Choosing the Best Small Business Password Manager

With remote work, password sharing, and cyber threats on the rise, a password manager is among the most effective and affordable cybersecurity tools available for small businesses. Choosing the best small business password manager means aligning business needs and resources with available software features and plans.

The best password management software for small businesses

There are many great password management software options available for small businesses. Each offering has unique features and benefits to address the needs of individual users and their employers.

LastPass: Although LastPass is geared mainly toward individuals and families, it does include an intuitive admin dashboard for businesses to manage and track employee passwords. LastPass also incorporates 256-bit AES encryption and 2-factor authentication (2FA), which are must-haves for any small business password manager. On the flip side, LastPass is a bit pricier than many competitors and doesn’t include a secure virtual private network (VPN) option for employees using public WiFi.

Bitwarden: This affordable, open-source password manager for personal and business applications is available as either a web-based tool or a desktop app. It includes an admin console for managing employee passwords and viewing current access levels. While password monitoring capabilities and customer support are definite strengths, complicated single sign-on (SSO) integration and limited account recovery can hinder employee adoption.

Keeper: This password manager for companies and individuals features military-grade encryption, a sleek, easy-to-navigate user interface and admin console, and advanced audit reporting capabilities. Other high-end Keeper features, including the BreachWatch tool and same-day support, come at an additional cost, so you need to weigh the importance of each option against your small business needs and budget.

1Password: Like many other options, 1Password has developed a tool for personal use, along with a password manager for small businesses that includes a centralized dashboard. 1Password lets you create and share unlimited folders with an unlimited number of users, and each user gets 1GB of storage for documents. One drawback of this service is that it doesn’t offer SSO integration, which can create login difficulties for employees.

Dashlane: Dashlane offers the best all-around password manager for small business use. It includes features like AES-256 encryption, 2-factor authentication, SSO, Dark Web Monitoring, a VPN, and a user-friendly Admin Console to manage user accounts and track password health, all at an affordable price. Dashlane software also supports group password-sharing and is compatible with any operating system, including Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android.

“We’re not a software company. We view technology as a means to an end, but at the same time, we recognize that cybersecurity is becoming increasingly important.”

Ben Leibert
Technical Manager, VillageReach

Want to learn more about using a password manager for your business?

Check out Dashlane’s business plans or get started with a free business trial.

What to look for in a password management tool

The list of available small business password manager features continues to grow. Some of these attributes are essential to optimizing cybersecurity and promoting company-wide adoption.

Password generator: In response to an overwhelming number of accounts that require passwords,  employees may create and reuse weak passwords. A password generator prevents this cybersecurity issue by helping employees easily create and store strong, encrypted passwords. A well-designed autofill feature promotes adoption throughout the company, which is important for overall password health and company security.

User-friendly interface: While this is important to individual users, it also applies to the setup, monitoring, and onboarding/offboarding of employees for businesses. The central IT user interface is the admin console, which is the hub for account management, security score review, and updating company-wide settings.

Group password sharing: With passwords being shared among employees and small businesses frequently working with many contractors, vendors, and clients, password access and control can be challenging. Group password-sharing enhances your visibility into access and rights, which helps dynamic small businesses like KHM Travel maintain a comprehensive view of employee password behavior.

Dark web monitoring: This feature helps employees and businesses respond quickly when personal or business information is compromised. Dark web monitoring involves scanning billions of records and alerting subscribers instantly when their information is detected.

Virtual private network (VPN): Many small businesses start as virtual companies with dispersed teams working from residences or public spaces. When your team uses a VPN, their internet connection is rerouted through a private server. With the VPN acting as an intermediary, their IP addresses (each computer’s unique ID) are masked, protecting their identities. Any data they send while connected is encrypted and transmitted as an unreadable code. This way, your ISP (Internet Service Provider) isn’t able to see what websites they visit, which apps they use, or any of the data they send or receive—protecting your small business from prying eyes.

Graphic of icons representing safe internet usage with the protection of a VPN vs. the unprotected use of the internet without a VPN.

Single sign-on (SSO): SSO refers to systems where a user can log in once and access multiple apps or platforms through that single sign-on. SSO is an authentication method that IT can use to grant employees access to the tools they need while restricting them from tools they don’t need or shouldn’t have clearance to use.

Password health scoring: Building a security culture is especially important for small businesses where employees may be dispersed and IT resources can be stretched thin. Each employee must take responsibility for their own cybersecurity and be on the lookout for threats like phishing attacks. Tracking password health for individuals and the organization re-enforces a culture of cybersecurity.

Compatibility: Not long ago, most of us spent our working hours on just one device. Today, we rely on our phones, laptops, and tablets in redefined workspaces. Your small business password manager should be compatible with all common operating systems and types of devices so that your password management can be synced across all your work devices. This is especially important for remote or traveling workers who continually switch between devices.

Security: Security features like 256-bit AES encryption and 2-factor authentication should be high priorities. Consider password managers with an unblemished security history, with no breaches or security incidents to date, and built-in zero-knowledge architecture to keep employee data private at all times.

