If the many high-profile data breaches we’ve witnessed have taught us one thing, it’s that even the toughest security systems can be brought down, often by something as simple as weak a password.
Despite the many warnings, too many people still use basic passwords such as their birthday or even the word ‘password’. Not only this, but some people use the same password for everything – another bad idea.
The only way to combat this is to get strong password practices in place. This means creating passwords of more than eight characters, using a mixture of upper and lower case letters and, in some cases, using special characters. It also means using unique passwords and changing these regularly.
The only problem with all of the above?
It can lead to you forgetting passwords on a regular basis or feeling like you have to write them down, which again is a security risk all of its own.
This is where password managers come in.
In this guide, we’re going to take a look at what a password manager is and how it can be a very beneficial security tool for your business. Read on to find out more.
What is a password manager?
Let’s first start by looking at what a password manager is and what it does. In a nutshell, a password manager is an application that stores all of your passwords in one place. The application is then protected by a master password or passcode that is used to encrypt the rest of the database.
These tools also generate strong passwords for you, so you don’t have to come up with multiple passwords yourself. What’s more, because they are stored within, you don’t need to remember them yourself either – all you need to do is remember the one master password or code.
This also means that all passwords generated will be unique and more complicated, and, ultimately, stronger and more secure.
When it comes to choosing a password manager, there are two main types, so you can choose the one that’s right for your business. These are cloud-based and on-premise password managers.
Cloud-based password managers store everything in an encrypted database on a server. These can be accessed from any location as long as you have an internet connection.
However, on-premise password managers offer an encrypted database that is held on a local network server/machine. This means you need to be connected to the local network to access your passwords.
Both types come with their own pros and cons, but ultimately, a password manager will be hugely beneficial for your business. We’ll look at some of these benefits in the next section.
The advantages of using a password manager in your business
We’ve mentioned that password managers are a great security tool for your business and we’ve briefly touched on a few reasons why. That said, in case you’re not sure whether to invest in a password manager or not, below we’ve summarised some of the key advantages:
- Users only have to remember one passcode or password, making it much easier for you and your employees to use strong passwords
- You’ll be able to generate complex passwords you can use to protect your systems from hackers without having to write them down or remember multiple passwords yourself
- These tools are a great way to encourage strong password policies in your business
- You and your team won’t have to stress over meeting complexity requirements and trying to come up with unique passwords, this is done for you with just the click of a button
- If you choose a cloud-based system, you can access your passwords from anywhere with an internet connection
So as you can see, using a password manager can be a useful way to encourage secure password practices across your business. It is also an important way of bolstering your security efforts and protecting your data from cybercriminals.
The best password managers out there
There are plenty of password management platforms out there that you can choose from, which is great! But it can also make it tricky to know where to start. That’s why we thought it would be helpful to pull together a quick list of some of the best password managers out there right now. These include:
1Password offers a number of great extras from other traditional password managers, such as travel mode. It will also alert you when a password is weak or has been compromised. However, it is one of the more expensive tools for this reason.
Bitwarden is more basic than password managers like 1Password but providing you don’t need all the bells and whistles; it could be the best choice for your business. One of the key reasons for this is that it is secure, open-source and free to use.
Dashlane is one of the best full-featured password managers out there, thanks to the addition of its new helpful features such as Site Breach Alerts and a web-based user interface. It is relatively budget-friendly too, at just $6.49 a month.
Of course, there are plenty of other options out there, so take your time to do a quick online search and some comparisons before settling.
Top tips for using a password manager
Finally, in case you’re worried about using a password manager for the first time, that’s OK. To help you feel better about doing so, we’ve pulled together some of our top tips for first-time password manager users below:
- When selecting a master password for yourself, be careful about what you choose – it needs to be secure and you need to remember it!
- Before settling on a password manager, do some thorough research and ensure you choose the right one for your business
- Enable two-factor authentication on your password manager. This will add an extra layer of
- security to your passwords
- Some password managers offer an auto-fill feature, if you use this, make sure you have a “timeout” set and that you only do this on private devices
By doing your research and taking extra precautions, you can make the most of your password manager and help to protect your business accounts and the sensitive data stored within.
Feature image credit: https://www.freepik.com/