Latest in Gear

Image credit:

Microsoft knows password-expiration policies are useless

But it isn’t doing away with them across the board, yet.
2 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

SOPA Images via Getty Images

Microsoft admitted today that password-expiration policies are a pointless security measure. Such requirements are "an ancient and obsolete mitigation of very low value," the company wrote in a blog post on draft security baseline settings for Windows 10 v1903 and Windows Server v1903. Microsoft isn't doing away with its password-expiration policies across the board, but the blog post makes the company's stance clear: expiring passwords does little good.

As the blog post explains, if a password is never stolen, there's no need to expire it. And if a password is suspected to be stolen, you would want to act immediately, not wait until the expiration date. Forced updates also lead to more users writing their passwords down or forgetting them altogether. Plus, as Microsoft puts it, "if your users are the kind who are willing to answer surveys in the parking lot that exchange a candy bar for their passwords, no password expiration policy will help you."

The company admits that the state of password security is problematic, but it says multi-factor authentication and banned-password lists are more effective security measures. Microsoft is proposing to drop password-expiration policies from its security baseline for Windows 10 v1903 and Windows Server v1903, but that will impact a relatively small subset of users. The company doesn't plan to change requirements for minimum password length, history or complexity. And while it can't include multi-factor authentication or banned-password lists in the security baseline, the blog post "strongly recommends" users seek additional protections. So, you can keep updating your passwords if you'd like, but even Microsoft will tell you that's not going to keep you safe.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
2 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

New White House website includes a hidden recruitment message for coders

New White House website includes a hidden recruitment message for coders

View
See the 'Girl with a Pearl Earring' painting in 10-gigapixel detail

See the 'Girl with a Pearl Earring' painting in 10-gigapixel detail

View
Apple's VR headset may include a fan and support prescription lenses

Apple's VR headset may include a fan and support prescription lenses

View
Samsung Display to make 90Hz OLED screens for laptops

Samsung Display to make 90Hz OLED screens for laptops

View
Raspberry Pi Pico is a $4 Arduino alternative

Raspberry Pi Pico is a $4 Arduino alternative

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr