Benefits of a password manager | Microbyte

Benefits of a password manager

managed IT netadmin

In the era of pervasive digital communications and complex cyber threats, password management has become a crucial aspect of cybersecurity. As businesses increasingly rely on a myriad of applications and systems, maintaining the safety and security of sensitive data can be challenging. 

Weak or improperly managed passwords significantly elevate the risk of security breaches, with password-related errors being implicated in a majority of these incidents. The solution? Enter the world of password managers. 

These advanced tools offer robust security features designed to strengthen and streamline the process of managing passwords, transforming them from potential vulnerabilities into powerful shields of protection. 

In this article, we will explore ten key benefits of using a password manager for your business, from the convenience of a master password system and multi-factor authentication to dark web monitoring and advanced encryption technologies. Unlock the potential of password managers and turn the tide on cyber threats with this comprehensive guide.

1. Use of a Master Password

Highly regarded password managers use master password systems. The idea is that a user – let’s say, your employees – only needs to remember one password rather than a collection of them.

Employees already have trouble remembering multiple passwords for their personal devices, so only having to recall one master password for work is a relief.

No more writing passwords down on sticky notes and stuffing them in the office desk drawer. No using the same password across multiple sites, either.

2. One Password, Many Accounts

When entering the master password into a password manager app, it unlocks the user’s vault. The app then monitors when a username/email address and password combo are required and pops up to assist the user. Alternatively, a browser extension facilitates the login process to make it a breeze.  

Life becomes easier when accessing multiple websites or other apps. Employees only need to enter their master password. The password manager automatically inserts the saved password for the site or app. This helps to keep data safe.

3. Create Strong Passwords

Password managers like LastPass and others include a password generator. These generate random passwords to a specific length, using uppercase or lowercase letters, numbers, or special characters, as required.

Depending on the website, they have different security requirements. When signing up for a website, the passwords created via LastPass’s browser extension tool meet each site’s security requirements. Any new logins are prompted to be saved automatically for future use.

4. Multi-Factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication has greatly benefited companies wishing to shore up their security. It adds a secondary authentication requirement rather than requiring a single username/password combo – something that a “shoulder surfer” can see and memorise.

LastPass has its mobile-based authenticator app. This allows users to install it on their mobile device, look up the 2FA secure code, and enter it when prompted. Because the numbers within two-factor authenticator apps change every few seconds, a bad actor can’t memorise them and subsequently gain improper account access.

Another type of authentication is through fingerprint access. They sometimes incorporate a fingerprint scanner into a business laptop or via a plugged-in USB fingerprint device to unlock the PC following an authenticated scan. Also, many work-supplied mobile phones now include similar technology, which further increases achievable security levels in a workplace environment. 

5. Dark Web Monitoring

The world wide web, as we know it, is just one layer of the internet. There are many others that some people use, including the dark web.

The dark web is a little like the underbelly of the internet. Criminals lurk there. When websites are hacked, and stored user information stolen, it’s often sold on the dark web.

LastPass includes a dark web monitoring service. It continually scans for new data leaks. This monitors password caches being sold on the dark web and provides alerts when a stored security login has been compromised. A password reset is suggested, performed by one of your admins, to resolve the issue.  

6. Management and Oversight

Companies need to know what websites and apps their employees are accessing. Password managers have business accounts that allow admins to create individual access for certain employees and shared access for others.

Administrators get a big-picture overview of what employees access, along with when and how frequently. Also, they receive security alerts on various issues, including when the same password is used on multiple websites.

7. Shared Credentials

Login credentials might be provided for one employee alone, or they’re shared credentials.

For example, when using a SaaS on a single-user account, it might be shared between several employees who only need occasional access.

Assigning a folder filled with the shared credentials that all employees require within a department is helpful. It streamlines the onboarding process for a new team member.

8. Securely Store Additional Information

Employees may wish to store other information but not have a secure place to do so.

LastPass allows for storing secure notes, client addresses, company payment cards, and other sensitive information. These are all encrypted and secured by a master password to prevent improper access.

9. Support for Mobile Devices

Some employees will need to access company resources from their mobile devices. To make this safer, password managers provide native apps for Android and iOS, along with browser extensions for Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Opera.

Login information is accessible via a master password – and potentially two-factor authentication – to keep users secure at home or on the road. This is great when logging into Microsoft Teams, opening up Slack to message a colleague, or researching online to complete a work assignment.

10. Best Practices for Ultimate Security

All data stored within a user’s vault is encrypted. This provides peace of mind for managers dealing with new employees who are still learning all the internal procedures.

Encrypted passwords are stored on a remote server to keep people’s passwords away from company servers. Additional protections, for example, asking security questions, add another security layer when a user wishes to perform specific actions.

Best practices are enforced when employees all use a password manager. It encourages the use of complex passwords for websites, rather than basic ones that are easy to guess or crack by a hacker. User prompts appear when saved passwords are weak or have previously been used on multiple sites. This further ensures best practices for passwords are consistently followed.

Microbyte recommends using LastPass to secure passwords and other confidential information in the workplace. Their systems allow users to access websites and apps quickly and safely.

We can set it up for you as part of our MSP services.

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