1.1.4 Ensure 'Minimum password length' is set to '14 or more characters'

Information

This policy setting determines the least number of characters that make up a password for a user account. There are many different theories about how to determine the best password length for an organization, but perhaps 'passphrase' is a better term than 'password.' In Microsoft Windows 2000 and newer, passphrases can be quite long and can include spaces. Therefore, a phrase such as 'I want to drink a $5 milkshake' is a valid passphrase; it is a considerably stronger password than an 8 or 10 character string of random numbers and letters, and yet is easier to remember. Users must be educated about the proper selection and maintenance of passwords, especially with regard to password length. In enterprise environments, the ideal value for the Minimum password length setting is 14 characters, however you should adjust this value to meet your organization's business requirements.

The recommended state for this setting is: 14 or more characters.

Rationale:

Types of password attacks include dictionary attacks (which attempt to use common words and phrases) and brute force attacks (which try every possible combination of characters). Also, attackers sometimes try to obtain the account database so they can use tools to discover the accounts and passwords.

Impact:

Requirements for extremely long passwords can actually decrease the security of an organization, because users might leave the information in an insecure location or lose it. If very long passwords are required, mistyped passwords could cause account lockouts and increase the volume of help desk calls. If your organization has issues with forgotten passwords due to password length requirements, consider teaching your users about passphrases, which are often easier to remember and, due to the larger number of character combinations, much harder to discover.

Note: Older versions of Windows such as Windows 98 and Windows NT 4.0 do not support passwords that are longer than 14 characters. Computers that run these older operating systems are unable to authenticate with computers or domains that use accounts that require long passwords.

Solution

To establish the recommended configuration, set the following Device Configuration Policy to Required and 14 or more characters:
To access the Device Configuration Policy from the Intune Home page:

Click Devices

Click Configuration profiles

Click Create profile

Select the platform (Windows 10 and later)

Select the profile (Device restrictions)

Click Create

Enter a Name

Click Next

Configure the following Setting

Path: Device restrictions/Password
Setting Name: Password
Configuration: Required

AND

Path: Device restrictions/Password
Setting Name: Minimum password length
Configuration: 14

Select OK

Continue through the Wizard to complete the creation of the profile (profile assignments, applicability etc.)

Note: More than one configuration setting from each of the Configuration profiles (ex: Administrative Templates, Custom etc.) can be added to each Device Configuration Policy.

Note #2: This setting can also be created via a Custom Configuration Profile using the following OMA-URI:

./Device/Vendor/MSFT/Policy/Config/DeviceLock/MinDevicePasswordLength

Default Value:

7 characters on domain members. 0 characters on stand-alone servers.

See Also

https://workbench.cisecurity.org/files/3358

Item Details

Category: ACCESS CONTROL, IDENTIFICATION AND AUTHENTICATION

References: 800-53|AC-2(1), 800-53|IA-5(1), CSCv7|4.4, CSCv7|16.10

Plugin: Windows

Control ID: 95accb1fb2299bdcd05123a282863974a509815943c8c17a1a64ada93d4c8dd2