How Do You Manage Your Passwords?
In the ubiquitous world of technology that permeates and blends our personal and professional lives, two thirds of access 6 or more applications each day. We typically begin the day by checking our emails, followed by a myriad of applications at work, and then wrap up the evening by visiting banks and other personal sites company employees.
Each application that we access requires a unique user name and password. However, only 41% of company employees use a unique password for each application; the majority of users reuse passwords across both personal and corporate accounts. By 2020, the average user will have 200 online accounts, with each requiring a unique password.
For companies, this situation poses a significant security risk as it can adversely affect the value creation process, financial well-being, and client data privacy. Proper password management is also paramount to third party solutions as they are often incorporate ‘The Cloud.’ The same applies to BYOD policies or when a subcontractor accesses company systems as a means of providing specialized services.
Strong passwords are critical as they aid in the protection of company data by bolstering defenses against brute force attacks. The strength of a password is determined by length, complexity, and uniqueness . As such, companies often impose password policies. The requirements incorporate common “best practices” concerning length, complexity, and frequency. These requirements often lead to password fatigue; there are just too many password requirements for too many systems and applications.
It takes time to effectively update and manage passwords – time which compromises work productivity. To save time, employees often find ways to simplify the process, subsequently compromising online security. Methods of simplification include reusing passwords across multiple sites or platforms; sharing them via Skype, email or text message; writing them down on sticky notes; or storing them in an unencrypted excel spreadsheet or Word document on their desktops.
When companies become aware of risky online behavior on the part of their employees, or worse yet, breaches, rather than recognizing that humane behavior swings towards convenience, companies react by imposing even more stringent password policies, inevitably leading to even riskier employee behavior. Therein lies the Password Paradox.
A solution does exist though – RoboForm, a secure, convenient, and affordable password manager.
RoboForm reduces passwords complexities in all four major stages of the password cycle through:
- Generation – creating random or customized passwords for users,
- Storage – storing the password in an encrypted format,
- Entry – automated password entry
- Sharing – enabling safe credential sharing.
With RoboForm, there’s no need to choose between convenience and security. In our next article, we will describe in greater detail all four stages of the password management cycle.