The Biggest Mistakes Users Make When Choosing a Password

passwordAccount information for millions of Dropbox users is being leaked online, more than four years since the file sharing service suffered a major data breach.

Fox News reports that as many as 68 million accounts were compromised, with email addresses and password data now being shared on the web.

Dropbox told FoxNews.com that even if the passwords were cracked, hackers wouldn’t be able to access those accounts because of a recent reset.

The cloud storage service says they reset passwords for users who signed up before mid-2012 and hadn’t bothered to change their passwords since.

Using the same password on multiple sites

The collateral damage from this data breach could be a more of a concern.

“The real risk for a breached user isn’t the site that leaked their user information,” said Rob Juncker, VP of Engineering at LANDESK. “It’s the fact that most users use the same credentials at multiple sites and hackers know this.”

Juncker, an expert in cybersecurity, says being lazy with your password exposes you and your company to the possibility of a full-on cyber onslaught.

“Having discrete credentials per site is a key aspect of securing yourself as a user,” said Juncker.

Users make common mistakes when it comes to generating passwords when creating new accounts.

Adding a number at the end

“Adding a number at the end of a password doesn’t qualify,” he said. “Realize that if all you did was add a number, or add one to an existing number on the site, you might as well have just left it the same.”

A lot of emphasis is placed on coming up with unique, hard-to-crack passwords; but Juncker says your usernames, and more importantly the email address you use when signing up, can be just as critical when it comes to protecting your sensitive information.

“With some sites like Facebook and Instagram, most users will trend towards their personal emails,” he said. “Corporate sites often are registered with corporate credentials.”

Using a work email address

Many users register for sites liked LinkedIn and Dropbox with email addresses linked to their employer’s domains. Juncker says this dangerous practice can open the door for hackers to access your businesses’ network.

“The problem this creates is your corporate security teams have no control over the password governance on these sites,” he said. “But it provides a link from a credential to a corporate network when you use a corporate email.”

Key takeaways

Juncker’s advice: stop using the same password, or a variation of, for everything, and think twice about using your work email address for online accounts. A little extra diligence can save you a lot of hassle when it comes to protecting your personal and proprietary information.

Are you guilty of any of these password blunders? Check out LANDESK Security Suite and be sure to get your free copy of our white paper on how to protect against ransomware—this year’s biggest cyber security threat—below.

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What does LANDESK 9.6 and the Starship Enterprise have in common?

No, it doesn’t have anything to do with wiping out Romulans or Klingons! It does, in fact, have to do with the speed of LANDESK Management Suite 9.6. The Starship Enterprise (1701-D) in the Next Generation, had a normal maximum operating warp speed of warp 9.6. Coincidental? Maybe. It could go a little faster if you pushed the warp core.

Each new version of the Enterprise came with an astounding change in speed and range.

In the original Star Trek Scotty had to contend with warp 5.2  and so the infamous words “I’m giving it all she’s got Captain!” were heard

In the original Star Trek, Scotty had to contend with warp 5.2 “I’m giving it all she’s got Captain!”

LANDESK 9.6 also comes with greater speed to manage the end-users. Take for instance software distribution and patching. You can now distribute applications, operating systems and patches more than 20x faster. This means if you have a critical patch to get out to everyone, the window for how long the organization is vulnerable is much smaller when it takes only minutes to distribute a patch across an entire enterprise, instead of a few hours. It’s faster and more efficient too, generating even less traffic on the business network. That type of speed and efficiency can keep your shields up and at full strength to keep your business safe and productive.

Just like taking the Enterprise out of space dock for the first time, it’s your turn to try out the newest LANDESK 9.6. Take it for a test flight and feel what warp 9.6 is like. Coming July 22!

Move Over Grandma, Here Comes LANDESK 9.6

My grandmother lived in an amazing time in history. Through her lifetime she saw the emergence of cars, airplanes, spaceships and computers. By the end she was working on becoming a MS Word guru and adopting cell phones. It is just amazing to see how technology has progressed in her lifetime. Grandma and typewriter

Looking back through her life, I think of how she had to communicate with her five sisters and mother who lived across the country.  Since long distance phone calls were expensive, here are the steps of keeping up with the family back in the mid-twentieth century:

  1. Pre-write a letter with a pen and paper.
  2. Find the typewriter with the sticky “t” key.
  3. Load typewriter with 6 sheets of paper and 5 pieces of carbon paper. Both of these items were very scarce during WWII.
  4. Type with such force that it nearly breaks the typewriter to get through all 6 sheets of paper.
  5. Hope to goodness that you didn’t make a typo – no spellcheck.
  6. Find 6 envelopes and stamps and make a trip to the post office.

And presto, in a little over a week, her family would get a communication from her. Contrast this with taking out your smartphone, snapping a picture of your kids and sending it to your entire family in the blink of an eye.

What does this have to do with LANDESK 9.6? LANDESK (LD) has worked hard to make the process easier for IT folks. With each new version, managing systems is becoming more like our social media example and much less like my dear grandmother.

During Interchange 2014, we worked on what would be the best way to show the efficiencies gained in our new provisioning process in LD Management Suite 9.6. Our plan was to show a video of the existing product version to create a migration template and contrast that with Rex McMillan, our Product Manager, creating the same task live with the new version.

