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Information Security

The Importance of Password Rotation

What is Password Rotation? Password rotation refers to the changing or resetting of passwords at regular intervals. The goal is to limit the lifespan of a password, reducing the risk of unauthorized access. By doing so, we condense the window of time during which a stolen password remains valid.

Why Is It Needed?

Here are some key reasons why password rotation matters:

  1. Mitigating Attacks: Regularly changing passwords makes it harder for cybercriminals to exploit them. If a password is compromised, its effectiveness diminishes over time due to rotation.
  2. Reducing Exposure: Static, unchanged passwords provide a larger opportunity for unauthorized access. Rotating passwords on a frequent schedule (e.g., every 30-90 days) helps limit this exposure.
  3. Best Practice: Password rotation is universally accepted as a security best practice. It’s an essential component of an overall security plan. Consistency and discipline in password changes are critical.

How Often Should You Rotate Passwords?

The frequency of password rotation depends on several factors:

  • Standard User Accounts: For everyday user accounts, consider rotating passwords at 60 – 90-day intervals. Many systems enforce this through password expiration policies.
  • Highly Privileged Accounts: Superuser accounts (such as root or domain admin) and other highly privileged passwords should be rotated more frequently. Some organizations even use one-time passwords (OTPs) for sensitive accounts.
  • Known Compromises: If you receive notice of a breach affecting user accounts, immediately change the password connected to the affected account.

In summary, periodic password rotation is a simple yet effective way to enhance security. By changing passwords regularly and ensuring they are strong, you contribute to safeguarding your accounts and sensitive information. Remember, good password hygiene benefits everyone, regardless of technical expertise!