Why is a Business Password Manager Different from a Personal Password Manager?

Business Password Manager Grand Rapids Tech Support

Why is a Business Password Manager Different from a Personal Password Manager?

It’s a must for businesses to train their employees on keeping their passwords safe and secure. Any company is susceptible to a data breach — even small businesses — which could damage or massively cripple a business’s productivity and profitability.

But managing passwords in the business world is different from managing them in your personal life. While it always is better to have one person tied to each account (i.e., never sharing login credentials with other co-workers), there are justifiable reasons you could have a team of five people sharing login information, such as cutting costs if an application costs more per login. Maybe only one employee has access to an account, but what do you do if that employee leaves or is let go? How do you ensure passwords aren’t at risk of being stolen?

Many password managers offer business plans with extra features suited for managing multiple accounts under one organization. Why are they different from personal password managers?

Business Password Managers Need to Offer Shared Visibility

Your employees most likely have multiple passwords to remember. In addition to email and computer logins, they probably have an account for selecting health insurance and other benefits, another login for submitting timesheets or documenting workflow, and another if your company uses a video teleconferencing platform/messaging service like WebEx or Zoom.

While employees will have their own accounts for these services and products, other accounts might be shared within a department or companywide. It’s always better to have a unique account for each person to maintain accountability, but some businesses may find it necessary for some accounts to be shared across multiple people.

For instance, maybe a news organization has one PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) account shared between all the reporters, or a small business wants to track site metrics with SEO software but cannot afford to purchase an account for every employee.

Business password managers can securely share passwords between employees. Additionally, company admins can monitor employee password health and require employees to change passwords if they are weak or used multiple times.

User Access Must Be Removed When an Employee Leaves

When an employee leaves a company, accounts need to be deleted or shared passwords need to be changed to ensure the former employee can no longer access company data.

Business password managers can securely share passwords between employees. Additionally, company admins can monitor employee password health and require employees to change passwords if they are weak or used multiple times.

A business password manager will allow you to see which accounts need to be deleted and which passwords have been shared. Your IT team will manage accounts for your local network — logging on to your computer and accessing shared files — but won’t have the same visibility with website accounts.

There also may be accounts that only one former employee used and no one else had access to. A password manager will allow you to share the password with other employees so they can change it. Additionally, maybe the employee was using a website you didn’t even know about. As the business owner, you can track the accounts employees add.

Ability to Manage Personal and Business Accounts Together

While you may have separate computers for work and personal use, you probably log in to personal accounts on your work computer. Maybe you like to shop while on your lunch break or need to make a car payment between meetings. However, if hackers target your company, that personal information is now compromised.

By not providing your employees with a password manager, you are leaving it up to the employee to choose to save their business passwords in their personal passwords manager, which they still will have access to after they leave the company.

Some password managers offer business plans that allow your employees to link business and personal accounts to see all passwords in one location. This keeps both personal and business passwords safe and secure without having to log in and out of different password manager accounts.

It’s important to note that employers do not have access to employees’ personal passwords but can transfer or share business password data with other employees, as previously noted.

Encourage Better Security for Personal Passwords

Investing in a business password manager not only encourages your employees to practice safe and secure password protection practices within the company but also encourages those same practices in their personal lives.

Some password managers allow personal accounts to be added to employees’ business accounts. This allows employees to create and manage their personal passwords separate from work passwords. This makes for a cleaner separation if they were to stop working for you. They would keep access to their personal passwords and you would have access to their work passwords.

The only caveat is if the employee leaves the company, they will need to start paying for the personal account if they and their family want to keep using the password manager.

Going One Step Further with Single Sign-On

Password managers are great and if you want to go even further to reduce the amount of brain space your employees have to dedicate to remembering their login credentials, add single sign-on (SSO) to your procedures. SSO allows employees to enter their login credentials one time to access cloud-based applications. This reduces the number of passwords needed, reduces the number of multifactor authentication prompts needed and results in employees creating stronger passwords since they don’t have to remember as many and don’t have to type them in as often.

Business password managers give you peace of mind knowing your employees are securely storing passwords, protecting your company from cybersecurity threats.

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