IT support Philadelphia, managed services PhiladelphiaYour IT support provider in Philadelphia should know what salting is; otherwise, they're not up-to-date with password techniques. Passwords are becoming easier to crack for cybercriminals, which is why you need to stay at least one step ahead of them. Here's a look at how salting adds a security layer to your passwords:

Salting Defined

In the cryptography world, salting means adding random data to passwords or other data prior to running it through a hash function, which is a form of one-way algorithmic calculation. In other words, salt helps protect stored passwords, preventing them from being read as plaintext. A separate salt is needed for each password. Salts are useful in protecting against dictionary hacks, in which software tests millions of passwords per second in an attempt to crack a login.

How Salting Protects Passwords

Any high-quality IT support team in Philadelphia understands the importance of strong passwords, meaning complex strings that are difficult to remember. The problem with many businesses that don't take security seriously and end up getting hacked is they forget to remind employees about the importance of avoiding weak easy-to-read passwords.

If employees are not made aware of how attackers seek out weak passwords such as a typical default (like "1234"), they can accidentally help hackers breach their company's system. A high percentage of breaches are due to employee error, such as clicking an infected email. A weak password is simple to crack with a dictionary hack, especially if it's only a short number of characters that spell out a familiar name or word.

Salting adds a random string of data to a password, making it more difficult for the hacking software to gain access to an email account. After a while, such a complexity becomes a waste of time for the hacker, who then typically moves on.

Mixing Up Characters

One of the key roles of a managed services provider in Philadelphia is to assess a company's infrastructure for vulnerabilities, such as weak passwords. Applying salt to a password inevitably scrambles the characters with a long string of added characters that look like computer programming mumbo jumbo rather than easy-to-read text. By mixing up lower and upper cases, along with letters and numbers, the result is a long complex string that looks like nonsense. The more unique the salts are without being short, the harder it will be for hackers to breach email accounts.

Conclusion

Rare passwords with the help of salting make it easier for your IT support team in Philadelphia to keep your system safe. Contact us at Partners Plus to learn more about defending your business against attackers who rely on hacking software.