How To Improve Password Security In Your Organisation
In today’s digital age, cybersecurity is an important aspect that organisations need to consider and continually assess. Passwords are the first line of defence that protect your most sensitive data from the prying eyes of unauthorised individuals. However, cybersecurity policies are only as good as you make it and the standard approach used by most organisations to protect their passwords has left many vulnerable to attacks.
For most, the fear of forgetting passwords outweighs the risk of a data breach through weak security with 61% still reusing old passwords. But in a hybrid work model, how can you foster secure, remote collaboration amongst teams? How can you ensure credentials don’t get lost in the pipeline when employees resign/leave? This is where having a good platform to keep your passwords and important information secure is essential.
Passwords – A Leading Security Threat
The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) reported a 13% increase in cyberattacks in 2021 alone. This problem is not new, however. Relying on passwords alone for cybersecurity is a common issue faced by companies of all sizes across the country. Alarmingly, despite these statistics, most fail to prioritise the password security crisis.
Given that creating and remembering a complex password for multiple platforms can be virtually impossible on your own. Using old, weak, and reused passwords can expose your business to attacks, and remote working has only made bad cybersecurity habits worse.
Passwords are core to an employee’s daily workflow. Therefore, fixing poor passwords and introducing password management tools will not only help safeguard the company from attacks but also enhance collaboration when working remotely.
Solving the Password Problem
Effective Password Management
Using a password management tool is the easiest way to keep confidential information protected. A password vault not only stores all your passwords securely in one location but also allows you to save that information on the cloud, meaning it can be accessed from any authorised entry point with a master password. This enables employees to create multiple variations of their passwords without having to remember them all, making it very hard for malicious users to breach. Beyond this, employees also benefit from logging in simply by installing a browser extension that autofills logins that they store securely.
The right solution helps protect the company by implementing the following best practices:
- Randomise passwords for each account – password cracking programs are designed to guess the most common passwords first so randomised passwords have a higher chance of withstanding an attack.
- Rotate passwords when appropriate – if a website on which you have an account gets hacked, a password manager helps you stay secure through a built-in-password generator to help you create a new one.
- Apply role-based positions to passwords – providing permission-based access to employees not only improves security, but also helps streamline roles and responsibilities for maximum efficiency.
- Achieve proper oversight and accountability for shared credentials – password managers are able to identify suspicious sessions in real-time and pause/terminate a workflow as a result of it.
- Apply multi-factor authentification for added protection – secures access to information through additional identity verification.
- Deactivate employee credentials after they leave or change roles – this is not only good protection against ex-employees but also ensures the continuity of the business with minimal downtime or disruption.
Development of a Security Policy
Beyond the implementation of a password management tool, companies should reiterate cybersecurity policies and best practices, including how and why to use the password manager. Communication of these policies will help mandate standards on how passwords should be generated, used, stored, changed as well as how compromised passwords need to be managed. A strong password management policy is the foundation of a secure organisation.
With cyberattacks on the rise, your company is always at risk of a data breach. Now more than ever, companies cannot afford to be complacent with their password management. Taking adequate steps to secure passwords and access to corporate data will go a long way in protecting your company in the long run.
If you have any questions about password management or what solutions are optimal for your business, get in contact with the team at Provide Technology today.