|By PR Newswire||
|April 14, 2014 10:28 AM EDT||
MISSISSIPPI STATE, Miss., April 14, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The recently-discovered "Heartbleed" bug affecting as much as two-thirds of the Internet is causing people to hurriedly change passwords and further secure online personal information.
A variety of websites have found bug-related security vulnerabilities which affect sites employing OpenSSL, an open-source encryption technology that typically indicates personal information is safe with a lock icon in the web browser.
Merrill Warkentin of Mississippi State University said Friday [April 11] that choosing strong passwords is among the best proactive steps for minimizing vulnerability to identity theft.
"Never select a word that can be found in a dictionary," the information systems professor advised. Instead, he recommended three objectives for choosing strong passwords: make them hard to guess, hard to figure out and hard to "shoulder surf," meaning not easily observed by someone looking over your shoulder.
"If it's an obscure sequence of characters instead of a regular word, they are not going to be able to figure it out," he said.
Warkentin said users should think in terms of a "pass phrase" rather than a password. Personal phrases that may easily be remembered can become a hard-to-guess password when using the first letter of each word.
As an example, he said a phrase like "I started to work in 2008," could become the password "Is2wi2008." He said it is best to use a combination of upper and lowercase letters and numbers. If you add an odd character or symbol, the password becomes even stronger, he said. A true strong password must contain at least 14 characters, including numbers, upper and lower-case letters, and special characters.
Warkentin teaches students in his information systems classes at MSU to think of phrases personal to themselves, such as lyrics to a favorite song that they will find easy to remember, but others would have difficulty guessing.
Even if they are "strong," some passwords still may be compromised because of security breaches like Heartbleed, Warkentin said. It is online attacks and vulnerability discoveries that illustrate the importance of having unique passwords for the most sensitive information instead of using the same passwords repeatedly across the Internet.
"I would not reuse your bank or brokerage password anywhere else; I would make that a one-of-a-kind," he said, noting that if a hacker gains password information at one site, he may then go to other websites and try the same passwords to gain access to additional accounts.
While the most sensitive information needs the highest standards of security, Warkentin said many other websites which require login information are much less of a security concern because less personal information is at risk. He used as an example that some newspapers require login information before giving access to news articles, but they don't store sensitive personal data.
"It helps if people can think about information in terms of the risk of harm," he said.
"If someone logs in as you on a website, can they hurt you?" he continued. "If it's your bank or your social media account, the answer is yes. On other sites, there is less at stake if the only power they have is to change your news preferences, for example, without gaining any real personal data."
Warkentin advises using different passwords for different websites, but one good tip is to create a strong base password, like the "Is2wi2008" example, but make it unique to various websites by using add-ons. He said an adaptation to the example could be using "Is2wi2008Amz" for shopping on Amazon.
"Then they're all about the same, and they're strong, but they're also unique because of those last two or three characters," he said.
Some other tips shared by Warkentin include:
- If it is necessary to write down passwords, it is critical to store them in a safe secure location. "Don't write it on a sticky note by your monitor," he said.
- Utilize more than one authentication method for the most sensitive data. "The best security is when you use two-factor authentication; it's much safer because when someone gets your password, they still don't have everything they need to gain access."
- Request higher levels of security for accounts that many banking systems offer. Higher security usually involves an additional challenge question for accessing information via telephone, so clients can't just verify their basic information like ID number and address.
Because of Heartbleed's potential impact, Warkentin implored users to immediately change passwords at websites holding credit card, health or other personal information not to be shared--and also their social media and email platforms.
For more information about Mississippi State University, see www.msstate.edu.
Bio and contact info available at: http://www.misprofessor.us/
broadcast studio available
Merrill Warkentin is a Professor of Information Systems and the Richard Adkerson Notable Scholar in the College of Business at Mississippi State University.
For more information, see news release at: http://www.msstate.edu/web/media/detail.php?id=6587
This news release was issued on behalf of Newswise™. For more information, visit http://www.newswise.com.
Contact: Allison Matthews, 662-325-7457, [email protected]
SOURCE Mississippi State University
@ThingsExpo has been named the ‘Top WebRTC Influencer' by iTrend. iTrend processes millions of conversations, tweets, interactions, news articles, press releases, blog posts - and extract meaning form them and analyzes mobile and desktop software platforms used to communicate, various metadata (such as geo location), and automation tools. In overall placement, @ThingsExpo ranked as the number one ‘WebRTC Influencer' followed by @DevOpsSummit at 55th.
Jan. 19, 2017 06:00 AM EST Reads: 4,750
In 2014, Amazon announced a new form of compute called Lambda. We didn't know it at the time, but this represented a fundamental shift in what we expect from cloud computing. Now, all of the major cloud computing vendors want to take part in this disruptive technology. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, John Jelinek IV, a web developer at Linux Academy, will discuss why major players like AWS, Microsoft Azure, IBM Bluemix, and Google Cloud Platform are all trying to sidestep VMs and containers...
