IT Support 101: Simplifying password policies

While the banner above remains true, a really good password can last a long time. But we are not here to discuss that. So in a way, this banner kind of irrelevant. But a good tongue-in-cheek approach to what this article is.

You are a multinational corporation and with such a high overturn in staff, password policies are crucial. Security is paramount and in most cases, policies are more or less predictable too, a password change every 6 months. But giants move slowly because size itself breeds inefficiency. And if you are a small business, you should never follow such a model. It does not make sense.

So here are two models that we recommend for small businesses who think about which password policy to apply.

IT Support 101: Simplifying password policies

The chaos policy:

Now, this may sound extreme but there is some logic to this. You have a small team and an office where you can see everyone at their desk. A simple policy of each staff with their own password and their own admin account for their computer is not uncommon. There are also ways to ensure that each computer provisioned reminds the user to change their passwords every year. The ease of installation of software and freedom is a great boost to efficiency in the short term. Productivity and speed are key for startups and your password policy should be as open as possible.

IT Support 101: Simplifying password policies

The teacher policy:

Now for businesses that really do need a layer of control and security. A simple teacher type policy would do the trick. This would mean that each computer has an administrator account and a user account, with the staff being the user. Password rules can be set by the administrator to change every 6 months and installations etc also have to go through the permission of the admin. It is crucial however that there always be a staff in the office who has admin rights. You do not want a situation where your staff needs to install crucial software for work and there is no administrator around to key in the password.

We are really oversimplifying this but small businesses are different. It is brand new and it needs to be broken in. The advantage that small businesses have is its malleable stage where it can easily transition from one model to another. And until you have figured things out, it is always best to leave these policies and models open. Yes, it is a little tedious the bring it to structure to a small business at a later stage, however, the structure can impede growth. When time is crucial and every hour counts, you do not need anything to hold you back. Keep rushing forward.

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