Store and transmit only cryptographically-protected passwords.
Cryptographically-protected passwords use salted one-way cryptographic hashes of passwords.
See NIST Cryptographic Standards and Guidelines.
All passwords must be cryptographically protected using a one-way function for storage and transmission. This type of protection changes passwords into another form, or a hashed password. A one-way transformation makes it theoretically impossible to turn the hashed password back into the original password, but inadequate complexity (IA.L2-3.5.7) may still facilitate offline cracking of hashes.
You are responsible for managing passwords for your organization. You protect all passwords with a one-way transformation, or hashing, before storing them. Passwords are never transmitted across a network unencrypted [a,b].
Potential Assessment Considerations
- Are passwords prevented from being stored in reversible encryption form in any company systems [a]?
- Are passwords stored as one-way hashes constructed from passwords [a]?