Tuesday, September 3, 2019

New Password Standards

None of us like passwords, well, except for the good that they do for us.

New research from NIST helps us to understand better ways to build passwords, and Visionlink has released an upgrade to its CommunityOS 2 platform in response.

The most fundamental change in the standards by NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology), is about the frequency of forcing password changes.  Survey says? Never. 

That's right: in common use, requirements to change passwords every 30 or 180 days, as examples, result in less secure passwords. 

The second major change concerns a previous recommendation to mix letters and numbers. Gone.  And again, this is because the complexity causes real-world users to use passwords that can be broken too easily, and also because automated password breakers can easily deal with something like "st0rmC1ouds."

Repeated patterns (aaabbbccc) and sequences of adjacent keys on keyboards (jklnm), and common passwords are further examples of what we all should avoid.

Visionlink's recent release is designed to provide an indicator (with both bar length and color) of a user's password strength. It also analyzes your password request and responds with reminders of what needs to be be improved. We may also force resets if old passwords do not meet our new standards. 

So, stay away from patterns and common names, colors, days of the week and letter and number replacements.  Go for long random passwords or phrases.  Use a password manager so you don't need to remember them all (and to manage a different password for every site.)

Stay secure everyone. 



Visionlink Supports Dorian Response

Visionlink systems are fully engaged with Hurricane Dorian response.  The National Shelter System is being used to help manage dozens of shelters in Florida--and states north, as Dorian continues along its predicted track.

NVOAD is deploying a new situational reporting module for some states from Visionlink, to better coordinate the activities of partner agencies.

The Red Cross has deployed Safe and Well, to help reconnect friends and family after the storm, and financial assistance and case management solutions from Visionlink as well.


If you would like to check on currently open shelters you can visit the public view of the Shelter System at the Red Cross: Map of Open Shelters.

Visionlink offers advanced, expertly-designed solutions including volunteer, gifts-in-kind, situational awareness, client intake, case management, and other modules for disaster response.  

Each can be deployed separately or as an integrated suite. 

Visionlink also provides the most advanced array of community services solutions to help communities organize and provide information about agencies and their services to individuals, families and through advanced data exchanges, to other partners working collaboratively. 

For the most advanced communities, Visionlink solutions can be deployed for both grey and blue skies (during and in between disasters) so that leading organizations can support day-to-day needs, and then with those same solutions, when disasters strike.  As we know, the most effective disaster relief solutions are those that are used every day.