The Role of a Secure and Accessible Password in a Remote-Working Set-Up
The pandemic has been difficult for many businesses and the move from an office-based work environment to a remote set-up has been stressful for many employees and business owners. By relying on cloud storage, many employees are able to store and access their company data on their company devices from the comfort of their own homes. While this forms an effective and productive work environment, an expired or forgotten password can quickly turn this experience into a nightmare, as many employees do not have the option to rely on their co-workers for help.
Your password must be safe and secure to prevent cybercriminals from accessing sensitive data. Additionally, passwords need to be accessible. Oftentimes passwords expire and have to be replaced with a strong password that has never been used before by the user. Due to that, it often gets difficult to remember multiple passwords, and many employees, unfortunately, end up forgetting theirs.
Below you can find Astec IT’s top 5 tips for creating safe and accessible passwords.
1. Self-Service Password Reset
Self-service password resets are used to reset employee’s passwords without the need for assistance from an external or internal IT professional.
Password systems are usually set up to notify the user when their account Pincode (such as for their email account) is about to expire. However, this only happens when the device is located in the office, as all of the firewalls and security systems are linked to the office. For remote working employees, however, this poses a risk to productivity.
With self-service password resets, employees are able to quickly and easily change their own login details in exactly the same way they would change their password on a social media platform like Facebook. Due to that, the help of an IT professional is not needed as employees will be able to easily change their passwords. This way, employees will experience very little downtime and are able to continue their day as normal.
– Being able to change the passcode yourself means; the employee is the only person who knows the password. This ends up boosting the security of your business.
– Changing the password yourself allows you to avoid having to schedule an appointment with an IT professional and you will not have to worry about having to contact someone.
– As this system is very simple, employees spend less time trying to figure out how to change the password and more time completing their daily tasks and projects.
2. Same Sign-On
Same sign-on allows employees to choose one username and password to access all company devices, systems, and cloud-based applications (such as Salesforce, Sage, and Xero). Each employee is assigned with their own unique identity using Azure Active Directory. This allows them to automatically sign in, using the same username and password for each application.
– By using same sign-on, employees will not need multiple passwords as they can log in automatically with one instead. This prevents users from creating multiple weak passwords instead of one strong one, as it could lead to a data breach.
– Employees will spend less time logging in and getting locked out of accounts, leaving them with more time to focus on important tasks.
– Employees will have one consistent user, which means the password for all accounts will be changed at once. This way employees will not have to worry about getting locked out of multiple accounts and systems at different times. It is a quick and easy way to improve employee satisfaction.
3. Password Manager
Password-Managers, such as LastPass, store all your login details on a cloud, so you will never have to worry about forgetting or misplacing your password again. Instead, simply input the account URL, your username, and password to gain easy access to your accounts, systems, websites, and applications. Password-Managers are also encrypted, meaning your data is completely secure.
– By using a Password-Manager less time will be spent trying to remember, find or reset forgotten passwords.
– In contrast to other alternatives, a password manager is going to enhance your security. This is because employees’ passwords are encrypted so only people with authorised access can view them.
– Having a secure digital place to store passwords discourages employees from recording passwords in unsafe ways or creating easy-to-remember but weak passwords.
4. Multi-Factor Authentication
Multi-Factor Authentication is the use of two or more independent variables used to assess the identity of a user requesting access to an application or service. The most popular form of authentication factor is the two-factor authentication (2FA), which is typically something like a password. It pairs your first authentication factor (e.g., your pin) with a second authentication factor (e.g., a code sent to your phone) of an entirely different kind.
This means that, even if a cybercriminal was able to get hold of your login details, they would not be able to access your account as they would need access to, for example, your mobile app that’s specialised for your phone. Therefore, your accounts will be secure.
– MFA significantly improves security as it adds an extra layer of protection to your password. This way cybercriminals cannot gain unauthorised access to your data.
– Setting up a Multi-Factor Authentication is quick and easy to use, meaning you and your team will not be experiencing a productivity loss.
5. A Secure Password Policy
Having a strong password is key for ensuring cybercriminals cannot gain access to your data. Using multiple weak passwords across different business and personal accounts will make you more susceptible to data breaches and your information could even end up on the dark web.
Astec IT recommends you follow the following rules when setting up new passwords:
– At least 10 characters long
– Contains a combination of numbers, letters, and symbols
– Unpredictable, with no identifiable words (avoid personal details such as birthdays, names, places and addresses, phone numbers, and anything else that can be directly connected to you).
If you cannot think of secure passwords yourself, we recommend using a password generator. The generator will automatically create a strong and secure password, which will protect you and your business from a potential data breach. When combining this password with a password manager, employees will also not have to worry about memorising the randomly generated password, making it extra secure.
If you want to find out more about secure passwords and ways to protect your business from cybercriminals, contact us now.