A Threat to your Data: Password Spraying

by SEP Blog Team | Cybersecurity, password security

What Is Password Spraying?

Password spraying is an attack where a criminal passes a large number of usernames into a program that tries to find the matching password by using common passwords or passwords from previously compromised data. The attack can be slow and are hard to identify since they may look organic and do not trigger threshold alarms.

Mult-factor Authentication

Require Multi-factor authentication (MFA) and review MFA settings to ensure all active, internet facing protocols are covered with MFA. User cloud authentication when available. Enforcing MFA for all external entry points protects against password spraying since the attacker requires additional authentication beyond what is available through the capture of a leaked password database.

Password Security Education

Most users don’t fully comprehend the damage from failing to follow password security policies and best practices. For a user, the password they choose may seem challenging to crack, but for a criminal that has a pool of stolen data, access is only a matter of time.

Implement a cybersecurity education program for users and employees that includes password best practices. The weakest link determines the strength of your security. For most businesses, this link is your users’ passwords. Create password policies that align with the latest NIST Digital Identity Guidelines. Distribute a list of banned passwords.

The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) recommends you "review IT help desk password management related to initial passwords, password resets for user lockouts, and shared accounts. IT help desk password procedures may not align to company policy, creating an exploitable security gap."

The Challenge

Just one of the challenges IT departments face today is maintaining the balance between security and productivity. Rapidly evolving cyber threats are making this balancing act all the more difficult. Staying up-to-date with knowledge on password security and best practices is essential to educate employees and users so you can keep the user experience safe and secure.