The 1st part in our series on password management explains why it is important to have a password databank.
There may be people that can relate; I can’t stand it when I forget a password and can’t find it written down or saved anywhere! Rather than solving this issue by having the same or very similar passwords for all accounts created, the safest solution is to have complex and unique passwords that can be securely stored in a password manager.
A password manager is a highly encrypted program that saves all of our passwords in one convenient location, with one master password to access the program. Password managers for teams help generate secure, strong passwords that can be synchronized across multiple devices and shared between employees with less risk. Part 2 of this series will explain the different options for password manager programs in depth. This is a very important practice to have in place within a company to have effective cybersecurity, and in this article, we will explain 3 main benefits of having a proper password manager in use.
1. Reduces Risk of Data Breach
The main benefit of using a password management programs, is their ability to generate passwords that are unique and complex, which makes them harder to hack or guess. It is extremely important to have strong passwords within a company to avoid the possibility of a data breach. Data breaches involve the unauthorized access of information, and usually occur through hacking or malware attacks. These breaches hurt businesses in a variety of ways, including damaging lives and reputations, and are a costly expense that can take a great deal of time to repair.1
Password managers create password credentials using intricate encryption algorithms. When you select the option to generate a password through the program you can choose to create a password that is as lengthy and diverse as you’d like it to be, without having to remember it! Simply input the criteria that the website asks for, such as length, capital letters, numbers, or symbols, and it will generate the required password. Most programs also have the ability for you to simply copy and paste the password when you are needing to use it.
Password managers are also heavily encrypted themselves, making it that much safer to store passwords in these programs rather than in a file on your computer or written in a notebook. This means there is only one password that will need to be memorized, and that is for the password manager itself. Many companies will also have various databanks saved for different users, meaning the password to one user’s account could also be saved in another user’s account that they trust in case they happen to forget the main password to their own program.
2. Ability to Standardize Password Policies
Another benefit of using a centralized password manger program is the ability to standardize and enforce password security policies across the organization. The administrator of the password manager will be able to see the passwords being used and can make sure the security policies are being followed, such as the strength of the passwords and the regularity of them being updated. Unfortunately, simply having a policy in place without any way to enforce it or ensure it is being followed will usually result in employees not following it. It is common for a very high number of employees to reuse passwords across accounts, both business and personal, which is a highly risky practice that leaves the employees and therefore the company vulnerable to security breaches. Implementing frequent password changes may also result in employees making weaker passwords or making minor changes to previously used credentials. While it is usually unknown by the employees that they are causing risk to the company by using weak passwords or repeating them, and is usually an innocent mistake, these actions can have detrimental consequences to the company if important files were to be hacked then encrypted with threats to destroy the files or leak them to the public unless they are paid for.
3. Less Time and Money Spent on IT Professionals
Outside of the security benefits for the company, there are also cost saving benefits that can be experienced. Each time an employee forgets their password and needs it reset, there is usually the required involvement of IT depending on the account that can’t be accessed. Each time IT needs to be involved, there is time wasted on the employee’s side when they are waiting and unable to complete the task at hand until they can access their account, and there is also time spent on the IT side of things needing to reset the account; both of which cost the company money.
There is also a common issue of having staff members who off-board and don’t leave a key to their passwords behind with the company. This can take quite a bit of time for IT to be able to access all of their accounts and change the passwords so the employee is unable to access them anymore and also make the accounts/data accessible for others in the company. There are even some passwords that IT may not be able to access, which could be a big problem for the organization. On the other side of things, this also streamlines the on-boarding process, as the required passwords can be easily shared and accessed by new employees.
All of the above scenarios can be solved by having a password manager in place, as all of the passwords are saved so they can’t be forgotten or hidden from the company. Some password managers even have the capability of changing passwords directly in the program as an easy solution when they need to be updated or changed.
Are Your Passwords Being Managed?
There are many benefits that can be experienced within a company by having proper password management software in use. They will enhance security by preventing data breaches, allow the ability to monitor password policies in place to maintain that enhanced security, and can also save some costs along the way! After reading this article, it is a great time to consider: “Are our passwords being managed?”
Now that we have discussed the benefits of password managers, it’s time to choose one! Part 2 of this series will explore some of your options when selecting a password management program for your business.
Download this resource Password Management: Part 1 – Why They’re Important.
1 Solomon, Howard. “Average Cost of a Data Breach Still Rising, Says IBM Study.” IT World Canada. https://www.itworldcanada.com/article/average-cost-of-a-data-breach-still-rising-says-ibm-study/456443