How secure is your plant?

Sept. 28, 2011

Online security is a good thing. We routinely trust some box of digital circuitry to hold our valued information safely, reserved for our eyes only. That assurance, however, comes with a price called passwords.

Online security is a good thing. We routinely trust some box of digital circuitry to hold our valued information safely, reserved for our eyes only. That assurance, however, comes with a price called passwords.

Everyone recognizes that it’s foolish to use the same password for every application that demands one from us. So we generally use multiple passwords as an added layer of security. That security, however, comes with its own price. Now we’re obliged to remember several passwords and the software packages to which they apply.

It’s equally foolish to write your dozens of passwords on a 3-by-5 card because it can be lost, which upgrades the security much more because even you can’t see the data. That assumes, of course, someone else didn’t take your card or find it where you dropped it. In that case, security goes to zero.

Dominik Reichl found a way around this problem by means of open-source software. He developed KeePass 2.16, a free download that stores the many passwords you use. The software has its own password, but at least you’ll need to remember only one.

So, when you’re out on the plant floor trying to access one of the probably many password-protected network applications you might need to make your maintenance and engineering work far more efficient, help is at hand.

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