Given the increasing number and complexity of cyberattacks, more and more businesses are investing in IT security solutions. In fact, the global cybersecurity market increased by 7.6% in 2020 and is projected to further grow from $165.78 billion in 2021 to $366.10 billion in 2028.
But among the myriad of IT security solutions out there — from firewalls to anti-malware software to virtual private networks to data encryption — is a password manager a must-have? In this blog, we’ll give you five reasons why your business needs it.
1. Users experience password fatigue
Did you know that the typical user has about 100 passwords on average? This February 2020 survey result is a huge jump from the February 2019 survey that showed people having 70–80 passwords. This 25% increase in the number of passwords is likely because people downloaded more apps and used more online resources during the lockdown for leisure (e.g., exercise, cooking, gaming) and work (e.g., planner, calendar, online messaging).
70 passwords is already far too many passwords to remember, what more 100! No wonder people tend to have poor password practices.
2. People have weak password practices
Balbix’s 2020 State of Password Use Report surveyed more than 10,000 users across all major industries and came back with a lot worrying data about reusing passwords:
- More than 99% of respondents use the same passwords, either between work and personal accounts or across work accounts.
- A user uses the same password on 2.7 accounts on average.
- The average user has 7.5 passwords shared between work and personal accounts.
While some respondents do not reuse passwords, 68% of them only slightly alter their old passwords to come up with new ones, with 32% substituting letters with symbols or numbers.
The report also found that only 28% respondents generate random numbers or words for their passwords, while only 17% use a sentence. In fact, NordPass published a list of the 200 most common passwords, which only proves that a majority of people do not use strong passwords. Instead, they opt for passwords that are easy to remember, which are also easy to guess for hackers.
To improve security, many companies force their employees to regularly change passwords. Theoretically, doing so is not a bad idea, but if it is required too frequently, this practice could be doing more harm than good. With frequent password changes, employees tend to store their new password in easily accessible places, such as a sticky note attached to their computer.
3. There are many password-related data breaches
According to the Verizon 2021 Data Breach Investigations Report, 61% of breaches can be attributed to compromised credentials. Hackers particularly target accounts with privileged access to organizational systems and networks because these open a lot of doors and enable them to get a wealth of information, which they can use for malicious purposes such as leveraging confidential data for ransom payouts.
4. Password managers boost security
A password manager can address all three abovementioned concerns since it can enhance your company’s password security. Essentially, it stores, encrypts, and manages all of your login credentials for your various accounts. Some password managers also allow you to record other information such as PINs, credit card numbers and three-digit CVV codes, and answers to security questions.
To unlock the password manager and gain access to all of its stored data, you’ll only need to remember one master password. That’s a lot easier than having to remember 100 passwords. Some password managers even allow you to use biometrics in place of a master password.
What’s more, password managers can also generate unique and strong passwords across countless accounts for you, so you won’t be tempted to reuse passwords and use weak ones. The best ones even help IT teams measure their organization’s password security status by providing a score based on metrics like password reuse, enabling them to uncover and mitigate potential risks.
5. Password managers offer convenience
Password managers with browser extensions automatically fill in the appropriate login ID and password pair when a particular URL loads. That means you don’t have to painstakingly type your login credentials every time you sign in to your accounts. Not only is this feature convenient, it can also protect you from phishing sites that mimic legitimate websites with almost identical URLs.
While most browsers also offer the same automatic form filling feature, it is not secure. Browser password management focuses on user experience and ease rather than security, therefore your login information is essentially left out in the open.
The bottomline is that with a password manager, you’re able to secure your login credentials without sacrificing user experience.
Let the IT experts of Athens Micro help you pick the password manager solution that addresses your business’s unique needs. Schedule your FREE consultation with us.
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