Where do your users store their passwords? On a post-it by their computer, or in a secret notebook by their desk? We know from working with hundreds of IT personnel that they tell their users how important it is to protect passwords. If you have responsibility for keeping data secure, one way you can help is to help your users select and consistently use a password manager.
Bad password management is a big problem. The research suggests that hacking attacks, which are the most common cause of data breaches, are often the result of a weak or lost password. Some statistics suggest that 4 in 5 breaches classified as a “hack” were in-part caused by weak or lost (stolen) passwords. Most users have a number of applications and they find it hard to remember all their passwords and often reuse a password.
The top advantages of a password manager
Hopefully you recommend or even provide a password manager. A password manager is exactly what it sounds like. It’s an application built specifically to store passwords in one secure location. In addition many of these applications incorporate password generators that are much harder for criminals to hack. Plus password managers have the additional advantage in that your users only have to remember one password, the one to access the password manager.
There are a number of password managers to choose from, just make sure to do your research to assure they are a legitimate company. SafetyDetectives often reviews password management applications.
Regardless of whether you require a password manager for your users or let your users manage and create their own passwords, take the time to remind all your users of how to create a good password. Password experts, such as Webroot, recommend that creating passwords that are at least 8 or more characters, a mix of letters (upper and lower case), numbers, and symbols, no ties to your personal information. These types of passwords are less likely to be breached.
With better password management and a password manager, the breachers whether offline or online can be significantly reduced and important data can be kept secure.