Too many individuals and businesses still rely on clichéd references, easy-to-guess phrases, or personal data about themselves or loved ones to create their passwords. They simply don’t understand how sophisticated hackers' methods have become. For example, did you know hackers use tools that can make tens of thousands of guesses based on publicly available information about an account holder?
Strong passwords are the first line of protection against unauthorized or malicious access to your business accounts and, by extension, valuable business data. However, even the most robust passwords can only protect you if you have taken the extra step to secure password sharing among teams.
Teams often need to share passwords to access mutual accounts. However, you don't have to put your data at risk to make this possible. You can use TeamPassword to securely generate, store, and share passwords within a team.
Sign up for a free trial to learn how TeamPassword can seal the holes in your authentication and authorization protocols.
How to Secure Your Passwords
There are multiple ways to secure your passwords. Of course, as cyber-attackers’ methods change and become more advanced, businesses must also evolve to keep data safe. For example, cybersecurity experts once said that you should change your passwords frequently. This was true until hackers developed software that can test thousands of password combinations per hour.
Such software is capable of using previous iterations of your password to guess the new password. It's effective because most people only make minor adjustments to their passwords so that they can remember their new passwords easily.
Today, experts advise changing passwords once every three months unless there is reason to believe accounts were compromised. The only disadvantage is that once you change your passwords, there must be a secure password sharing method to distribute the new access codes.
How do you store your passwords? And more importantly, how do you share passwords across your teams? The method you choose must allow your business to run seamlessly while protecting your most valuable asset–company data–from malicious attacks.
How to Share Your Passwords Securely
No matter how strong your passwords are, you can introduce vulnerabilities into your system if you don’t invest in secure password sharing protocols. Most teams make obvious mistakes when sharing passwords, like storing them in unsecured spreadsheets or sending them on email or chats. Anyone with ill intent only needs to access one of these files to penetrate your entire system.
The best way to secure your IT infrastructure is to use a password manager that includes sharing features. A password manager like TeamPassword offers high-level encryption and two-factor authentication so that only the right people can make sense of the passwords.
Before anyone can access the list of shared passwords, they must log in to the platform using their personal password and a short-term authentication code. When your system is challenging to penetrate, hackers quickly lose interest and move on to easier targets.
If you’re unsure where to begin, sign up for a TeamPassword free trial to secure your shared passwords once and for all.
Why Can’t I Share Passwords via Email or Messenger?
Think back to the last time you needed to share a password with someone. How did you do it?
Some people send plain text passwords over email or on chat, while others call and spell it out over the phone. These are high-risk methods of sharing passwords. They are equivalent to locking your door then leaving the key on an accessible windowsill for an intruder.
But why are these methods risky? Let’s look at each one below:
- Written notes–these are theoretically okay if no one else sees the notes and the recipient destroys them immediately upon receipt. However, losing or misplacing notes happens all too often, putting your company's data at risk.
- Emails and text messages–these are sent as plain text, meaning that anyone who manages to intercept the message can read its contents. Remember that emails pass through several servers before getting to you. Skilled cybercriminals can intercept any one of these servers.
- Text files and spreadsheets–these may be semi-safe if the document is password-protected, but someone who cracks the first password can access the contents, too.
- Instant messaging apps–the first thing hackers look for in IM apps is anything resembling a password. Also, anyone with access to your device can read your messages and find passwords in there.
If you have ever used any of the above methods to share your passwords, it is best to change the passwords for those accounts right away. Be sure to use a completely unrelated password from the previous one and then use a tool like TeamPassword to distribute the updated information to team members with a need to know.
Keeping Passwords Up to Date
As mentioned, the standard has been to change passwords every 90-180 days. However, this standard should not be applied to personal passwords since users often find creative ways to use slight variations of the old password. This tendency creates a security risk for two reasons:
- Users may have to write down their passwords so as not to forget them.
- Hackers will simply try tens of thousands of combinations based on the old password, and one will probably work.
Advanced authentication methods in password managers are valuable for secure password sharing and preventing unauthorized access. You should already be using two-factor authentication on all your accounts, but you can also apply advanced techniques like biometric identification.
Whatever you do, discourage team members from sharing passwords through any of the communication channels they typically use when collaborating. Even spelling passwords out on a call isn’t safe anymore. Always use the password sharing feature in password managers like TeamPassword.
Are You Ready to Secure Your Passwords?
TeamPassword applies advanced encryption standards to offer the most secure password sharing platform for teams. It comes with all the features you need to generate strong, random passwords, manage password sharing, and share passwords securely with co-workers.
Sign up for a free trial today to start protecting your business assets without making password management more difficult for your team.