In today’s digital world, security breaches and data leaks have become a common occurrence and all businesses especially SMEs, are not exempt from these threats. One area that is often overlooked but poses a significant risk, is password management.
A recent article revealed the top 10 most commonly used passwords, with “123456” and “password” STILL ranking high. SMEs often neglect the importance of robust password policies and as a result, employees end up using weak and easily guessable passwords which leaves the business vulnerable to attacks. Worse, many users also reuse passwords across different platforms for convenience which is another significant security lapse and exposes SMEs to even greater risks.
Further to this, SMEs often experience very chaotic scenarios where multiple employees can create supplier or client accounts with their own passwords. This becomes problematic when those individuals fall ill or leave the company and leave behind a trail of unresolved access issues. Sharing passwords among employees leads to even more problems as it enables the possibility of unauthorised access and makes it difficult to track accountability.
Many SMEs recognise the need for a solution and preferably one that is more robust than an Excel spreadsheet! Password management tools are a great way to tackle the problem as they offer a centralised digital “vault” that can securely store and encrypt passwords – providing a far more secure solution than Excel. These tools can also automatically generate unique and complex passwords for different platforms, enabling businesses to avoid using commonly used phrases and ensuring a high level of security against attacks and unauthorised access.
Another advantage of password management tools is the ability to assign access rights to specific staff members, granting them access only to the passwords they need for their roles. This minimises the risk of internal breaches caused by rogue behaviour or accidental exposure. In addition, these tools will auto-fill logins – this means that staff do not need to remember or even know the password.
Two-factor authentication (2FA) is also offered by password management tools which is another vital tool to help protect against attacks. Instead of just relying on a password, 2FA requires users to provide a second piece of information to verify their identity, such as a code sent to a mobile number. By using 2FA, it becomes even harder for unauthorised access to occur.
There are a range of password management tools on the market and selecting the right one can be a challenge. Some tools have experienced security breaches themselves, which raises concerns about their reliability. Others might claim to be intuitive and helpful, but fall short in delivering on those promises.
For SMEs, the importance of effective password management cannot be overstated. Weak password policies, password reuse and the unsecured sharing of credentials all contribute to a messy and risky environment. However, by using a reliable password management tool SMEs can reduce the risk of a breach and strengthen their cybersecurity defences.
After extensive market research and evaluation, we have chosen Keeper as our preferred tool. We were so impressed by the security features, usability and reliability that we have now partnered with them to become a reseller. Contact us to learn more about Keeper and how we can assist you in securing your business’ passwords.