In our last article, we looked at why your business needs a password management solution. In short, your password-weary employees are probably recycling weak credentials from their personal accounts on your organization’s devices—and there’s a good chance those passwords are already compromised.
As a result, your organization could find itself in the crosshairs of digital thieves looking to get their hands on sensitive business data. Even worse, they could get a hold of personally identifiable customer information. When a data breach impacts your customers, it damages your organization’s credibility and could even set you up for legal issues.
Password managers are gaining prominence as a solution to the problem because they only require users to memorize a single (and, ideally, challenging) password. But with so many options, choosing the right password manager for your organization can be tricky.
For businesses in need of a password manager, we recommend 1Password. Read on to learn why its industry-leading enterprise features – like secure password generation, employee password sharing and more – mitigate any potential drawbacks, and how this password management solution can help improve your organizational security.
1Password is in use by over 100,000 businesses, including many instantly-recognizable tech brands like IBM, Slack, GitLab and Shopify.
AgileBits, 1Password’s parent company, has been in the password management game since the launch of its Mac application in 2006. By 2010, 1Password had an iOS app. It launched a subscription model in 2016, offering greatly expanded functionality over its standalone apps, and entered the business market in 2018.
1Password has grown from a two-person hobby operation to an industry leader with a global team of over 500 employees and millions of customers. Its goal is to combine security and design to bring user-friendly password management to everyone.
This is 1Password’s bread and butter: employees can easily create a 20-character-long Smart Password with a few taps or clicks. These strong, unique passwords include a jumble of numbers, letters, symbols and mixed cases. 1Password then stores these strings and auto-fills them whenever an employee needs to log in to a site or application.
It’s also possible to generate Memorable passwords (strings of actual words separated by special characters) and lengthy PINs within the application.
No more sticky notes or password-laden emails and Slack messages! 1Password allows employees to easily share logins that expire within hours or last up to 30 days. It’s also possible to share credentials with people outside the organization, like vendors, even if they don’t have their own 1Password account. Once they’ve done what they need to, simply cut their access and swap your password.
Don’t sweat your organization’s tech stack: 1Password works on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and more. Available browser extensions further increase its utility.
If your organization routinely uses web-enabled applications, this feature is huge: 1Password can automatically pull your employees’ data out of browsers like Safari and Chrome and bring them into the account. This makes it easy for employees to switch and will help you populate critical data points for assessing your organization’s password security health in the integrated reporting suite.
Businesses subscribed to 1Password can also provide each of their employees with complimentary access to a 1Password Family Plan for up to five family members. This is a great way to build goodwill with employees and help reinforce safe password practices outside the office. Employees who leave the organization won’t be out in the cold: they can choose to fund their own family-tier plan and keep all their data.
1Password offers a free 14-day trial, but unlike some competitors, it does not have a free tier with basic functionality. The robust features and ongoing development offset this cost—but it will still be another line item on your budget (albeit much less expensive than recovering from a data breach).
If your company already has a password manager solution in place but is looking to make a change, it’s important to know 1Password can only automate data imports from select competitors. Getting passwords out of unsupported apps will require juggling CSV files, which can be challenging for non-technical users.
While 1Password’s knowledge base is robust and searchable, there is no direct way to contact an actual support representative. Instead, users must fill out a contact form, send an email, engage with the team on Twitter or look for help from users in 1Password’s forums.
This will be a significant sticking point for many organizations, as it essentially forces already-busy IT teams to become the primary support line for 1Password when urgent issues arise.
No matter what technology you implement at your organization, the weakest link in your security chain will likely be the humans using your systems. Implementing 1Password is just the first step: you and your IT team will need to check the app’s reports and identify security issues or problematic behaviors.
Also, make sure to encourage employees to follow general best practices for cybersecurity. At the end of the day, if an employee’s master password becomes compromised, an attacker has the keys to your kingdom. Ongoing cybersecurity reminders can help minimize this possibility.
While it has its drawbacks, at only $7.99 per user, 1Password is an easy recommendation for most organizations. The ease of password generation and credential sharing means that even your most technologically-challenged workers can easily make the switch. The included freebie family plans just make the whole deal sweeter.
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