Why You Should Use a Password Vault for Your Business
Ask any cybersecurity expert. They will tell you that the most important cybersecurity measure your business can take is a strong password management protocol. However, there is always room for human error.
Many businesses are now turning to password vaults to protect their network’s integrity. Password vaults provide an automated level of security that can reduce the likelihood of network compromise through human error.
Let’s take a closer look at how an automated password vault can help your business steer clear of trouble.
1. Staff Don’t Always Follow the Protocols
Common cybersecurity protocols ask staff members to change their passwords often. Moreover, protocols typically dictate the use of strong passwords. However, this task can prove time-consuming. Therefore, staff members usually try to find an easy way around it.
Consequently, staff members generally try to use passwords that are easy to remember. After all, a long 16-digit code intermingled with letters and symbols is quite complex to do monthly.
Of course, it’s not that staff members are lazy. It’s just that staff have other things on their minds. Therefore, coming up with robust passwords isn’t always their top priority.
Often, staff use one password and modify it every time they need to update it. Generally speaking, this approach simplifies the entire password management process. Nevertheless, it makes it easier for bots and hackers to figure out possible combinations.
A password manager vault, as provided by an automated password manager solution, can remedy this problem. Password managers randomly generate an extremely complex password. Then, the password is securely recorded.
Also, password managers can automatically update passwords as you choose. For example, some automated systems can change passwords every minute. This level of security makes it virtually impossible for hackers or bots to crack your network’s passwords.
Password vaults use the power of artificial intelligence (AI). As such, these programs strive to stay one step ahead of cybercriminals. Password vaults learn to detect specific portions of code. Thus, they can stop hack attempts by altering the algorithms used to generate passwords.
Using AI makes password management much easier for your company’s staff!
2. Passwords Are Often Recorded
When someone changes their password, it can be quite difficult to remember it. In particular, long and complex passwords are hard to remember. As a result, staff members may simply jot them down on a piece of paper somewhere.
Now, you might ask, why would staff write down passwords?
Firstly, using the autosave function on a web browser or login screen can be dangerous. After all, an unattended computer is a prime target for unwanted snoops.
Secondly, frequent password changes can be quite confusing. It usually takes some time to memorize a new password. In the meantime, it may be necessary to write it down. The problem lies in leaving notes lying around.
Furthermore, staff members may forget to destroy notes containing passwords. It is not enough to merely throw notes away in the trash. A malicious individual can go through trash cans to find notes containing password information.
Thirdly, staff members may choose to take pictures of their passwords with their phones. This practice also opens the door to security breaches. There is always the possibility of breaking into a staff member’s phone. Consequently, passwords may become compromised.
Password vaults address this issue by safely storing passwords on their third-party locations. As such, passwords are never stored on the local computer itself. Moreover, password vaults eliminate the need to jot down passwords.
If a staff member forgets their password, the system can easily generate a new one. Best of all, the staff member won’t need to memorize it. The software takes care of that situation for them.
3. Password Vaults Save Your IT Department Time
Let’s suppose that your company does not allow staff members to set passwords themselves. As such, it would be the IT department’s responsibility to set new passwords and update them accordingly.
This practice suggests that staff members receive a password they must remember. But what happens when a staff member forgets their password?
Moreover, what happens if a staff member cannot access their computer due to security concerns?
In these cases, staff members have no choice but to file a ticket with their IT help desk.
An IT help desk’s role is to support your organization’s computer network. Often, the help desk monitors suspicious network activity. Consequently, multiple failed attempts to access a user account triggers a lockdown.
Now, the IT help desk must field the user’s request to reset their password. This action poses two specific problems.
First of all, the IT help desk wastes time resetting passwords and then ensuring they can log in again. This process takes time away from other valuable activities.
Next, the staff member wastes work time and lose productivity. This situation is the result of dead time waiting for the password reset. Thus, the longer the IT help desk reset the password, the more productive the staff member loses.
A solid password manager program can take care of this situation without needing the IT help desk. The system can automatically field the password reset request. The IT help desk receives a notification of the transaction. Afterward, the help desk can follow up.
4. Browsers’ Password Management Functions Are Not Good Enough
Internet browsers often offer a password recall function. This function remembers a users’ credentials. As a result, users only need to click on a button to log in.
There is one major flaw with this function.
The password recall function is not intended to provide security. Instead, it’s meant to offer convenience. Therefore, this function eliminates staff members’ need to remember usernames and passwords. After all, all they need to do is one click to log in.
This flaw leads to a larger problem. Browsers do very little to protect login credentials. As a result, a sophisticated hacker can swoop in and snatch this information easily.
How is this possible?
For starters, a clever phishing attack can target vulnerable staff members. Phishing attacks often masquerade as legitimate information requests. Unwary users willingly provide their information. Then, hackers use that login information to access accounts.
Sounds simple, right?
Phishing attacks have gotten more and more elaborate over time. Nowadays, it can be quite difficult to spot a true phishing attack. Many times, users don’t recognize a phishing attack until it’s too late.
Of course, not all hope is lost. A prompt notification can avoid a network breach despite a successful phishing attack. Nevertheless, this situation requires the IT help desk to work quickly to prevent any breaches.
