Password management is something every big business should take seriously. A single breached password can put the entire network at risk, and password management can be incredibly simple with a few important tips. If you haven’t invested in your company’s password management, it’s time to get started before hackers find a way into your system.
Let’s look closer at some of the ways big companies are managing their passwords.
Enterprise Password Managers
You’ve probably heard about password managers, but have you heard about the advantages of an enterprise password manager? For larger companies, greater security is a must, and something like a browser password manager simply isn’t enough.
Browser password managers are far from secure. It’s far easier to hack into a browser manager than a proprietary one that exists on its own network. With enterprise password managers, you’ll get corporate-sized protection in a small package, and most password managers allow you to safely store important documents as well as passwords.
Enterprise password managers are an affordable solution for most large businesses. The costs associated with a breach can add up to millions of dollars, depending on the amount, nature, and worth of the information that was stolen. A few dollars per month is certainly a better option!
MFA is a must when you’re dealing with more than a few users. This security layer requires more than just a password to allow users to sign-on, allowing the system to properly verify identity before granting access. A password can be cracked or stolen, but when you introduce MFA into the equation, it becomes much more difficult to access a hacked account.
MFA comes in many forms. Codes sent to email addresses or phone numbers are a popular option, personal security questions are often used, and even biometrics have been implemented to further the security that MFA offers. You can learn personal details about someone, steal their phone, and gain access to their password, but it’s nearly impossible to replicate a fingerprint.
SSO is a verification method that helps users access multiple applications on a network with a single set of credentials. Imagine the chaos that would follow if every user on your network had to store, manage, and secure dozens of passwords for the apps they use every day. You’d need an extensive password management system, and even then, mistakes are much more likely when you have hundreds of passwords floating around.
Single sign-on allows you to circumvent the need for all of those passwords. With a single set of credentials, users can access everything they need to get through the day. Your network will be that much more secure.
Strict Privacy and Security Guidelines
Of course, even the best technology is only as effective and secure as the people using it. Even if you’re using a password manager, single sign-on, and MFA, if your users are irresponsible with their credentials, you’re going to have problems.
There should always be cybersecurity policies in place at a large organization. For starters, passwords and other login credentials should never be shared among employees or with outsiders. The more private your networks, credentials, and company business is, the better.
Establish good practices with employees like teaching them how to create strong passwords, reinforcing the need for continuous cybersecurity education and training, creating backups, etc. The more informed your employees are, the more literate they’ll be in all things cybersecurity. Your company is always safer with well-informed employees.
Creating Strong Passwords
Creating a strong password doesn’t require any specific knowledge or skills, but rather a general awareness of what makes passwords strong or weak. Here are some general rules to follow when you’re creating passwords:
Don’t use personal information or company information in the password. This includes addresses, names, birthdays, etc.
Don’t repeat any characters in your password.
Use a mix of upper-case and lower-case letters, numbers, symbols, and random phrases in your passwords. Nothing about the password should link it to the company or the person using it.
Don’t share passwords.
Don’t use the same password for multiple accounts.
Teaching employees these important password guidelines will provide an extra layer of security for your network and your business as a whole.
Addressing Breaches Quickly
Securing your network after a breach is best achieved when you act quickly. If your company experiences a password breach, you’ll want to ensure your network is secure and find out just how many passwords were affected. Once you’re secure enough to resume operations, everyone in the organization needs to change their password to something stronger.
Breaches can be terrifying for small or large businesses. Not only does a breach affect the employees and the business itself, but it could potentially put customer data at risk, too. Some of the most impactful data breaches at large companies like Target and Capital One have affected millions of customers and cost the companies themselves millions in damages.
Make Passwords A Priority
Few businesses take passwords as seriously as they should. Your business’ password management system should be your number one cybersecurity priority. Training employees on password best practices is a key component of this process. Frequent training, the right technology, and an awareness of how password management is evolving is the best path to optimal password security.