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When it comes to workers organizing and managing their business passwords, we’ve seen everything—from the office admin who has the QuickBooks password post-it-noted to her monitor to the company owner who relies on his assistant to text him passwords when he needs them. Unfortunately, these kinds of ramshackle attempts at a management system are more common than most companies want to acknowledge.

And now that more complicated password protocols are commonplace, it’s impossible for a worker to remember even one, let alone the whole set of credentials needed to access all their systems. So, people are grasping at straws to find a way to get the right credential when they need it. Which is why password management tools were created.

WHAT IS A PASSWORD MANAGEMENT SYSTEM?

Password management tools are essentially software with heightened cybersecurity designed entirely to safehouse every password a user creates, accesses, and changes. Some tools like LastPass integrate with your favorite browser, and they track the websites you visit so they can automatically offer stored login credentials without you searching for them. They also understand when you’re creating new login credentials for a website or system and prompt you to store them in a filing system of your choosing (think Windows folders) that lives inside the tool.

HOW TO SET UP A PASSWORD MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

To set one up as an end-user (as opposed to setting one up for the entire company), you simply create an account, pay for the service level of your choosing, install the browser plugin, and then go about your virtual day as usual. The tool will start prompting to you to save and store your credentials as you log into sites. All you must do is remember the “master” credentials for your password management tool and it does the rest.

Important: It’s absolutely critical that the “master” credentials created for the management system be as complex as you can possibly stand. This is because this one password grants access to all credentials that you have.

WHY DOES MY COMPANY NEED A PASSWORD MANAGEMENT SYSTEM?

These are some of the most beneficial reasons to implement a Password Management System tool across your organization.

  1. Your employees can use the program to generate random, high-security passwords based on any criteria they like. So, if a website requires a password be 12 characters long and include capitals, numerals, and other characters, an employee can ask the system to generate that.
  2. All passwords are encrypted and stored privately, so no one other than the authorized user has access to their passwords.
  3. It takes care of needed password update reminders and password resets, so the employee doesn’t have to remember to do so.
  4. The company can enforce role-based access permissions. For example, a data entry executive may be able to enter data into the sheet only once and may need authentication from the manager to edit the data, or only someone at the managerial level may be allowed to make edits to the data.
  5. Some password management tools support multi-factor authentication, so your company can start leveraging this security process in your company’s security plan.
  6. Administrators and managers get a full view of the logins and generate detailed access reports. You will know which user logged in at what time and which device they were using. Some password management tools can send alerts when there’s a log-in from devices, networks or locations that are unusual.

SET IT UP RIGHT THE FIRST TIME

There are a variety of password management tools available in the market. While their basic functions are the same—keeping your passwords secure—password management tools can offer you a lot more in terms of data security.

We help companies and their end users with their password management every day, and we can easily provide recommendations on the right tools and set up for your business. But remember, at the end of the day, there’s no substitute for good password hygiene which is up to you to employ and govern. So no matter what tool you deploy, you still need to educate and train your employees to follow good cybersecurity practices. Let us know if we can help you with your password management system or your employee training plan. We love helping small businesses modernize their security.