Secure,password,CJS, Efficiency, Programme, BAR, SQUARED, LEX, barrister,software

Bar Squared

Tel: +44 (0) 116 272 5000

31 AUG2012

Safe and secure...?

Kester Dampney

Our home used to be our castle. Today we store huge amounts of information online, on other people’s servers around the world. Whether Case Briefs, your personal emails, Amazon and Facebook profiles, or your online bank account - all of this information is secured by passwords.

But how secure is your password? If you can answer ‘yes’ to any of these questions, you need to reconsider how secure your vital information is.

  • Are your passwords easy-to-guess names, words or series of numbers?
    Single-word passwords can be broken in minutes.
  • Do you use the same password for many different websites? Do you never change your passwords?
    Even major websites have been hacked recently, and passwords compromised.
  • Are your passwords written down somewhere?
    What happens if someone breaks into your house or office?
  • Do you tick the ‘Remember me’ or ‘Keep me logged in’ boxes when logging in?
    What if you lose your smart phone, tablet PC or laptop, or are burgled?
  • Do you click on links in emails and log in to those websites without checking they are genuine? Do you install lots of free software without virus-checking it?
    You may be giving away your security information.

Suggestions for picking secure passwords:

  1. Ensure it’s difficult to guess, but easy to remember.
  2. Use a mix of upper and lower-case characters, special characters and numeric characters, and make sure it’s at least 10 characters long. LEX can be configured to enforce each of these for better password protection.
  3. Use different passwords for different sites – perhaps a low-security password for unknown or unimportant websites, and a different, difficult to guess password for trusted sites (Amazon, PayPal, your bank, etc.).
  4. Choose something memorable, so you don’t need to write it down, and don’t tick the ‘Remember me’ box. LEX doesn’t let you save your password in your browser.
  5. Change your password as often as possible, but ensuring you can still remember it. LEX can be configured to either remind or force users to change their passwords after a certain interval.
  6. Be inventive. You might choose to pick the first few letters from your favourite program when you were a child (e.g. ‘Blue Peter’), the initials of the website (e.g. ‘EBay’) and intersperse an old house number (e.g. 215) and some special characters to give you ‘Bl2Pet1eb!5’. You could use a random word generator, or the initials of a phrase, and some random numbers.

Other security issues to consider are:

  • Never click on links in emails if you aren’t certain who they are from. Instead, type the website into your internet browser’s address bar.
  • Password-protect or encrypt all of your mobile devices that contain sensitive information.
  • Run Windows Update or equivalent and antivirus/antispyware updates regularly and use the most up-to-date internet browsers.
  • Don’t install software that you aren’t sure is legitimate as it can sometimes contain spyware.
  • Leaving your computer logged in allows anyone who can access your computer to access your data.
  • Bar Squared staff will never ask for your LEX password.

CJS Efficiency Programme (MoJ & CPS)

The CJS Efficiency Programme has specific security requirements. ‘FIPS 140-2’ is a U.S. government security standard, which the MOJ and CPS say devices and software must meet in order to access CJSM Secure eMail and the Document Repository Service. Part of the standard is to ensure passwords are too difficult to guess, and provide feedback on failed login attempts.

If you intend to use the Document Repository Service and LEXDOX, consider getting into the habit of good password usage now.

Other LEX security features:

  • LEX can apply all of the requirements of FIPS 104-2 Level 2 within seconds.
  • Passwords are encrypted in the LEX database.
  • Previous passwords and commonly used passwords can be blocked as choices for users.
  • LEX can be configured to only allow a certain number of failed login attempts in a few minutes, and can lock user records out where someone tries to guess the password multiple times.
  • Failed attempts to login are audited in case they are required for investigation.

Please contact Bar Squared Support to have password security rules set up.

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Secure,password,CJS, Efficiency, Programme, BAR, SQUARED, LEX, barrister,software