technology, facilities design, library program development, team building, and communications.
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