Compromised passwords are the bane of any organization's cybersecurity and the cause of over 80% of data breaches. But passwords are a necessary part of life as technologies like biometrics or passkeys haven't yet fully replaced them. So, since passwords are still required, companies need a secure way to manage their and their employees' passwords. Properly managing passwords securely is a top priority, especially since employees have to deal with more passwords than ever. LastPass estimates that people have an average of 191 work passwords. One method for dealing with all those passwords that has gained popularity in recent years is using a password manager. Password managers are software (usually cloud-based) that serve as a secure digital vault for safeguarding passwords. They also often have special administrative functions, so companies never lose a critical password. Here are some of the reasons to consider getting a password manager for better data security.
Centralized Password Management
A primary advantage of password managers is their ability to centralize password management. They help keep employees from using weak, repetitive passwords since the responsibility of remembering complex, unique passwords is offloaded onto the software. Additionally, it discourages storing those passwords in vulnerable places since it can keep them all in an encrypted digital vault instead. It also streamlines the process of sharing passwords securely within a team.
Quality password managers use robust end-to-end encryption techniques to protect sensitive data by scrambling them into unreadable text when stored and transmitted. Encryption makes it nearly impossible for unauthorized users to access the information. When sharing passwords with employees, encryption provides an extra layer of security. It helps ensure that the data remains confidential even during transmission.
Password Generation and Complexity
Password managers frequently come with built-in password generators that can create complex passwords that are difficult to crack. Using a generator for password creation helps ensure that employees are using strong, unique passwords for each account, especially since the manager will take care of storing those passwords for employees.
Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
Many password managers support multi-factor authentication, which adds an extra and remarkably effective layer of security. In case you haven't heard of MFA, it is a security procedure that requires two or more forms of verification before accessing an account, similar to having multiple passwords on one account. MFA significantly reduces the risk of unauthorized access, with a report from Microsoft stating it lowers the risk by 99.9%. The benefits of MFA make it an essential feature for any business's cybersecurity.
Audit Trails and Activity Monitoring
Monitoring is a valuable feature offered by many password managers that allows admins to track user activity and access history, such as who accessed which passwords and when. Monitoring provides transparency and accountability within the organization, which helps in identifying any suspicious activities and allows companies to take prompt action.
Secure Password Sharing Features
Password managers often come with secure password-sharing features. They can allow administrators to share passwords with team members without actually revealing them. Secure password sharing can enable employees to access digital resources without having direct access to sensitive information. This feature can be handy when onboarding new team members or when collaborating on projects that require access to specific accounts.
Secure Sharing with Third Parties
In addition to internal password-sharing features, password managers can offer secure methods for sharing credentials with third-party collaborators or contractors. Third-party password-sharing allows companies to grant these external parties limited access to specific passwords without compromising security. This functionality is particularly useful for businesses working with external agencies or freelancers on various projects.