The proper response and secure distribution strategy following a username and password hack would first be to disable all of the accounts that may be compromised and reset the passwords to meet stringent complexity requirements. Next put your team's forensic skills to work to determine -- with certainty -- how the enterprise's security controls were breached. Then present those findings to management and present a plan to modify those controls or implement new ones to mitigate the risk going forward.
Changing and increasing the complexity of a password significantly reduces the likelihood of the account being hacked, but only if you've already determined how the original compromise was achieved and appropriately responded to it.
For more information:
- Learn how to prevent SSH brute force attacks that can compromise passwords.
- Be prepared for security breaches with security breach management planning and preparation.
This was first published in November 2008