Automated password vaults essentially eliminate this situation. Their encryption and security measures quickly detect suspicious activity. But other security features make password vaults a great option for your company.
5. Password Vaults Stop Hackers
Thus far, we’ve talked about how well password vaults can stop hackers from getting inside your network. But what about hackers that are already inside your network?
Yes, that’s right!
According to Verizon, 34% of data breaches stemmed from internal perpetrators (2018).
This is certainly a startling figure. While we try hard to ward off cybercriminals, we may overlook malicious individuals inside our organizations.
It can be hard to judge why one of your staff would purposely cause a data breach. Nevertheless, it’s a possibility you must account for.
Additionally, ransomware and denial-of-service (DOS) attacks are becoming more and more prevalent. Automated password managers make it extremely difficult for hackers to steal user credentials. However, password managers are not perfect.
Malware, such as keylogging viruses, can capture username information if typed by the user. Therefore, a password vault works effectively as long as users don’t type any user credentials.
Here is how it works:
The password vault automatically inserts user credentials. Therefore, the user does not have to type anything at all. This approach allows password management software to foil keyloggers.
Nevertheless, it’s a good practice to avoid downloading any unknown software. Whenever in doubt, always check with your IT help desk to avoid downloading potentially harmful software.
6. Password Vaults Live on the Cloud
Remember the previous point about keylogger software?
Indeed, the malware attempts to track your keystrokes by literally copying everything you type. Moreover, other types of malware sneak into your files and soften through your information. There, they can extract your user credentials from Windows system files.
As a result, password vaults don’t store anything on your computer. They keep everything on the cloud. In doing so, password manager software ensures that malware should not steal any credentials should it infect your computer.
Please keep in mind that password vaults need an internet connection to work. Since they sync to the cloud, the devices need to have an internet connection. As a result, it is essential to maintain robust network security.
As such, there are two important elements you need to ensure network security.
First, a reputable firewall software system will help prevent hackers from intercepting data traffic to and from your network. Firewall software uses encryption technology to prevent hackers from accessing your network.
Second, a good antivirus program will detect malware either on your computer or in files such as email attachments. Solid antivirus programs can scour your computer to ensure that no malware is present.
A good option is to purchase a full suite of security products. These suites offer firewall and antivirus protection along with a password vault system.
The biggest advantage of a full-service suite is like having a one-stop solution. Thus, there is a single point of accountability if you encounter any problems.
7. Password Vaults Use Two-Factor Authentication
Modern security practices generally call for two-factor authentication. Two-factor authentication consists of login credentials verified on two separate devices.
For instance, when a user logs into their computer, a one-time-use digital code is sent to their cellphone. The user must then enter this code to gain full access to the computer.
Consequently, the user must have both devices on hand to log in successfully. . This type of authentication makes it extremely hard for unauthorized users to gain access to a network. Such users would need both devices to log into the network.
Of course, there is a possibility that a cybercriminal may have access to both devices. Nevertheless, that possibility is quite low. Specifically, if staff members take appropriate measures, it would be nearly impossible for cybercriminals to successfully log into your network.
Two-factor authentication is a good practice your staff must implement. It’s quite easy to set up and can save your network from unwanted intruders. Best of all, it won’t cost your company a penny extra to implement.
Undoubtedly, your business needs a password vault. Having one can save your staff members time and effort. It can also reduce your IT help desk’s overall workload.
Password vaults offer several advantages. Particularly, a solid password management system can keep intruders at bay. With two-factor authentication, you can keep unauthorized users out of your network.
Nevertheless, your staff members must be sure to follow appropriate cybersecurity measures. For instance, leaving a computer unattended may open the door to an intrusion.
Ultimately, password vaults are not perfect. Therefore, your staff members should be careful with cyberattacks. For example, phishing attacks have become more and more commonplace.
Also, your staff must be wary of suspicious emails and attachments. If your staff members have any questions, your IT help desk should support them.
- Staff members generally don’t create strong passwords. They try to find the easiest password to remember. This practice can lead to vulnerable passwords. Hackers can exploit weak passwords, especially if malware is installed on a computer or mobile device. Password management software can create strong passwords that are extremely difficult to hack.
- Frequent password changes can be complicated for staff members. Also, IT help desks can waste time helping their colleagues retrieve forgotten passwords. Password vaults safely store passwords, thereby eliminating the need for IT help desk support to reset or update passwords.
- Internet browsers don’t offer the same level of security as a password Vault. Browsers’ password recall functions serve as a convenience to users. As a result, browsers don’t offer the same level of security that a password vault does. Therefore, it’s best to trust your passwords to a vault rather than your internet browser.
- Password vaults don’t store information locally. In other words, they don’t store user credentials on a computer. Instead, password vaults sync data to the cloud. This practice bypasses malware such as keyloggers. Additionally, password vaults use two-factor authentication. As such, users must have a second device on hand to successfully log in to their accounts. This practice thwarts cybercriminals every time.
Zach Richter has been writing professionally for just shy of 20 years. Typing that sentence made him feel old. He lives in Arizona with his wife and too many dogs and cats.
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