The Hidden Costs of Passwords

The Hidden Costs of Passwords

These days, most of us associate passwords with cybersecurity. Whether we’re logging in to check our email, buying something off iTunes or using Facebook, passwords are everywhere and meant to ensure that prying eyes don’t see our private information. Obviously, companies make good use of passwords as well. However, their relationship to them is a bit different. In a business context, passwords come with costs that not a lot of people see. Before you get too comfortable with your cybersecurity measures, consider the following cots from this whitepaper, “What Do Passwords Cost Your Business?”

Hidden Cost #1: Acquisition Cost

A lot of people are surprised to find out that passwords aren’t free once you step into the business world. We’re accustomed to using them for free all the time in our private lives. Our emails were free and so were their passwords. The same goes with our social media accounts. Those of us who have accounts with eBay, Amazon and most other ecommerce sites have the same experience. 

You can’t really go the free route with your company’s cybersecurity needs. If you do, you’re not going to be happy with the results, though hackers will definitely appreciate your oversight.

Obviously, the kind of security you need for your company is going to cost you. Right off the bat, no matter which kind you choose, there will be charges for password security. Whether it’s the software in the physical sense or the the implementation of best practices, security does not come for free.

It doesn’t end there though. There are no half measures worth taking where security is concerned. That’s why you should really invest in multi-factor (MFA) authentication software to do the job. This type of software demands at least two forms of verification in place of just a single password. Generally these verifications consist of something the user knows (such as a password) and something the user has (such as a hardware token). 

There are a number of other ways this superior way of authentication can ensure that hackers are kept at bay. No matter what route you choose, it is important to remember that the benefits of this type of security come with extra costs.

Hidden Cost #2: Deployment Cost

No matter what kind of software we’re talking about, there’s going to be a cost that goes along with trying to deploy it on an enterprise level. If nothing else, it’s vital that you consider the opportunity costs involved. If you’re not careful, deploying software could grind your company’s working day—or even days—to a halt.

Instead, you want to plan ahead and mitigate this potential cost as much as possible. Deployment is important, but you can’t put off all your other priorities.

Even still, you have to think about what it’s costing you to bring an employee “off the floor”, so to speak, for however long deployment will last. Every hour that employee can’t work for you is salary you’re paying for work that isn’t getting done.

Finally, when you’re running the numbers on what deployment is going to cost you, be sure you look at the unique aspects of each employee as much as possible. Chances are that their password costs are going to vary because an entry-level employee doesn’t need the same access as a vice-president. 

The cost of deploying your software shouldn’t necessarily be a deal-breaker. We’re talking about cybersecurity, after all. Furthermore, the difference between the deployment costs from one platform to the next should be largely negligible. 

Hidden Cost #3: Management Cost

Lastly, we need to talk about management costs. Today’s cybersecurity software requires a large degree of management to work effectively, which come with some hidden costs you’ll want to confront early on.

Generally, there are two costs to be considered here. First is the loss of productivity that will occur when a user can’t perform their duties because of issues with authentication. Obviously, this deficit is going to be compounded by those who need to take time out of their days to help the user solve this problem.Then there are all the resources the company will have to dedicate toward the issue so that IT personnel can try resolving it.To make up for all of this, the employees involved will have to provide greater value than they otherwise would to make up for the losses caused by authentication problems.

As you can see, there are definitely some important costs related to passwords that you may not have thought about at first. While it’s vital to plan ahead for them, this shouldn’t be taken as a suggestion that password technology isn’t worth it. The costs related to a hacker’s success would be far more substantial.

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