Is Your Password as Secure as Your Data?

Imagine a secure bunker housing the most confidential documents in the world, like something out of a Mission Impossible movie. Now imagine the front door of that bunker being secured with a rusty old padlock.

This is often the case when dealing with secure online websites. The back-end contains all the advanced gadgetry while the front-end is protected by a weak, easily deciphered password like a person’s favourite sports team, a spouse’s name, or a child’s birthday. Such is the nature of being human.

Firmex employs a different type of password protection. We ensure that the front-end padlock of your site is as secure as the back-end infrastructure.

When a new Firmex user profile is created the user is assigned a complex, randomly generated password. The password is at least 10 characters long and made up of a combination of 94 characters (26 uppercase letters, 26 lowercase letters, 10 numbers, and 32 special characters). The first time a user logs in they are asked to change their password to a password that’s just as complex as the one that was randomly generated.

What does it take to decipher such a password? Consider the following example:

A sample Firmex generated password may be tgjsh52!KRs. The password is 11 characters long. Each character may be one of the 94 possible characters mentioned above. In order for a computer to crack this password using a brute force attack (i.e. trying all the combinations until it arrives at the correct password), the computer must try a sextillion combinations (94 to the power of the number of characters in the password, in our case 94^11). To put that number into perspective, it has been estimated that there are a sextillion grains of sand in all the world’s beaches (10^21 grains of sand)! A modern workstation is capable of generating 100,000,000 passwords per second. At that rate it would take the workstation a maximum of a million years to find a Firmex generated password. It would take the world’s most powerful supercomputer a more manageable 2000 years! Rest assured, your data is secure.

For tips on generating a secure password please see this article from Microsoft.

For tips on keeping your password secure please see this article from Microsoft.

Lastly, don’t hesitate to contact our support team with any questions you may have.

Debbie Stephenson

Debbie Stephenson is a former Content Marketing Manager at Firmex.