Passwords are so ubiquitous in our day-to-day lives, they can seem insignificant. But when it comes to business, they might be the one thing standing between a hacker and your company’s sensitive data.
Password managers, which are much more than their name implies, can act as a company’s first line of defense against hackers and mitigate their exposure to cyberattacks. Just like passwords though, password management software is everywhere. How can you determine which one will provide the most comprehensive defense for your business’s data?
When considering a password manager, you want to ensure that it has all the features you need to protect your business, track password health in real time, and act on company-wide security initiatives without slowing down the business.
Here are the five things to look for in a password manager:
1. A password generator
According to a recent Dashlane study, more than one-third of U.S. residents feel overwhelmed by keeping track of all their online account information and logins, and over half (51%) agree that they’d be relieved if they never have to remember another password again. Employees tend to rely on previously used passwords in order to remember them; if you’re looking to create a password that is both strong and memorable, you might get stumped on the “create a password” section of any site, and no one has time for that.
A password generator eases the burden of creating and remembering passwords by automatically generating strong, unique, and randomized passwords.
2. Group sharing
One of the top reasons that businesses get hacked [Link back to Blog post #1 here] is the way passwords are shared and stored between members of the company: i.e. over Slack, via email, or in a spreadsheet.
Group sharing allows IT admins at a company to safely share encrypted or sensitive information with any employee. This feature also eliminates the risk of an employee leaving a company with passwords since their access can be revoked instantly without affecting anyone else’s access.
3. Password health
A healthy password is a secure password, and a good password manager can tell you the health of your company’s overall password score relative to the scores of individual employees. A company password score or rating should take several factors into account, mainly whether or not your employees’ passwords are weak, reused, or compromised. Ideally, your password manager will provide scores for individuals and admins for their personal and business accounts alike. A feature like this also helps empower employees to be a part of security solutions at the company because they can get feedback on how their personal score impacts the overall business score.
4. An admin console
As the saying goes, you’re only as strong as your weakest link. That’s why having a general overview of your employees’ password health is critical. An admin dashboard provides insight into password health company-wide and enables admins to effectively manage company security. It also allows you to onboard new team members, manage permissions, and monitor security issues—think ultimate oversight, all in one place.
5. Dark web monitoring
Cybercriminals may not even have to hack your IT environment to take over your user accounts. Other bad actors do the dirty work of stealing passwords and making them available on the dark web. The dark web functions like an underground economy, with an abundance of stolen user accounts available for sale or lease—including credentials of privileged users such as IT admins. The severity of this threat? Researchers have found more than 15 billion exposed credentials (from more than 100,000 breaches) being freely shared on the dark web.
A password manager that can scan the dark web for your leaked data provides the ultimate security. Dark web scanners work on a consistent basis, so if your data is leaked on the dark web, you will be notified and can take action immediately.
But wait, there’s more!
A truly comprehensive password manager, in addition to the features mentioned above, should ideally meet the following criteria:
- It can be deployed from a single point across the organization
- It should be simple to use, both for admins and for employees
- It should come with enhanced security, such as two-factor authentication
Find out more about selecting the best password manager for your company by downloading our e-book, “How to Safeguard Sensitive Data for Businesses.”