Important considerations for small business password managers

With limited resources and evolving cultures, small businesses should focus on a few essential priorities:

Login management: In a typical small business, IT duties might be shared by owners, general managers, and other employees on top of their day-to-day duties. Password management, 2FA code retrieval, and password resets can become time-consuming and distracting chores. A password manager automates these functions to keep key employees focused on value-added tasks.

Scalability: A small business password manager should adapt to the company’s changing needs. A small consulting firm may not have an immediate need for unlimited seats, SCIM provisioning, or single sign-on (SSO) integration but might benefit from features like VPN and dark web monitoring. Small businesses need scalable, feature-rich plans tailored to the small business landscape.

Building a security culture: Password management education and universal adoption can be easier to achieve with a smaller team. Autofill features encourage adoption with variable settings that adapt to each employee’s preferences. As the business grows, these safe and productive habits become ingrained in the company culture.

Affordability: Small companies need to spend their valuable resources on brand development and growth, so a password manager for small business applications must remain affordable. Look for a plan as low as $2 per month per user and consider valuable add-ons like a VPN and a free friends and family account at no additional cost.

Securing company data with a password manager also improves productivity. Learn more in our Password Playbook for Small Businesses.

Password management for business FAQs

1.  How does a small business password manager work?

A password manager allows individuals or businesses to create, store, and manage all passwords from one secure application. The app generates random and unique passwords for users, so they don’t need to memorize or write them down. Passwords are also encrypted on the user’s device before they’re stored. Password vaults for business accounts are situated on highly secure servers in the cloud.

2.  How much do small business password managers cost?

The affordability of password managers can be surprising, given the enhanced security and convenience they provide. Dashlane includes the best small business password manager security features, group password-sharing, Password Health scores, and outstanding compatibility for as little as $2 per month per user. Compared to the median cost of one security breach, which now reaches $17,000, a password manager is a wise investment.

3.  How does it benefit my business?

There are many reasons why small businesses need a password manager, including:

  • Decreased exposure to data breaches, phishing attacks, and password theft
  • Passwords for joint accounts can be safely stored and shared
  • Generated employee passwords are much more secure than manually created passwords
  • Password health scores and actionable reports encourage better password habits and awareness
  • Simplified granting and revoking of password accounts as employees join or leave the business
  • Reduced time spent on password management for each individual and the business as a whole

What Dashlane does for small business password management

Animated GIF of the Dashlane password manager user interface showing data about stored passwords.

Versatile, easy-to-implement business password management software from Dashlane is a win-win. Employees get convenient password generation and autofill features, and small businesses elevate their security profile. User-friendly admin consoles and security scoring build a sustainable security-first culture throughout the organization.

“When I saw Dashlane, I knew it was the right password management solution for our company. If we’re going to grow and expand our team, then we can’t afford to be without a product like Dashlane.”

Jennifer Pemberton
General Manager at SolarQuote

As your business grows, so do your team’s responsibilities and your exposure to cyber threats. A Dashlane small business password manager helps you safeguard sensitive company information and brand reputation while boosting employee productivity.

See how Dashlane can help your small business by starting a free trial.

References

  1. Dashlane, “Definitive Guide to Password Management for Small Businesses,” 2022.
  2. Dashlane, What Is Encryption,” March 2019.
  3. Dashlane, “A Beginner’s Guide to Two-Factor Authentication,” August 2022.
  4. Dashlane, “SSO Technology Overview & Integration with Dashlane,” September 2022.
  5. Dashlane, “A look at Password Health Scores around the world in 2022,” 2022.
  6. Dashlane, “Case Study: How VillageReach eliminated hundreds of reused passwords within a global workspace,” February 2022.
  7. Dashlane, “How Strong Is Your Password & Should You Change It?,” August 2022.
  8. Dashlane, “How Dashlane Helped KHM Travel Fix Their Password Problems and Build a Culture of Security Awareness,” September 2020.
  9. Dashlane, “How to Shine a Light on the Dark Web,” June 2022.
  10. Dashlane, “How to Create a Culture of Security,” March 2022.
  11. Dashlane, “Security White Paper,” August 2022.
  12. Dashlane, “Password Playbook for Small Businesses,” 2022.
  13. Dashlane, “Choose the Right Plan for your Business,” 2022.
  14. Hiscox Group, “Hiscox Cyber Readiness Report 2022,” 2022.
  15. Dashlane, “Why Small Businesses Need a Password Manager,” January 2022.
  16. Dashlane, “These Small Businesses Got Hacked So You Don’t Have To,” January 2022.
  17. Dashlane, “How Much Time Does Your Company Spend Managing Passwords?,” June 2022.
  18. Dashlane, “This Is How You Build a Security-First Culture at Your Company,” March 2021.
  19. Dashlane, “Tips & Tricks for Optimizing Dashlane’s Autofill You Might Not Know About,” June 2021.
  20. Dashlane, “How Admins Can Simplify Provisioning,” April 2022.
    Dashlane

    Dashlane is a web and mobile app that simplifies password management for people and businesses. We empower organizations to protect company and employee data, while helping everyone easily log in to the accounts they need—anytime, anywhere.

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