Six New Rules for Improved Password Security

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The six new password policy rules in Password Policy Enforcer 5.0 allow system administrators to protect their network from password attacks. Weak user passwords are the primary Windows configuration weakness according to the SANS Institute's Top-20 Internet Security Attack Targets list.

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ANIXIS ( today announced the release of Password Policy Enforcer 5.0, an application that enhances the security of Windows Server operating systems. PPE 5.0 has six new password policy rules, improved support for Windows Vista, and new password expiry options to simplify the introduction of new password policies.

The rudimentary password policy features in Windows limit administrators to a single domain password policy with an on/off complexity option. Microsoft includes a programmer's interface to add new password policy rules, but a solid understanding of Windows system programming is needed to make use of it. ANIXIS Password Policy Enforcer allows administrators to enforce granular password policies without programming.

Amongst the six new password policy rules in PPE 5.0 is a keyboard pattern rule, a first for the Windows platform. It detects simple keyboard patterns like QWERTY, and also more complex patterns like QAZXCV and QAWSDF. Pattern matching parameters are configurable, allowing administrators to strike a balance between security and usability.

Introducing a new password policy can be difficult, especially for the help desk. Enabling the Windows Maximum Age rule for the first time can trigger hundreds or thousands of forced password changes the next morning. Password Policy Enforcer 5.0 allows organizations to control the rate of expiry, from as low as 2% of logons all the way to 20%. New policies can even be rolled out by group or organizational unit.

Help desk staff will also appreciate the optional Password Policy Client, as it helps users to choose a compliant password. Instructional messages are automatically generated for the defined password policies, and can be customized from the PPE management console. Password Policy Enforcer 5.0 is the first version to include client support for Windows Vista, both 32-bit and 64-bit editions. Windows 2003, XP and 2000 are also supported.

Password Policy Enforcer is the original configurable password filter for Windows. First released in 1998, it now protects over two million user accounts in 100 countries. Customer networks range in size from 50 users to over 500,000 users. An Evaluator's Guide and 30-day trial download are available at


ANIXIS is committed to helping system administrators manage and secure their networks. ANIXIS is privately owned, and was established in 1995. Other products include ANIXIS Password Reset, a self-service password management system and Unused Account Ferret, a utility to find and remove unused user and computer accounts.

ANIXIS, Password Policy Enforcer, Password Policy Client, ANIXIS Password Reset, and Unused Account Ferret are trademarks of ANIXIS. Other product and company names may be the trademarks of their respective owners.


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Leanne Weyman
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