Along with computers and technology, passwords have become part of the fabric of our everyday life. We use them to access everything from our bank account to the desktop at our office.
While they’re designed to keep out unauthorized users, unfortunately they’ve become a prime target for hackers because they’re often weak and not as strong as they should be. Weak and stolen passwords are the main cause of hacking-related data breaches.
Credential theft is so popular because having a legitimate system login can often allow a hacker to bypass firewalls, antivirus solutions and more.
While everyone understands the reason to make strong passwords that are hard to hack, we also need to remember them all, and the average number of passwords we have to use every day at home and work has become too many to reasonably do that.
The average person has 90 online accounts that they use passwords for.
As a result of having to keep track of so many passwords, often productivity is hampered by having to continually go through lost password retrievals. And the problem keeps getting worse. In 2015, the average number of forgotten passwords per year by a person was 11, and by 2020, it’s expected to double to 22.
For businesses, the biggest concern is the security problem with weak passwords. The difficulty of remembering so many logins to get into work applications causes employees to adopt bad password habits that can leave your network vulnerable.
These bad password habits include:
- Creating weak, easy-to-hack passwords
- Reusing passwords (46% of people reuse a password 4-6 times)
- Sharing passwords with colleagues
- Writing passwords down and affixing the paper to the device it’s used for
- Storing passwords in insecure methods (like a spreadsheet on your computer)
So, what’s the answer for a company trying to increase their data security but also understanding that the average worker has too many logins to reasonably remember difficult passwords for them all?
For many, the answer is to use a password management application.
How Can a Password Manager Benefit Your Data Security?
Password management applications were designed to solve the issue of having too many passwords to possibly remember them all. The business versions of password managers also address other security concerns for companies, such as how to access an account if the only person with the password is out of the office.
Password managers work by storing all login passwords in an encrypted format and only requiring a single password to access them all. Thus, users go from having to remember multiple logins to only one, making it much easier to remember a difficult password to get in.
There are several password managers on the market, here are a few of the most popular:
Here are the ways that using a password manager at your office can help tame password chaos and significantly increase your IT security.
Creation of Strong Passwords
Password managers will help users by suggesting strong passwords when they create or change a password. This means you’re not reliant on each employee’s interpretation of what a strong password is, but instead ensuring that a long string of numbers, symbols, and characters that don’t spell out a word are used, which is a much stronger protection against stolen or hacked passwords.
Fast Login Execution
If something is slowing your staff down every time they log into one of your business applications, the drag on productivity might negate the benefits. Password managers are designed to be quick and easy to use.
They will autofill credentials into a login form or open their password vault when you login to allow you to copy/paste a password if needed.
Password Storage Security
Password management software providers understand the fact that their applications are holding the keys to all types of sensitive information for multiple users. So, they employ things like AES-256 encryption at the device level and use industry best practices to ensure that the passwords that are in their systems stay secure from breaches.
Password Management Administration
If your company just allows users to create and keep track of their own passwords, what do you do if someone abruptly leaves and you’re locked out of some of their accounts?
Using a password manager allows you to have a centralized administration of all user passwords with access by an admin. Admins can access staff logins when needed and easily revoke access or add new users from a control panel.
Use for Credit Card Storage Too
Do certain staff members need to use company credit cards for online purchases? You can store and share these details much more securely by using a password manager because most of them also allow you to store and autofill credit cards in the same way that it does passwords.
Can be Used with Multi-factor Authentication (MFA)
Another strong security best practice for credential management is to use MFA, which requires another factor of authentication before login is completed. You can use MFA with a password manager to provide an extra layer of protection when users are accessing their password vaults.
Need Help with Password Management at Your Office?
How are you currently handling employee passwords at your Central FL business? C Solutions can walk you through setting up a password management application and also do an assessment of your data security strategy to help you address any weak areas.
Schedule a free consultation today by calling 407-536-8381 or reaching out online.