As with all best laid plans, ours went awry. Just like watching a racecar from the sidelines, Rex was so fast that we were unable to switch to his live machine quick enough to show him actually create the task. Take a look at these videos:

LANDESK Interchange Keynote on Creating Provisioning Templates

LANDESK – Old Way of Creating Provisioning Templates

Provisioning is an important task and one that IT administrators do on a regular basis as they onboard new employees, change out hardware or migrate to the latest Windows® version.  Streamlining this task makes it much more efficient for the IT admin to effectively repeat this process and even upgrade the user to the latest software titles in the process.

It worked out in the end. Rex was able to show how he considerably decreased the amount of time taken and increased efficiency in creating the completed task. With each new version, LANDESK is making life much easier for IT; it’s like upgrading your typewriter to a smartphone.

This is just one of the many new features coming in LANDESK 9.6 making its debut July 22, 2014!

We’re Listening – Total User Management Focuses on Simplicity, Scalablity, Security

Have you ever put yourself in a developers shoes and asked yourself, “How would I improve this product if I had the chance?” Well we have. That’s the exact reason we asked our Product Advisory Committee what they would do to improve our product. And you know what the crazy part is? We listened and they really noticed in this latest release of LANDESK systems and security management products. The result is a product we are thrilled to release. Total User Management with 9.6 enhancements is now easier to use, more scalable for enterprise and it’s focused on the user.

  • Easy to use– Who doesn’t want an easier to use product? But when we say that it’s easier to use, we’re also talking about decreasing the time it takes for you to manage all of your systems. For example, to create a provisioning template takes seven steps instead of 110. I don’t know about you but I think it’s easier to climb seven steps instead of seven stories. 9.6 allows you to save time by identifying which patches are most important to your organization and enabling you to implement them quickly.
  • Built for enterprise– The fact is, the faster you can react to a threat, or patch your machines, the less likely you are to be compromised; it’s as simple as that. Think of the Starship Enterprise. What happens if the shields are slow to come up? They die! This brings us to the enterprise (not the starship). Scalability is always an issue when it comes to managing thousands of machines. Software distribution and patching has taken a quantum leap in speed. You choose which packages to distribute and when and then it’s done in minutes to an hour versus several hours. The speed of the accelerated push technology is like flying a Piper Cub single prop airplane and then jumping into an SR-71 Blackbird. The difference in speeds is breathtaking. Just sit back and experience the g-force!
  • Focused on the user– Self-updating agents is a major reason why 9.6 doesn’t get in the way of user’s. This could possibly be the last agent you will ever install! By A user and his devices monitoring and enabling you to schedule when reboots occur, 9.6 stays out of the way of user efficiency. This means less headache for you (via end-user complaints) and more productivity for employees. The system can be configured to leverage when the user is usually not very active, or is not using crucial programs, to determine when the best time to reboot will be. It’s the best of both worlds. Your systems stay up-to-date and secure, while employees don’t have any reason to curse IT. There’s also a new user portal that works across all devises and patches can now be activated on a self-service basis from the portal.

Some would think we made these improvements in order to attract new customers or remain ahead of the curve. That’s true, but a big reason we made these improvements was to make our customer’s lives easier. We did it because we truly understand what tools make an organization that much more efficient.

Total User Management 9.6 is coming July 22, 2014! Stay tuned for more in our series on all the helpful tricks and additions that will be available soon.

SP1: Service Pack or Super Pack? You Decide.

This week LANDesk is releasing 9.5 SP1, which further strengthens LANDesk’s ability to deliver user management solutions like the Secure User Management Suite. This 9.5 SP1 release provides updates to improve reliability and also great new abilities related to user management, broad platform support, endpoint security and software lifecycle management.

This 9.5 SP1 release provides enhancements and updates to nearly every product and technology in the Secure User Management Suite, which includes:

  • LANDesk Management Suite
  • LANDesk Security Suite
  • LANDesk Data Analytics
  • LANDesk Mobility Manager

and add-on products like:

  • Cloud Services Appliance (Gateway)
  • Antivirus with Kaspersky Lab 10 Endpoint Integration

There are so many updates, we’re not sure if it should be called a Service Pack or a Super Pack. You decide…

For full details about 9.5 SP1, check out What’s New in 9.5 SP1.

Two Exciting Announcements

Today LANDesk made two exciting announcements at Gartner ITXpo/Symposium. First, we will soon ship LANDesk Management Suite and Security Suite 9.5. Significant upgrades have been incorporated into both suites, including enhanced cross-platform support, innovative software license management and virtualization management. These changes will further enable LANDesk’s vast ecosystem of customers and partners to gain better control of their endpoints and in turn, further maximize user productivity in a secure manner. Read the press release for all the details of what to expect and when.

We also announced the LANDesk Secure User Management Suite—a solution offering customers complete user management from a single console. This industry-first solution set is aimed at helping IT professionals gain control of a mixed environment of users, devices and platforms , regardless of location, through a single console and low cost IT infrastructure. To learn more about Secure User Management Suite and how it simplifies the way IT keeps the users productive and we’re doing it all for a simple, single price, read the full release now.