Jan. 19, 2017 06:00 AM EST Reads: 791
SYS-CON Events announced today that Enzu will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Enzu’s mission is to be the leading provider of enterprise cloud solutions worldwide. Enzu enables online businesses to use its IT infrastructure to their competitive ad...
Jan. 19, 2017 06:00 AM EST Reads: 1,583
Providing the needed data for application development and testing is a huge headache for most organizations. The problems are often the same across companies - speed, quality, cost, and control. Provisioning data can take days or weeks, every time a refresh is required. Using dummy data leads to quality problems. Creating physical copies of large data sets and sending them to distributed teams of developers eats up expensive storage and bandwidth resources. And, all of these copies proliferating...
Jan. 19, 2017 05:45 AM EST Reads: 3,687
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a client-oriented software development company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex softw...
Jan. 19, 2017 05:30 AM EST Reads: 1,889
The speed of software changes in growing and large scale rapid-paced DevOps environments presents a challenge for continuous testing. Many organizations struggle to get this right. Practices that work for small scale continuous testing may not be sufficient as the requirements grow. In his session at DevOps Summit, Marc Hornbeek, Sr. Solutions Architect of DevOps continuous test solutions at Spirent Communications, explained the best practices of continuous testing at high scale, which is rele...
Jan. 19, 2017 05:30 AM EST Reads: 4,164
DevOps tends to focus on the relationship between Dev and Ops, putting an emphasis on the ops and application infrastructure. But that’s changing with microservices architectures. In her session at DevOps Summit, Lori MacVittie, Evangelist for F5 Networks, will focus on how microservices are changing the underlying architectures needed to scale, secure and deliver applications based on highly distributed (micro) services and why that means an expansion into “the network” for DevOps.
Jan. 19, 2017 05:15 AM EST Reads: 5,030
In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Claude Remillard, Principal Program Manager in Developer Division at Microsoft, contrasted how his team used config as code and immutable patterns for continuous delivery of microservices and apps to the cloud. He showed how the immutable patterns helps developers do away with most of the complexity of config as code-enabling scenarios such as rollback, zero downtime upgrades with far greater simplicity. He also demoed building immutable pipelines in the cloud ...
Jan. 19, 2017 04:15 AM EST Reads: 3,448
Using new techniques of information modeling, indexing, and processing, new cloud-based systems can support cloud-based workloads previously not possible for high-throughput insurance, banking, and case-based applications. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, John Newton, CTO, Founder and Chairman of Alfresco, described how to scale cloud-based content management repositories to store, manage, and retrieve billions of documents and related information with fast and linear scalability. He addres...
Jan. 19, 2017 04:00 AM EST Reads: 5,357
Hardware virtualization and cloud computing allowed us to increase resource utilization and increase our flexibility to respond to business demand. Docker Containers are the next quantum leap - Are they?! Databases always represented an additional set of challenges unique to running workloads requiring a maximum of I/O, network, CPU resources combined with data locality.
Jan. 19, 2017 03:30 AM EST Reads: 401
Due of the rise of Hadoop, many enterprises are now deploying their first small clusters of 10 to 20 servers. At this small scale, the complexity of operating the cluster looks and feels like general data center servers. It is not until the clusters scale, as they inevitably do, when the pain caused by the exponential complexity becomes apparent. We've seen this problem occur time and time again. In his session at Big Data Expo, Greg Bruno, Vice President of Engineering and co-founder of StackIQ...
Jan. 19, 2017 01:15 AM EST Reads: 7,808
The cloud market growth today is largely in public clouds. While there is a lot of spend in IT departments in virtualization, these aren’t yet translating into a true “cloud” experience within the enterprise. What is stopping the growth of the “private cloud” market? In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Nara Rajagopalan, CEO of Accelerite, explored the challenges in deploying, managing, and getting adoption for a private cloud within an enterprise. What are the key differences between wh...
Jan. 19, 2017 01:15 AM EST Reads: 6,101
Security, data privacy, reliability, and regulatory compliance are critical factors when evaluating whether to move business applications from in-house, client-hosted environments to a cloud platform. Quality assurance plays a vital role in ensuring that the appropriate level of risk assessment, verification, and validation takes place to ensure business continuity during the migration to a new cloud platform.
Jan. 19, 2017 01:00 AM EST Reads: 1,282
"Tintri was started in 2008 with the express purpose of building a storage appliance that is ideal for virtualized environments. We support a lot of different hypervisor platforms from VMware to OpenStack to Hyper-V," explained Dan Florea, Director of Product Management at Tintri, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Jan. 19, 2017 12:45 AM EST Reads: 4,702
Containers have changed the mind of IT in DevOps. They enable developers to work with dev, test, stage and production environments identically. Containers provide the right abstraction for microservices and many cloud platforms have integrated them into deployment pipelines. DevOps and containers together help companies achieve their business goals faster and more effectively. In his session at DevOps Summit, Ruslan Synytsky, CEO and Co-founder of Jelastic, reviewed the current landscape of Dev...
Jan. 19, 2017 12:00 AM EST Reads: 4,178