Why Your Password Is The Next To Get Nabbed
The cloud has provided tremendous benefits for small businesses. With services like Office 365, Google Apps, Quickbooks, Dropbox and join.me, a small business can have access to the world’s best technology faster than ever before. With that, we are putting some of our most valuable intellectual property into the cloud, and at risk.
Corporate assets are now available from anywhere, with only a password protecting access to them. It’s enough to cause any small business owner sleepless nights. Each application that is rolled out to a team provides a great service, but also becomes a potential vulnerability, since the use of cloud leads to a reliance on individuals to create and use strong passwords. Fact is - a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and often you, I and our co-workers are that weak link, due to our atrocious password habits.
As we saw with the intruder last year who managed to get inside the White House before he was apprehended, the best security on the planet won’t make up for a front door that is left unlocked.
The same is true for cloud services. Your password is the key to the lock. By using weak passwords like “123456” or “password” we are essentially leaving the door unlocked.
That’s bad enough when it comes to personal use, but for business services the danger grows. All of your accounting files, confidential client data, and credit card information can be exposed if a hacker chooses to target your business.
What’s a small business owner to do? How can they ensure their information is properly protected and that their team is allowed proper access without exposing them to further vulnerabilities?
Here are five tips.
1.) Use a password management tool designed for business and teams
The easiest method to have a separate password for everything is by using a password manager. Use a password vault, like Meldium, to ease the burden of password management and encourage strong passwords (made up of numbers, letters, and symbols) that don’t have to be committed to memory.
2.) Make sure shared accounts are only managed by one administrator and not everyone on the team or in the company.
Teams often share passwords over non-secure channels such as email. Password vaults that are designed for business and team use – mitigate risks by allowing you to share access without sharing passwords.
3.) Use tools to provision access to new employees that need them and revoke access from those that are no longer with the company.
A good team management tool provides centralized account management across different applications. Team accounts can be managed so that an administrator can enable or disable user access to apps centrally when someone joins or leaves the company.
4.) Use multi-factor authentication
Multi-factor authentication requires something in addition to the user name and password to access an account. This ensures that if a password is stolen, a hacker still has a second roadblock that prevents access to your accounts.
5.) Make good password habits
Be sure to inform your employees of the risks of lazy password habits and remind them to take that extra step to keep their passwords secure.
All of this may seem a bit overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be. By using the right tools and procedures, your business will be that much more secure and you’ll get a good night’s sleep.