Rollout of new passphrases

Hands typing on keyboard

Following a successful trial, we will soon be rolling out a new password policy across the Trust.

The new policy will be phased in gradually in the coming weeks\months.

Passwords are an important aspect of computer security and are the front line of protection for user accounts. A poorly chosen password can result in the compromise of the Trust’s entire network and the data held on it.

A recent audit was able to crack 2369 staff member’s passwords, (approximately 31% of all accounts) with a simple dictionary scan.

Not only do we need to maintain security of the Trust’s network, but without this assurance we will not meet the requirements for Cyber Essentials Plus accreditation, something we are mandated to achieve by June 2021.

The latest guidance from the National Cyber Security Centre, Sophos is to use passphrases instead of passwords. In line with that guidance the following policies will applied:

  • A minimum of 15 characters (This can be entirely lowercase, although uppercase characters, numbers and symbols can still be used if you wish)
  • Passphrase history: 5 passwords remembered
  • Maximum password age: never expire
  • Minimum password age: 1 day
  • Account lockout duration: 10 minutes
  • Account lockout threshold: 11 invalid logon attempts

In addition, we have introduced a feature that enables staff to reset their passwords without the need to contact the Service Desk. To be able to do this staff need to register themselves.

Go to https://aka.ms/ssprsetup, re-enter your password and follow the instructions on screen to register.

With Trust issued Windows 10 computers, you will see the "Reset password" option at the Windows logon screen. Should you forget your password simply click this and it will take you to the password reset system as long as your computer is connected to the Internet. You can also do this from any Internet connected device when logging in via a browser (i.e. at home), simply click “Can’t access your account ?”.

 

Published 16th October 2019
Updated 21st October 2019

 

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