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Password managers in the workplace

Foxmere Technologies

Last month, MakeUK reported that 60% of UK manufacturers have been a victim of cyber crime [1] and a third of those have suffered some financial loss or disruption to business as a result. Although these may be some scary figures, this should not come as a surprise to you.

Historically, the NHS [2], PayPal [3], Sony Pictures [4], Dropbox [5], LinkedIn [6] and even the FBI [7] have all fallen victim to DDoS attacks, online security breaches and data leaks. These high-profile attacks go to show that, no matter who you are, if someone really wants to breach your online security, they will.

Scary stuff, right? Scarier still is the fact that manufacturing is responsible for approximately 70% of the UK's research and development output and, although it was the fifth most targeted sector in 2019, it is still reportedly the least protected sector against cyber crime in the UK. What's more, 80% of hacking-related breaches are still tied to compromised, weak, and reused passwords [8].

Therefore, it stands to reason that one of the easiest and more effective ways to strengthen your company-wide digital security is to encourage or implement the use of password managers.

A password manager is a piece of software that assists in generating and retrieving complex passwords, potentially storing such passwords in an encrypted database or calculating them on demand.

With a password manager you only need to remember one password — the password for the password manager.

This makes it easier to:

- Use complex passwords.

- Have a unique password for each account you own.

- Change your passwords more habitually.

To make life easier, all of the reputable password managers have apps for both mobile and desktop devices and some password managers also have browser extensions which often provide you with a 1-click or auto-login feature. Some password managers, such as LastPass, even allow you to share passwords with other users without ever exposing the password.

Our sales and purchasing staff find this particularly useful when sharing passwords for company-wide services such as supplier portals, the group PayPal account and the office stationery account.

To conclude

Whilst there are a plethora of security fixes that your business could implement, such as two-factor authentication, a password manager is by far one of the easiest and most effective ways to broaden your company's digital security without having to be a tech-guru or break the bank.

Not only are password managers secure but they are a great time-saving tool once implemented and many of them are free.

Here is our pick of the top 5 password managers on the market in 2019:

- LastPass (Windows, Mac, iOS, Android)

- Dashlane (Windows, Mac, iOS, Android)

- 1Password (Windows, Mac, iOS, Android)

- Sticky Password (Windows, Mac, iOS, Android)

- Keeper Security Password Manager (Windows, Mac, Linux)

Sources for this post: 1. https://www.pesmedia.com/manufacturing-cyber-security-crime-uk-industry/ 2. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2018/10/11/wannacry-cyber-attack-cost-nhs-92m-19000-appointments-cancelled/ 3. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/anonymous-hackers-jailed-for-ddos-attacks-on-visa-mastercard-and-paypal-8465791.html 4. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2014/12/18/the-sony-pictures-hack-explained/ 5. https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/aug/31/dropbox-hack-passwords-68m-data-breach 6. https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/may/18/hacker-advertises-details-of-117-million-linkedin-users-on-darknet 7. https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2012/feb/03/anonymous-hacks-call-fbi-scotland-yard 8. https://blog.lastpass.com/2019/05/passwords-still-problem-according-2019-verizon-data-breach-investigations-report.html/