15 Mar

Maintain CyberSecurity (and Your Sanity) with an Enterprise Password Vault

It’s the most basic principle of enhancing cyber security: reducing the attack surface. Shutting down attack vectors and closing ports of entry where hackers might exploit vulnerabilities. And with the help of an enterprise password vault, some of those attack vectors can at least be minimalized, if not closed entirely.

Put simply, an enterprise password vault stores passwords for privileged access accounts so employees don’t have to remember them (or worse, write them down). It then doles out brokered access to those passwords on demand, and only to properly-credentialed employees.

Cyber criminality is a full-time job. Attackers are as devoted to infiltrating your platform as you are to defending it, if not more. And while they may not mean to, your fellow coworkers can accidentally add to those risks exponentially without realizing it.

An enterprise password vault isn’t going to shrink your attack surface. But it does help mitigate risks by reducing the odds of coworkers accidentally making the attack surface bigger.

These privileged access management (PAM) tools typically allow you to generate and rotate original, highly-secure passwords automatically. They let you upgrade, downgrade, and remove credentials on the fly. And they offer analytical tools that can help you bolster cyber security in real time.

A Hacker’s Simplest Efforts can be as Scary as their Best Ones

Naturally, you want to be protected against a hacker’s best efforts. That’s where all of that cyber security you invest in annually comes in. But you also want to protect against a hacker’s simplest efforts. And an enterprise password vault can help do that.

Humans often seek out the path of least resistance in their day-to-day lives, and hackers are no different. Rainbow tables, keyloggers, ransomware, phishing attempts, and other hacker tricks of the trade require hard work and patience to implement. Cyber criminals are human, and humans like things to be easy.

Hackers thrive on human error, and there’s a lot of human error to exploit when it comes to internet security. Call it laziness, or complacency, or simply not knowing what behavior is or isn’t safe, but the majority of cyber crimes that happen these days are wholly enabled by users who don’t take internet security seriously.

People forget to log out of their workstations. They’ll sometimes forget to replace default passwords (“12345” or “password” or “admin”). They’ll use weak, poor passwords. They’ll forget to remove access from a former employee after they’ve left the company. They’ll write down a password on a napkin and bin it with the remains of their lunch, not realizing they may have just exposed their whole company to cyber threats.

Nevermind reminding people to use two-factor authentication, or asking them to rotate their passwords regularly, or getting them to use strong passwords in the first place. You should probably be at least slightly grateful some employee didn’t accidentally post important company passwords in a status message on social media after hitting CTRL+V by mistake. Stranger things have indeed happened.

Unsurprisingly, the 2018 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report showed that the use of stolen credentials is the leading source of security breaches.

Passwords written in sticky notes on a computer screen

An Enterprise Password Vault can Only Do So Much

An enterprise password vault will work wonders for your business, but it’s not a silver bullet for internet security. Mitigating risk needs to be a more involved action than simply turning to a software or cloud platform and saying “fix this for us.”

Companies need to learn to prioritize cyber security and take it seriously from the word “go.” They need to spend more time worrying about the threats they’ll face tomorrow, and a lot more time worrying about the threats they face today, right now. And the bigger that business becomes, the more mission-critical their efforts to bolster security need to be.

Perhaps the most frustrating element of cyber security is the fact that most of your coworkers will undoubtedly phone it all in. They don’t entirely appreciate just how imperiled their own livelihoods are by their whimsical, carefree attitudes regarding security protocols. And they don’t place much stock in the theory of Murphy’s Law — that anything that can go wrong invariably will go wrong.

So how do you limit your company’s exposure to risk? How do you prepare your employees for catastrophe? How do you convince people that their bad, sloppy, no-good security practices are in fact bad, sloppy, and no good?

Maintaining Your Sanity Cyber Security Using Good Internet Practices

Like we said earlier, an enterprise password vault isn’t capable of shrinking an attack surface. They do help close down several attack vectors of course, but at the end of the day you still need employees to take cyber security seriously … and to hold them accountable when they don’t.

Password usage needs to be carefully monitored, and patterns should be identified and followed so more scrutiny can be applied where it needs to be applied. And using all of the data at your disposal, including but not limited to key analytics, helps as well.

If your password management software lets you rotate passwords automatically, utilize it. And if it doesn’t, you may want to stress to your coworkers the high importance of doing so (if you aren’t doing it already).

In that same vein, we should mention that it’s irresponsible to keep default passwords for longer than a few hours at most. And if you’re in a position to do so, champion a shift in policy to enforce these password rules more fervently.

Employees should be strongly encouraged, if not mandated, to use multi-factor authentication, too. MFA greatly reduces endpoint vulnerabilities.

And there’s yet another great feature of using vaults: An enterprise password vault manager improves efficiency for your IT team as a whole by stripping away a lot of their grunt work. Admins will spend less time auditing, rotating, monitoring, and assigning privileged access passwords so they have more time for everything else they do.

An enterprise password vault with brokered, single sign on (SSO) access eliminates the risk of criminals finding passwords on sticky notes. It also means passwords are hardened and changed more frequently.

Two members of IT team happy working

Enterprise Password Vault Features

The main features of an enterprise password vault are:

  • Brokered password and data access
  • Improved analytical tools
  • Help reduce the number of attack vectors and mitigate risk
  • Increased IT department efficiency

Get Secured Today with Endpoint Management Solutions

With Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM), Identity and Access Management (IAM), and Unified Threat Management (UTM), CompleteTablet’s security and endpoint management solutions are happy to serve in the vanguard on the front lines of your campaign against cybercrime.

Using configuration tools, hardware and app inventory, and OS config management deploying advanced remote access systems, EMM provides your IT team with valuable oversight into what apps are being used, and by who. It lets you remote wipe data from a compromised device instantly and in real-time. And it lets you make good use of role-based access for apps, just as you would with staff.

IAM handles the brokered access elements of security, enabling dynamic smart access to privileged accounts as needed and when needed.

Last but certainly not least, Unified Threat Management (UTM) is a converged point security platform with protection modules for network, wireless, web, targeted attack, email, and web server/ DDoS.

All told, CompleteTablet’s security and endpoint management solutions can go a very long way toward refining your cyber security methodologies and shrinking those attack vectors considerably. And while coupling these technologies with user-end safety practices won’t make you invulnerable — there’s no such thing as absolute invincibility in cyberspace — It can go a long way toward minimizing risk. And at the end of the day, that sort of piece of mind is really what you’re hoping for out of safety and security platforms, isn’t it? That is ultimately the true value of an enterprise password vault.