Passwords are a major area of vulnerability for any company, especially for companies that handle sensitive financial information. Set up strong passwords for key devices or applications, secure your business network, and consider using a cloud-based password vault to help handle passwords, IDs, and password changes. These are some of the password management best practices that should be implemented in CPA firms and financial institutions.
Password Management Best Practices
The best passwords are hard to crack but easy to remember, so employees don’t spend too much time trying to find or reset lost passwords. Many best practices involve company policies about passwords. Your company can minimize that hassle and reduce the risk of data loss and other types of cyberattacks by adopting these password management best practices:
- Set a requirement for length and complexity – No one should be using ‘Password123’ for their work computer, business network, or corporate email account. Create a written policy on password complexity. This is among the most basic steps you can take to protect your business network.
- Use passphrases instead of passwords – This idea could be implemented on just about any platform. Ask employees to create a password consisting of nonsense words. The password ‘Alligator123!’ is easier to crack than ‘CatapultDrawerDoctorNashville’. Actual passphrases allow for spaces between words, so you could use ‘Went to Florida Alligator Farm’ instead of ‘AlligatorFarm’.
- Use 2-factor authentication – Protect sensitive information like clients’ financial records, by using a two-step login procedure. A one-time passcode sent to the user’s smartphone is one example of this. A physical token like a USB drive is another option.
- Create a blacklist of banned passwords – Some business software, like Azure, allows an administrator to ban certain passwords. This is one easy way to ban common words or strings of numbers. If you want to prevent employees from using things like ‘Password123’ and ‘qwerty’, this is how, at least with some software.
- Require password changes on new devices – Your networked printer might have the default password of ‘PassW0rd’. Whether it uses that default or something complicated like aR2Xia!9c3p, require that those initial passwords are changed right away. At the very least, this eliminates the risk of someone forgetting a long nonsensical string of numbers.
- Employee offboarding – Set a policy that if an employee leaves for any reason, their accounts are suspended within the hour.
You can also use cloud-based software, a password vault, to store and manage company ID and password information. A password vault will generate, store, retrieve, and reset passwords for your company’s apps and cloud-based software, the local network, and local computers and printers.
Secure Your Network and More With a Vault
One technical solution to consider is a password vault that stores all of an organization’s passwords and account information. This is one of the password management best practices you will find recommended by multiple IT experts. The vault in question is a high-security space on the cloud that holds ID and password information. Your company’s password vault makes it easier to audit and control passwords, such as when employees leave or the business network is compromised. If you look for managed IT services, you can also get data recovery services in Nashville, TN from some companies, which can be a valuable resource after a major cyberattack.
Use Managed IT Services to Streamline Password Management
It’s imperative to implement password management best practices and also to look at software solutions to manage your company’s passwords. Give your business network an added level of protection by relying on a managed IT services company like Net Works to manage your passwords and monitor your network. If you want managed services, network monitoring, or data recovery in Nashville, TN we can help. Contact us at 615-627-4216 to speak with an IT technician today.