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What To Look For in a Password Management System
Technology has made our lives easier in so many ways, it’s hard to keep track of them all. Sufficed to say, most of us wouldn’t know what to do if we lost just half the technologies we depend on every day. That being said, technology has also made a number of things more challenging too. Take passwords for example. You can’t just choose one—even a complicated one—and think that will keep your system secure. If you do, you’ll soon find out the hard way what a mistake that was. Instead, you need a password management system.
What Is a Password Management System?
A password management system is the natural conclusion of taking digital risks seriously. Hackers are more ingenious than ever before and have no shortage of weapons at their disposal for going after their targets. This is why simple passwords don’t work anymore. What you need to do is take the time to invest in a password management system.
Convenience Is Key.
At the end of the day, we all want the digital version of Fort Knox for our companies. We want to sleep well at night knowing that our security measures are impregnable and will keep hackers at bay. Still, we have to be realistic as well. A certain amount of convenience is essential in order for a password management system to succeed. Otherwise, it’s going to fall apart because people either aren’t using it or aren’t using it correctly. Even the smallest hole in terms of employees not following instructions will give a hacker more than enough room to strike. While you want to believe that you can simply order your employees to follow the rules, this is wishful thinking and will end up getting you in trouble. To avoid this, make sure that whatever you land on for security management is still going to be fairly convenient for people to use.
This includes your customers too, don’t forget. You’d like to think that they’d appreciate all the measures you’re taking to keep them safe, but be sure they know about this. Many of them will go through an extra hoop or two to avoid having their sensitive information stolen, but if they don’t understand that’s why you’re making so many demands of them, they’re probably going to jump ship.
Speaking of which, everyone uses mobile devices these days. Whether it’s a tablet or smartphone, most of us are attached to them and, a lot of times, it’s for work-related reasons. Consider how your password management system will accommodate our mobile culture. If you neglect to do so, it’s probably only a matter of time before one of your employees cuts corners and leaves your system vulnerable.
Plays Well with Others
When you begin taking security seriously, it will probably become abundantly clear that some of the things your company is doing need to change. You might have ingrained behaviors that just have to go, but even some of your business practices might need adjusting. Whatever the case, there have to be limits too. You can’t completely turn your company upside down and just hope for the best. Instead, it’s going to be wise to land on a password management system that allows you to keep as much of your current operation in order. For example, your company obviously has clients, but it might have business partners too. You need a password management system that will allow you to continue working with both without holding you back. Again, some adjustments are okay, but these have to be reasonable.
The same goes for your internal operations too. You want to know that your departments can collaborate with one another without issue. Some departments are going to have different security needs than others, which can cause friction. Look to streamline their collaborative efforts as much as possible.
In the world of digital security, there’s a concept known as “Least Privilege.” What this means, in simplest terms, is that employees are given the access they need for systems that their role demands. However, they aren’t given any extra privileges in terms of clearances that aren’t mandatory for their job. Most companies that understand this go with what’s called “Role-Based Access Control.” It tackles the privilege issue in the easiest way possible. As the name suggests, every staff member begins with the same basic amount of access and is only given more as they progress up the corporate ladder.
Using a single password per system is no longer enough. Hackers have become too smart to be put off by just one password for very long. Furthermore, as it turns out, users can’t really be trusted to come up with decent passwords. In fact, they pick really bad ones most of the time. This is why multi-factor authentication (MFA) should be considered mandatory. MFA systems demand multiple factors of identity before they allow someone entry to the system in question.
Never forget that you’re not the only opinion that matters as far as your company is concerned. If you’re dealing with customers’ financial information, you are beholden to certain laws regarding how credit cards and other factors are handled. Just being in a certain industry means you probably have various compliance guidelines to follow.
A powerful password management system may seem like a lot of work to design, but it’s absolutely worth it. Put in the time now or risk running into a lot of trouble down the line when someone tries to hack into your system.