The 3rd part in our series on password managers gives 4 tips for managing the password database program.
Passwords are a very important aspect of keeping your business’s data safe and secure. Using a password management database is a great solution for storing as well as creating strong passwords. Now that we have explained the importance of password management in Part 1, as well as the different options in Part 2, the final part of this series provides 4 great tips for managing a password database.
1. Choose Someone to Manage
The 1st tip when using a password management program is to choose someone that is able to manage the password database program for the company. The person chosen to manage the program should be organized, understand the importance of data security, and also the significance of having strong, unique passwords to protect the company’s information. This should also be a trusted employee as they will be in charge of very sensitive information – all of the company’s passwords. It can be great to have IT personnel in charge of password management, however, this is only recommended if the IT staff is in-house. If they are working remote or are contracted out it can be more difficult to get instant communication when a password is needed.
Managing the password will involve saving all of the employees’ and company’s passwords in the program, as well as making sure any updates are applied, and notifying employees when they are required to change their passwords. Many of the programs will have automatic notifications that will let you know when it is time to update a password and will also let you know if the strength of a password is weak and needs to be reset. Beyond managing the database, this person will also need to act as the contact for passwords and data security for any questions employees may have. It is smart to have a second person chosen that can act as a back-up in case the main contact can’t be reached or is out of office.
2. Administer Access
The next tip is to grant access to those that will need access to the password database. For many companies there will be numerous people who require access to the passwords such as the owners, management, and the people managing the software. Most programs allow the database to be accessed from numerous devices including laptops, desktops, tablets, and phones. Some programs even allow you to have different users created within the program, so you can track who is accessing the database, or which passwords they are able to access. Make sure to only allow access to those that require it and can be trusted with this sensitive information.
3. Ensure Employees are Informed and Aware
It is critical that employees are informed and aware of the importance of password and data security. We recommend holding an information or training session in order to communicate why weak and repetitive passwords are a threat to the company’s data security, as well as the security of their own personal data. It can be very beneficial to have an IT professional communicate this to the staff, as they have a great deal of knowledge around date security and password management. This can also be a good time to communicate the expectations of password management within the company and introduce guidelines or a policy – which leads to our next tip!
4. Communicate the Password Management Guidelines
It is very beneficial to implement proper password management guidelines that employees must follow. This sets clear rules and expectations as to how passwords are managed within the company, which will increase data security for the business. These guidelines can include requirements of the physical passwords such as length and what characters to include, communicate how often passwords must be changed, who employees must communicate all passwords to, how to communicate them to the designated person, and can also state where their passwords must be stored as well as where not to store them (such as on sticky notes or in a notebook).
Managing the Password Manager!
The above 4 tips will help in managing your password manager program. Choose the right contact person along with a back-up, grant access to those that require it, educate employees on the importance of strong passwords and date security, and implement password guidelines that must be followed by everyone in the company. Using these tips along with a good password database program will help to protect the company’s sensitive information and improve the data security to avoid data breaches.
We have also included a template to help you build a Password Management Guideline for your business.