OK, this is a headscratcher. This is why we were surprised. I found it in a Wall Street Journal article today (paywall).
Bill Burr, the author of “NIST Special Publication 800-63. Appendix A.” which covers “traditional” password complexity requirements, has said that password complexity has failed in practice.
NIST started from scratch and the general idea of the new NIST guidelines is to use pass phrases of (suggested 25 normal characters) that change only as needed, as in a compromised account.
Turns out this NIST special publication has been formal since last month – and it’s been available in draft form for some time before that.
It is true that complex passwords with arbitrary password expiration force many users to make poor security choices. I applaud NIST for being pragmatic about this. Let’s at least get the conversation going. The real test will be how the audit and compliance world accepts these recommendations.
How weak are your user’s passwords? Are they... P@ssw0rd?
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Thanks very much in advance !
Founder and CEO, KnowBe4, Inc.