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Password Managers for Business Security

Oliver July 2020 6 min

Introduction

There is a password for almost everything we do online these days, and remembering them can be very difficult. We’re told not to write them down, as they could be stolen, although that is another blog on its own!

You have passwords for your online banking, social media accounts, online shopping, accounts for your utilities. The list is almost endless! 

Some people have opted to use the same password for everything, but that is inherently dangerous. Even worse, some have used personal information such as their date of birth in their password. According to a Verizon report, 37% of data breaches occurred by stealing the login credentials. Simple, repeated passwords, using personal information, make this much easier.

We understand, trying to remember all these passwords is hard. But there is an easier way, by using a password manager. Using one of these systems, you only need to remember a single password. The password manager holds all your other passwords securely, using data encryption and multiple layers of verification to protect them.

The Dangers of Data Breaches for Business Banking

Many small to medium businesses (SMEs) consider themselves too small to be at risk of a data breach, but this is a fallacy. Data has value, and even a small business will have lists of clients and their details. 

With the advent of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the cost of a data breach has increased, as have the rights of the subjects of that data.

Financial data is at a very high risk of being hacked. In a Verizon report on data security, around 86% of data breaches are financially motivated, and 72% of breaches involved large companies.

Using a password manager such as 1Password significantly reduces the risk of a data breach, and gives you much better control over access to the information.

Short-Term Consequences of a Data breach

Fines

The most apparent short-term consequence is a fine from your business regulatory body. GDPR has introduced heavy fines for infringements of the rules. Less severe failures could attract a €10 million fine or up to 2% of the business turnover. More serious failures could see you fined €20 million or up to 4% of the business’s annual turnover. 

Investigation of the failure

If your business suffers a data breach, you will be responsible for carrying out a detailed examination of the causes of the failure. This is good for the company in identifying the problems but comes at a high cost. 

Increased security costs

No company wants a security breach of its data, and most certainly not twice! Other businesses and clients you deal with are going to expect an increase in data security. Also, clients whose data was compromised may seek compensation for any costs incurred.

Long-term Consequences of a Data Breach

In a word, trust. Your business will suffer a loss of customer and supplier trust for quite an extended period. Some of your customers will never come back. Suppliers may be more wary of trusting you and your business.

Trust is a commodity built up over years of hard work, and it can be lost in an instant. Losing your reputation, that may have taken years to achieve, in just a few days or less, can be devastating.

The Benefits of a Password Manager

The consequences of a data breach can be devastating for a small business. But there are ways of mitigating the risk, one of which is a password manager. Using a password manager will not eradicate the risk, but it will give you more control.

One Master Password

From a convenience point of view, the most significant advantage is that you will only need to remember one password. You can throw away that dogeared piece of paper or the sticky notes hidden in your drawer. 

Auto-generated secure, unique passwords

One of the problems with needing so many passwords is that you tend to either repeat them on different websites or use personal information. Sometimes you do both! These passwords are more easily hacked, and if you’ve repeated the password, once one site is hacked, all your sites are potentially hacked.

A password manager will generate random passwords for every site. You don’t need to remember them as they are auto-filled when you log in. The passwords created are complicated to hack, as they are entirely random in nature. 

Low cost

Considering the potential cost of a data breach, paying for a password manager is extremely cost-effective. For just a few Euro’s per user, your whole company can be using high-security passwords on all the sites they visit.

Are there any Downsides to Password Managers?

The biggest downside, of course, is that if someone manages to discover your master password, they have access to all your passwords. This is a valid point, and one the password managers take exceedingly seriously.

To counter the threat, use two-factor authentication whenever it is offered. This means that should someone have your master password, they will still need to pass a second authentication process. 

Password managers are aware of this and monitor activity regularly. A good password manager will offer a range of settings to help protect your account. For example, you can restrict access by location, so if you try to access your data from the internet at a cafe, you’ll need to pass two-step authentication.

How can A Password Manager Help Your Business?

Business solutions for password management allow you to control which employees can access which systems or websites. 

Setting up “vaults” that hold login details, passwords, and banking credentials means they can be easily shared between team members. On-boarding a new team member is simplified, and they can access the information they need straight away.

Your team no longer needs to remember passwords or waste time going through password recovery processes. They just go to the login page of the system they need to access, and the details are filled in automatically.

For administrators, a password manager makes sharing logins much easier and more secure. An admin can add, remove, or disable an employee’s login very quickly, giving added security. Potential risks to your information can be spotted early and action taken to prevent loss of data.

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