Netskope named a Leader in the 2022 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for Security Service Edge. Get the Report.

  • Security Service Edge Products

    Protect against advanced and cloud-enabled threats and safeguard data across all vectors.

  • Borderless SD-WAN

    Confidently provide secure, high-performance access to every remote user, device, site, and cloud.

  • Platform

    Unrivaled visibility and real-time data and threat protection on the world's largest security private cloud.

Netskope Named a Leader in the 2022 Gartner Magic Quadrant™ for SSE Report

Get the report Go to Products Overview
Netskope gartner mq 2022 sse leader

Gartner® Quick Answer: How Does Netskope’s Acquisition of Infiot Impact SD-WAN, SASE, and SSE Projects?

Get the report
Quick Answer: How Does Netskope’s Acquisition of Infiot Impact SD-WAN, SASE and SSE Projects?

Netskope delivers a modern cloud security stack, with unified capabilities for data and threat protection, plus secure private access.

Explore our platform
Birds eye view metropolitan city

Make the move to market-leading cloud security services with minimal latency and high reliability.

Learn more
Lighted highway through mountainside switchbacks

Prevent threats that often evade other security solutions using a single-pass SSE framework.

Learn more
Lighting storm over metropolitan area

Zero trust solutions for SSE and SASE deployments

Learn more
Boat driving through open sea

Netskope enables a safe, cloud-smart, and fast journey to adopt cloud services, apps, and public cloud infrastructure.

Learn more
Wind turbines along cliffside
  • Our Customers

    Netskope serves more than 2,000 customers worldwide including more than 25 of the Fortune 100

  • Customer Solutions

    We are here for you and with you every step of the way, ensuring your success with Netskope.

  • Training and Certification

    Netskope training will help you become a cloud security expert.

We help our customers to be Ready for Anything

See our Customers
Woman smiling with glasses looking out window

Netskope’s talented and experienced Professional Services team provides a prescriptive approach to your successful implementation.

Learn more
Netskope Professional Services

Secure your digital transformation journey and make the most of your cloud, web, and private applications with Netskope training.

Learn more
Group of young professionals working
  • Resources

    Learn more about how Netskope can help you secure your journey to the cloud.

  • Blog

    Learn how Netskope enables security and networking transformation through security service edge (SSE).

  • Events & Workshops

    Stay ahead of the latest security trends and connect with your peers.

  • Security Defined

    Everything you need to know in our cybersecurity encyclopedia.

Security Visionaries Podcast

Episode 15: Building Permanent Security Awareness

Play the podcast
Black man sitting in conference meeting

Read the latest on how Netskope can enable the Zero Trust and SASE journey through security service edge (SSE) capabilities.

Read the blog
Sunrise and cloudy sky

SASE Week

Netskope is positioned to help you begin your journey and discover where Security, Networking, and Zero Trust fit in the SASE world.

Learn more
SASE Week

What is Security Service Edge?

Explore the security side of SASE, the future of network and protection in the cloud.

Learn more
Four-way roundabout
  • Company

    We help you stay ahead of cloud, data, and network security challenges.

  • Why Netskope

    Cloud transformation and work from anywhere have changed how security needs to work.

  • Leadership

    Our leadership team is fiercely committed to doing everything it takes to make our customers successful.

  • Partners

    We partner with security leaders to help you secure your journey to the cloud.

Netskope enables the future of work.

Find out more
Curvy road through wooded area

Netskope is redefining cloud, data, and network security to help organizations apply Zero Trust principles to protect data.

Learn more
Switchback road atop a cliffside

Thinkers, builders, dreamers, innovators. Together, we deliver cutting-edge cloud security solutions to help our customers protect their data and people.

Meet our team
Group of hikers scaling a snowy mountain

Netskope’s partner-centric go-to-market strategy enables our partners to maximize their growth and profitability while transforming enterprise security.

Learn more
Group of diverse young professionals smiling

Cybersecurity Awareness Month: Answering 3 Big Questions About Secure Passwords

Oct 19 2022

Passwords have been employed by many since the days of the Roman Empire, and they quickly became omnipresent as we approached the digital age. However, rapid changes in the security landscape have forced us to evolve what our passwords look like and how they are used. At times, this has led to conflicting advice and confusion on what proper password management looks like. By clarifying how to best create and use passwords, we can make it easier for people to stay safe online.

With that in mind, as a part of Cybersecurity Awareness Month, I am going to answer some of the questions you may have when it comes to passwords.

Is it better to have a long password or a complex password?

A few years ago, you may have been told that if you want to make your password game better, you need to start using complex passwords. Using mixed-case characters, numbers, and special characters makes your password less guessable to a human, which used to be enough, but with machines that’s a different story. In 2012, a nine-character password with numbers, mixed-case letters, and symbols would take 12 years to crack. In 2022 though, that same password can be deciphered in two days. And if you are just like everyone else and replace your “a” with “@” and your “s” with “$”, your password is very likely already in a dictionary, increasing the likelihood of an attacker figuring out your password.

When comparing these two password attributes there is not one clear winner. The best passwords are longer while still being complex. As we can see with the table below from Hive Systems, even complex passwords can be cracked in nearly no time if they are shorter than 10 characters. Contrarily, a full-lowercase password that is 18 characters long will only take two million years to figure out. But in less time than you’d expect, technology will advance to the degree that even this type of password may be able to be brute-forced in as short as two days.

Should my password be coherent words or gibberish?

There are two sides of the aisle when it comes to using real words in passwords as opposed to using a random combination of valid characters. Using memorable words makes it easier to remember a password and lessens the need to write it down somewhere unsafe, but they also make our passwords more susceptible to a dictionary attack. 

If we use a passphrase in the style of “humus-LIGAMENT-teammate-hazard”, the length provides a reasonable strength of security, while still being easy to remember and input. Dictionary attacks cannot quickly break these passwords, and they remain a great option for passwords that you want or need to remember offhand. However, they are still not quite as strong as a long assortment of random characters, such as “@[email protected]@4C”. Clearly that string is far too difficult to remember, but how can we create so many of these long, complex passwords without sacrificing our security, productivity, and sanity?

If your app of choice does not allow you to have a password of at least 16 characters, you should consider using an alternative. If your application is mission-critical, then use the maximum number of characters allowed and make it as complex as is allowed. Be mindful of the allowed special characters in passwords as well, as this can vary between applications.

Are password managers the “real deal?”

It is unrealistic to expect ourselves or others to be able to remember all of the passwords we need to use, especially as they get longer and more complex. However, that does mean that if we keep them anywhere except our brains, access needs to be managed appropriately and securely. The use of a password manager is the best solution for storing all of your passwords. Strong encryption protects your data from being read by anyone else, and most of them offer browser extensions to help you autofill passwords for the sites you visit most often. It also means you only need to remember one master password, which you can make as long and complex as you want since you won’t need to remember any others.

Conclusions

The longer and more complex a password is, the stronger it is going to be in locking down sensitive information. To avoid reusing passwords or writing them down somewhere unsafe, use a password manager. Ask your company’s IT team if they have licenses for password managers available for your team, so that you can continue to play an important role in keeping sensitive data out of the hands of those who aim to abuse it.

Keep an eye out for more blog coverage in support of Cybersecurity Awareness Month!

author image
Sean Salomon
Sean Salomon is a Security Analyst for the Netskope Global Information Systems team. He graduated from Maryville University's School of Business in 2022 with a Bachelor's in Cybersecurity and a Minor in Application Development.