Proxy? Sounds confusing, mysterious, or essential? So what is it and why would you want to use one? A proxy server is a wall that acts as a gateway between you and the internet. Without a secure proxy, your browser communicates directly with the internet. Think of the proxy as a form of protection; it can scan your downloads, filter web content, get around certain web restrictions and allow anonymity while browsing the web.
How does it work?
When you want to browse a website, your computer sends out your request to the proxy server which sends an additional request to the target server (the requested website). The proxy server will process the request, obtain the file and send it directly back to your computer. It can prove incredibly useful in many situations and acts as a great way to improve the efficiency of your internet access. Once you have visited a certain web page, the proxy server will store that information so that you do not have to request that file repeatedly, allowing for automatic file load from the proxy server. Today we will talk about a few ways that PortalGuard utilizes a proxy to help increase cybersecurity, focusing specifically on blocking phishing attacks and providing users with their own secure encrypted password vault.
In the United States, the average email is associated with 130 accounts and on top of this, 66% of people online utilize only one or two passwords for all of their accounts. Subsequently, this means that if a hacker is able to gain access to the password for your email, they probably will have access to most of your other accounts as well. Experts recommend not recycling the same password on any other account and practicing password complexity. That way, in the unlikely situation that one of your accounts is breached, you have some peace of mind that your other accounts are safe and secure.
But how am I supposed to remember 130 different passwords?!
Although it may seem like the logical solution, writing down passwords can be a very dangerous practice, particularly in an office or public setting where there is a possibility of a security breach. That’s where PortalGuard comes in. PortalGuard’s secure proxy collects the credentials you use to login to a web page one-time, encrypts that password, and then saves it into your own unique password vault. With the PortalGuard proxy you can go from juggling 130 different passwords down to just one. This allows you to keep the same level of security that having numerous secure passwords gives you.
Choosing passwords can be difficult, especially when you’re trying to remember them all and this makes password complexity a major threat to cybersecurity. The following five user passwords accounted for 3.2 million of the 130 million accounts that were stolen in the Adobe hack of 2013: “123456,” “12345678,” “Password,” “Adobe123” and “12345678”. As you can see the users that had used common and weak passwords were specifically targeted and their security was compromised as a result. If you used a unique 13 character alphanumeric password it would take more than 900,000 years at 7 billion attempts per second to crack your password. Don’t worry! PortalGuard's secure proxy has a color coding feature that provides the user with feedback on their password strength for each site they visit.
Did you know that the average password length is 9.6 characters, and the average password consists of 1.1 upper-case letters, 6.1 lower-case letters, 2.2 numbers and 0.2 special characters? Although the length itself is not weak, it is still below the new recommended length of 13. The most interesting statistic in that fact is that special characters are only being utilized 0.2 times. The more sets of characters you make use of, the more secure your password will be. For example, the password “Password” is cracked about 2-3 times every time you blink, but “P@ssw0rD” would take a hacker about 14 years to crack. Now, this doesn’t mean you should go out and change your password to “P@ssw0rD” because this is still too generic and may be on a hackers list for “common” passwords. It is recommended to get your passwords from acronyms which are easy for you and only you to remember. For example, making an acronym from my last sentence into a password would be “isrtgypfawaefytr”. Now we can mix in a few capitals, numbers and special characters. “1$rtGyf@Wa3FyTr” is our new password and as you can see, it is very complex. If we use it on a web app that is compatible with PortalGuard, we may not ever have to type it again.
Generally speaking, it can be tough, or even confusing, to keep your cybersecurity guarded when you have so many credentials to remember. It is essential to utilize a product that includes a secure proxy to protect your passwords and keep your cybersecurity in check. While the proxy helps keep your information secure, it also streamlines the login process allowing the user to focus on other important tasks throughout their day. PortalGuard strives to increase cybersecurity while simultaneously creating a better user experience.
Interested in hearing more about the PortalGuard proxy and how it can work in your environment?
Schedule a free demo today!