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Newsletter for Q4 - 2014

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Tech Tip - Encryption

Happy Holidays!


2014 Software 500

Software Magazine's
Software 500
17th Straight Year

Partner NewsWire
Published by UltraBac Software Q4 - 2014


Looking to secure your backups? UltraBac provides administrators with an optional AES encryption function. When selected, it provides an additional means to protect sensitive customer information and confidential company data. The AES algorithm is capable of using cryptographic keys of 128, 192, and 256 bits to encrypt and decrypt data in blocks of 128 bits. This feature is configured globally on the device level, providing fully compliant, powerful data security at no extra charge. However, even the strongest encryption can be broken if a weak password phrase is used.

SplashData, a provider of password management applications, puts out an annual list of the worst passwords. They compiled this list from files posted online that contained millions of stolen passwords. The top 10 for 2013 were:

  1. 123456
  2. password
  3. 12345678
  4. qwerty
  5. abc123
  6. 123456789
  7. 111111
  8. 1234567
  9. iloveyou
  10. adobe123

Are you currently putting your information, or worse your company's data at risk by using a weak or easily guessable password? If you see your password above or on the complete list of worst passwords for 2013, please change it immediately!

It is best not to use basic personal information as your password, i.e. your name, your birthday, your pet's name, your child's name, etc. You can make your data more secure by creating passwords using SplashData's tips:

"Use passwords of eight characters or more with mixed types of characters. But even passwords with common substitutions like "dr4mat1c" can be vulnerable to attackers' increasingly sophisticated technology, and random combinations like "j%7K&yPx$" can be difficult to remember. One way to create more secure passwords that are easy to recall is to use passphrases — short words with spaces or other characters separating them. It's best to use random words rather than common phrases. For example, "cakes years birthday" or "smiles_light_skip"?

Avoid using the same username/password combination for multiple websites. Especially risky is using the same password for entertainment sites that you do for online email, social networking, or financial service sites. Use different passwords for each new website or service you sign up for."

Even hackers have fallen prey to weak passwords. Most famously is "hacktivist" Jeremy Hammond who is currently serving 10 years in prison for his role in cyber attacks against a private defense firm and law enforcement agencies, among others. He might have been able to hack into systems that might be impenetrable to others, but he used his cat's name, Chewy, and 123 as his password for his encryption program. Federal authorities were able to gather evidence by accessing his "protected" system and now he sits in jail.

We know that it is difficult to come up with passwords that are hard to guess, but are easy to remember. And even more difficult is being able to keep track of them all. In the case where a password is forgotten, a decryption file can be very helpful. After encryption has been enabled in UltraBac, a decryption key can be created and exported to an encrypted text file. Just remember to be sure to store the key in a safe location (in other words don't save it to your C: drive) otherwise you can also make your password ineffective this way as well.

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