Optimizing Team Collaboration Through Secure Password Management

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The article explores the critical role of secure password management in optimizing team collaboration. It will discuss how teams can efficiently manage and share access to credentials securely by using tools like Passpack to enhance productivity and drive down support costs while safeguarding sensitive information.

The Need for Secure Password Management (a.k.a. The Costs of Password MISmanagement)

According to the Verizon 2023 Data Breach Investigations Report, nearly 70% of all breaches involve a human element, whether through human error, privilege abuse, credential theft, or social engineering. Another 15% of breaches involve a third party or trusted supply chain partner like an IT services provider or marketing agency with access to company systems.

Multiple research efforts into the costs of resetting lost or stolen passwords conducted by the likes of Gartner, Deloitte, Ponemon Institute, and Forrester Research have found the average firm spends $5.2 million each year on these activities. Granted, the “average firm size” for these surveys is 15,000 employees, many times that of the average SMB, but all seem to peg the cost at about $70 per individual password reset incident, so it’s simple math to estimate expenses for your organization. (This does not account for the costs and fines of data breaches stemming from compromised passwords and phishing/social engineering attacks that can reach into the millions – just password maintenance). Other findings that can be extrapolated from this research with impact on businesses of any size:

  • Employees lose an average of 11 hours per year entering and resetting passwords
  • 30% to 50% of all help desk calls are for password resets
  • To maintain proper security protocol IT should be verifying the identity of the requesting employee through multi-factor authentication to prevent impersonators from initiating password resets, but often do not
  • Organizations may store passwords in several locations, meaning IT has to track down all the places where the password needs to be changed
  • Thousands more work hours are lost each year while employees sit idle waiting for IT to restore access to applications and services
  • Many employees suffer from password fatigue and experience frustration

These challenges lead to unsafe security practices that employees take to avoid password resets, and in doing so expose the business to even greater risks. For example, employees will:

  • Use the same password for multiple accounts, or create slight variations of the same root password, so that one compromised password can unlock several resources
  • Choose passwords that are short and/or easy to remember (i.e. names and dates) and thus easy for hacker to compromise
  • Recycle passwords that have been expired
  • Write passwords down on a sheet of paper, store them in their desktop web browser, or keep them in an unlocked Excel spreadsheet
  • Share them with colleagues either verbally, on a sticky note, or by typing the password in an unsecured text or email
  • Let’s not forget about the impact on IT staff. Rather than focusing on high-value strategic initiatives such as application development and digital transformation, IT personnel are spending too much time resetting passwords which can be frustrating, costly, and career stifling. And it is something that can be easily automated, which only adds to insult to injury.

    Without a team password management application in place there is no mechanism for control; no way for the organization to track how passwords are created, what they are, who has access, and how they are shared. What if an employee creates passwords known only to themselves and leaves the company?

    So, besides delivering peace of mind around protecting sensitive business information and helping to insulate organizations against cyberattacks, the use of a password management application can save your business some serious cash and a lot of headaches.

    Key Features of an Effective Teams Password Manager App

    Here are some qualities to look for in an effective password management application that enhances collaboration among team members and how Passpack addresses them:

    • Easily scalable in terms of the number of users and number of teams.
      Passpack is infinitely scalable, supporting an unlimited number of users, passwords, and teams. No need to worry about ever migrating to a larger platform – there isn’t one! And we made it easy to import data from other password managers into Passpack.
    • Secure password controls that limit sharing to authorized users and domains.
      Passpack ensures all passwords are created, stored, and managed through a centralized administrator with a 360° view of all password-related activity. Whatever passwords users create, there is always a historical record. No more rogue passwords!
    • Fast on- and off-boarding of users.
      Passpack supports the easy on- and off-boarding of users without disturbing access of other team members. Add and remove team members seamlessly without changing passwords for everyone!
    • Enables strong password creation capabilities and consistent rules enforcement.
      Passpack includes a built-in password generator that allows administrators to set rules for character string length and strength, password recycling, and more.
    • Highly secure with multi-factor authentication support.
      Passpack employs a Zero-knowledge architecture and utilizes military-grade AES-256 end-to-end encryption when sharing passwords between individuals and teams. Only authorized users and approved domains can receive passwords containing credentials. Further, Passpack supports two-factor authentication, Yubi keys), and optional Google Single Sign-On (SSO) capabilities for improved identity and access management.
    • Device- and platform-agnostic.
      Passpack can be accessed from any device running any operating system. There are no limitations regarding operating systems or platforms, so employees can securely access their data from anywhere.
    • Centralized administration with detailed activity reporting.
      Passpack provides detailed reporting on users assigned to each team, the passwords to which each has access, and records all user activity in the event of a breach.
    • Passpack checks all the boxes for an effective team password management solution and goes even further with its unique Packing Key technology, advanced access controls, the ability to attach encrypted notes to password-related information (credentials, codes, certificates, etc.), emergency access codes for MFA purposes in the event a user is unavailable or unable to access their account, and more.

      Passpack does all this for just pennies per user per day. A small price to pay versus the $70 per password reset incident – while keeping your business credentials safe and secure.

      Implementing Passpack on Your Team

      Passpack is cloud-based. That means is it device- and platform-agnostic. Some password managers require the installation of software on a device(s) and thus limit access to that device(s). Passpack can be accessed anywhere from any web-enabled device, there is no software to download. An Internet connection is all that is required.

      That means Passpack is extremely easy to implement. Your IT administrator simply signs up for a Teams or Business Plan Passpack subscription. Then, enter the number of user licenses required to start (remember, Passpack supports an unlimited number of users and teams, so you can always scale later). Email invites are sent to employees, and each license is assigned to a user upon acceptance of the invitation. The admin organizes the users into teams, and then shares appropriate passwords with each team. Each team member has a simple interface to login to Passpack, where they can securely access, create, manage, and share their passwords according to established company policies – all paperlessly!

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