Password Policy

Overview

Passwords are an important aspect of computer security. They are the front line of protection for user accounts. A poorly chosen password may result in the compromise of CSU-Pueblo's entire network. As such, all CSU-Pueblo employees (including contractors and vendors with access to CSU-Pueblo systems) are responsible for taking the appropriate steps, as outlined below, to select and secure their passwords.

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to establish a standard for creation of strong passwords, the protection of those passwords, and the frequency of change. The scope of this policy includes all personnel who have or are responsible for an account (or any form of access that supports or requires a password) on any system that resides at any CSU-Pueblo facility, has access to the CSU-Pueblo network, or stores any non-public CSU-Pueblo information.

Policy

  • All passwords (e.g.; network, e-mail, web, etc.) must be changed at least every 180 days.
  • All passwords must conform to the rules described below.
  • Passwords can not be reused for a period of one year
  • Initial passwords will be required to be changed on first logon

Password Rules:

  • Minimum length of 6
  • Maximum is 16 characters
  • Case sensitive
  • Must have 3 of the 4 below:
    • Uppercase alpha characters (A-Z)
    • Lowercase alpha characters (a-z)
    • Digits (0-9)
    • Special characters ` ~ ! # $ % ^ & * ( ) _ + - = { } | [ ] : ; ' < > ? ,

Password Restrictions (the following cannot be used):

  • Spaces
  • Non-English Characters
  • Username
  • First or last name
  • The answer to the Windows Live ID secret question that helps users reset their password. For example, if the Windows Live ID secret question is Mother's birthplace, and Seattle is the answer, the password can't contain Seattle. This restriction isn't case-sensitive, so SEATTLE or seattle can't be used in the password.

Password Protection Standards

Do not use the same password for CSU-Pueblo accounts as for other non-CSU-Pueblo access (e.g.; personal ISP account, option trading, benefits, etc.). Do not share CSU-Pueblo passwords with anyone, including supervisors, administrative assistants or co-workers. All passwords are to be treated as sensitive, Confidential CSU-Pueblo information. 
 
Here is a list of "don'ts":

  • Don't reveal a password over the phone to ANYONE
  • Don't reveal a password in an email message
  • Don't reveal a password to your boss
  • Don't talk about a password in front of others
  • Don't hint at the format of a password (e.g.; "my family name")
  • Don't reveal a password on questionnaires or security forms
  • Don't share a password with family members
  • Don't reveal a password to co-workers while on vacation

If someone demands a password, refer them to this document or have them call someone at the Information Technology Services Help Desk.
 
Do not use the "Remember Password" feature of applications (e.g.; Outlook, Internet Explorer, etc).
 
Again, do not write passwords down and store them anywhere in your office. Do not store passwords in a file on ANY computer system (including Palm Pilots or similar devices) without encryption.
 
If an account or password is suspected to have been compromised, report the incident to the Information Technology Services Help Desk immediately and change all passwords.

Changing Passwords

Passwords may be changed while logged on to a computer on campus by pressing the CTRL, ALT, and DEL keys simultaneously and choosing the "Change Password" button. The existing password will be required and then the new password twice to complete the process. From on/off campus the password may be changed by visiting the following link:  http://www.colostate-pueblo.edu/ITS/PasswordHelp/Pages/PasswordHelp.aspx

Application Development Standards

Application developers must ensure their programs contain the following security precautions. Applications:

  • Should support authentication of individual users, not groups.
  • Should not store passwords in clear text or in any easily reversible form.
  • Should provide for some sort of role management, such that one user can take over the functions of another without having to know the other's password.

Enforcement

Any employee found to have violated this policy may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.