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May 05, 2021

7 Ways to Ensure Password Security on the Enterprise Level

Passwords are among the most vulnerable and most effective cybersecurity tools in any business’s arsenal. A good password can potentially protect the entire organization, whereas a single compromised password can bring even the biggest businesses to their knees. When it comes to password security at the enterprise level, there’s no room for compromise.

In this guide, we’ll cover some of the simplest (and most effective) tips for improving your password security at the enterprise level.

1. Use An Enterprise Password Manager

This should be a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many large organizations still use things like Word documents to store and share passwords. At the enterprise level, the security of your passwords is more important than ever, which is why your business needs an enterprise password vault.

What does an enterprise password vault do? Among other things, it stores, manages, and protects all of your company’s passwords. You choose who has access to the vault, and many password managers include sharing tools for larger teams to access passwords securely.

The vault also helps you generate better passwords, and usually includes a password strength auditor. So, the next time you create a password, let the password manager judge its strength before you implement it. These small steps can potentially save you thousands in data breach costs.

2. Creating Better Passwords Should Be Standardized

Of course, even having a password manager isn’t enough if your employees are still creating bad passwords. A bad password is something that you can’t afford to gamble on, and the sad fact is that most people don’t take passwords seriously. 64% of users are using the same password for multiple, if not all, accounts; even at work! The worst part about that statistic is that many of us use passwords we can remember, which means we’re including things like birthdays, names, addresses, or dictionary phrases. We’re effectively breaking every rule of password safety with these habits.

Good password habits should become a standard at the enterprise level. Scratch that—at every level. Train employees on the importance of passwords, effective password management, and how to create better passwords in general.

3. Use 2FA For Business Passwords

Two-factor or multi-factor authentication is one of the greatest password protection tools at your disposal, and it’s relatively simple. When an account with a password is created, an email or phone number (or both, in some cases) is required in order to generate a unique, secure code. This code is then emailed or texted to the user whenever their password is used. So, even if a hacker gets ahold of a password, they won’t have access to the account because of the extra authentication steps.

4. Biometrics

Biometrics are a form of 2FA, and include things like fingerprints, retina and facial scans, and more. This can be a powerful password protection tool, since everyone’s fingerprints are unique. Even if a hacker gets into the system and steals everyone’s passwords, he can’t steal everyone’s fingerprints or retinas!

With the rise of AI, we’re beginning to see greater implementation of biometrics security measures across the business world.

5. Avoid Dictionary Terms

Perhaps the most common mistake people make when they’re creating passwords, outside of using personal information, is using dictionary terms. Any word that can be found in the dictionary can jeopardize a password, because hackers can implement a dictionary attack. This attack literally scans the dictionary and tries to match passwords against common terms found in a dictionary. And, some computers can compare every word in a standard dictionary in just a few minutes.

6. Use Only Unique Passwords For Each Account

Every account at the enterprise level should have its own unique password. It should be free of dictionary terms, personally-identifying or company-identifying information, and contain a combination of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Here’s an example of a great password. According to security.org, it would take a computer about one billion years to crack this password:


Notice that the password is at least 16 characters long, contains no repeating characters, and follows the rules set above.

7. Change Passwords When Someone Leaves The Company

A common mistake that many businesses make is not changing passwords when a person leaves the company. The last thing you want is someone who’s not your employee having access to the company’s accounts. Even if it was a civil severance, you simply can’t guarantee that the person won’t use their credentials for something nefarious. The best way to protect your business is to change all passwords when someone leaves the company. That way, you’re eliminating a very real risk factor.

The Bottom Line

Password protection at the enterprise level is not as complex as it seems. Using a password vault/manager, you can safely store and manage your passwords, and following good habits can increase your company’s overall security. It’s time for all of us to stop neglecting our passwords!

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