Microsoft says expiring passwords are no longer secure

Windows 10 May 2019 update will stop forcing users to change passwords every few months

list of poor passwords on notepad

Microsoft will scrap its archaic password expiration policies in the upcoming Windows 10 May 2019 update to encourage organisations to implement more contemporary and effective security measures.

The update will apply to Windows 10 version 1903 and Windows Server version 1903 and to replace the time-based periodic password expirations, organisations should set up.

The company explained that if customers are required to change their password regularly, they are more likely to write down the passwords so they don't forget them and this could mean that others can quite easily get their hands on them, increasing the likelihood of them being stolen.

Microsoft also noted that if people are asked to change their passwords often, they probably will only make very small changes and thus they won't be particularly secure. They are also more likely to forget their passwords and will have to reset them, affecting user experience and loyalty.

Additionally, even if a password was stolen, the thief would still be able to use that password until the user is forced to change it. Windows requests that a password is changed every 42 days as default. However, it used to advise the change is made every 90 days.

Microsoft argued that password expiration is an out of date method of data protection and it no longer recommends such policies are enforced.

"Recent scientific research calls into question the value of many long-standing password-security practices such as password expiration policies, and points instead to better alternatives such as enforcing banned-password lists (a great example being Azure AD password protection) and multi-factor authentication," Microsoft said in a blog post.

However the company hasn't proposed an alternative, neither has it actually rolled out the changes, meaning that Windows 10 users will at least for the near future still need to change their passwords frequently.

Featured Resources

The complete guide to changing your phone system provider

Optimise your phone system for better business results

Download now

Simplify cluster security at scale

Centralised secrets management across hybrid, multi-cloud environments

Download now

The endpoint as a key element of your security infrastructure

Threats to endpoints in a world of remote working

Download now

2021 state of IT asset management report

The role of IT asset management for maximising technology investments

Download now

Recommended

What is DevSecOps and why is it important?
Security

What is DevSecOps and why is it important?

30 Oct 2020
Weekly threat roundup: NHS COVID-19 app, Nvidia, and Oracle
Security

Weekly threat roundup: NHS COVID-19 app, Nvidia, and Oracle

30 Oct 2020
Ryuk behind a third of all ransomware attacks in 2020
Security

Ryuk behind a third of all ransomware attacks in 2020

29 Oct 2020
REvil hacking group says it has made more than $100m in a year
Security

REvil hacking group says it has made more than $100m in a year

29 Oct 2020

Most Popular

Best MDM solutions 2020
mobile device management (MDM)

Best MDM solutions 2020

21 Oct 2020
What is Neuralink?
Technology

What is Neuralink?

24 Oct 2020
Hackers demand ransom from therapy patients after clinic data breach
Security

Hackers demand ransom from therapy patients after clinic data breach

27 Oct 2020