Password Policy - External


1.0 Overview

Passwords are an important aspect of computer security. A poorly chosen password may result in unauthorized access and/or exploitation of Mornington Communications’ resources. All subscribers with access to Mornington Communications systems, are responsible for taking the appropriate steps, as outlined below, to select and secure their passwords.

2.0 Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to establish a standard for creation of strong passwords, the protection of those passwords, and the frequency of change.

3.0 Scope

The scope of this policy includes all subscribers who have or are responsible for an account (or any form of access that supports or requires a password) on any system that resides at any Mornington Communications facility or has access to the Mornington Communications network.

4.0 Policy

 

4.1 General

All user-level passwords (e.g., email, webmail, Wi-Fi, PPPoE, etc.) must conform to the guidelines described below.

4.2 Guidelines

A. General Password Construction Guidelines
All users at Mornington Communications should be aware of how to select strong passwords.

Strong passwords have the following characteristics:

  • Contain eight to twelve of the following alphanumeric character classes in random order: one Lower case character one Upper case character three Numeric characters.

Weak passwords have the following characteristics:

  • The password contains less than eight characters 
  • The password is a word found in a dictionary (English or foreign)
  • The password is a common usage word such as:
    • Names of family, pets, friends, co-workers, fantasy characters, etc. o Computer terms and names, commands, sites, companies, hardware, software.
    • The word "",””,” or any derivation.
    • Birthdays and other personal information such as addresses and phone numbers.
    • Word or number patterns like aaabbb, qwerty, zyxwvuts, 123321, etc. 
    • Any of the above spelled backwards.
    •  Any of the above preceded or followed by a digit (e.g., secret1, 1secret) Try to create passwords that can be easily remembered. One way to do this is create a password based on a song title, affirmation, or other phrase. For example, the phrase might be: "This May Be One Way To Remember" and the password could be: "TmB1w2R!" or "Tmb1W>r~" or some other variation. (NOTE: Do not use either of these examples as passwords!)

B. Password Protection Standards

  • Always use different passwords for Mornington Communications accounts from other non-Mornington Communications access (e.g.,  Facebook, benefits, etc.). 
  • Do not share Mornington Communications passwords with anyone, including administrative assistants or secretaries. All passwords are to be treated as sensitive, confidential Mornington Communications information. 
  • Passwords should never be written down or stored on-line without encryption. 
  • Do not reveal a password in email, chat, or other electronic communication. Do not speak about a password in front of others. 
  • Do not hint at the format of a password (e.g., "my family name")
  • Do not reveal a password on questionnaires or security forms 
  • If someone demands a password, refer them to this document and direct them to the Information Security Department.
  • Always decline the use of the "Remember Password" feature of applications (e.g., Windows, Outlook, Netscape Messenger). 
  • If an account or password compromise is suspected, report the incident to the Information Security Department. 

5.0 Enforcement

Password cracking or guessing may be performed on a periodic or random basis by the Information Security Department or its delegates. If a password is guessed or cracked during these exercises, the password will be changed without notice to the subscriber.

6.0 Revision History

Dave Godglick - 03-08-2012

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