Australian Government Agencies Have Passwords That Are Too Easy To Crack

Yet another reminder that setting strong passwords is essential: an analysis of four government agencies by the Australian National Audit Office found that 20% of their systems were vulnerable to “brute force” attacks to guess passwords. The end result: more government departments will end up blocking access to Gmail and other webmail services.

You might not work for a government department, but choosing secure passwords and staying secure online don’t require an enterprise-grade budget.

One recommendation in the report is that departments provide client computers in staff common areas to allow access to Gmail and other services, while blocking them on main work computers. While that might be a good security solution, I can’t help thinking it will just encourage people to access those services on smart phones — which eliminates some of the security risk, but could also impact productivity more drastically. What do you think?

Australian National Audit Office [PDF via SMH]


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