Why Businesses Should Implement Password Management Technologies Post-COVID

The world ground to a halt this spring, but that didn’t stop the cybercriminals who capitalized on the pandemic. As businesses closed their doors, and more people worked from home, these criminals exploited the coronavirus — and passwords were their biggest target. Now, as the world slowly reopens, the World Economic Forum (WEF) is making the case for identity and access management tools that improve security, increase usability, and lower costs.

The world has changed these last few months, and now businesses have to manage two threats: A new health emergency and an ongoing cybercrime crisis. One in four organizations predicts that more than 80 percent of their workforce will be “digital” post-COVID, so companies need to utilize password authentication technologies to implement successful and seamless work-from-home programs. 

Cybercrime During a Pandemic

Cybercrime has always been a significant threat to business owners. Before COVID, experts predicted that cybercrime would cost $6 trillion worldwide every year by 2021, while the average cost of a data breach totaled an estimated $3.92 million. Business leaders believed cybersecurity risks were on the rise, with data theft and cyberattacks among the top 10 biggest risks for CEOs in the short- and long-term, according to the WEF’s 2020 Global Risks Report.

Post-COVID, the problem has got worse. It seems nothing stops cybercriminals. Certainly not even a global health crisis. 

During this crisis, passwords have been extremely vulnerable to cyberattacks. Research shows that criminally-funded attacks on passwords around the world have increased by a massive 667 percent. It’s no wonder, then, that the WEF is urging businesses of all sizes to take action now and implement “critical applications that will streamline productivity and collaboration while enhancing security.”

Recommended reading: 6 Steps to Using a Team Password Manager for Your Small Business

Why the Problem Will Get Even Worse

With government restrictions still in place and millions of people working from home, cybercriminals will continue to exploit the pandemic. The problem is, many workers at home lack the infrastructure and critical programs that protect data, which creates new opportunities for cybercriminals who want to steal passwords and other sensitive information.  

“The increased numbers of employees working remotely presents an opportunity for cybercriminals,” says the WEF. “Companies must be vigilant and maintain proper controls on their data and finances. Leaders, IT departments, and staff must work together to prevent vulnerabilities.”

The WEF hopes that new password technologies will allow businesses to scale and integrate various business processes as the world recovers from the economic fallout of COVID-19. In particular, the organization recommends password management technologies that support widely-accepted security protocols such as Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML). 

Recommended reading: Why All Businesses Should Use A Team Password Manager

The Benefits of Password Management Post-COVID

Unfortunately, cybercriminals show no signs of slowing down. Incorporating password management technologies into your organization might sound like an unnecessary expense, especially during the current economic climate, but doing this could provide you with a significant return on your investment. 

Here are some of the benefits of team password management tools:

Share logins/passwords

If you want to successfully implement work-from-home programs, employees need quick access to data and programs. This is where a good team password manager comes in. Employees can use these tools to share logins and passwords safely without compromising personal and sensitive information. This way, you can encourage collaboration and protect data at the same time. 

Protect your information

With so many password breaches over the last few months, you need to crank up your security credentials. A secure password manager controls access to your valuable assets, so only the people you trust can view, edit, and share information. 

Save time

Research shows that 78 percent of people forget their passwords, and this can slow down business operations significantly. A password manager keeps passwords safe so employees can access information when they need it. 

Recommended reading: The Risks of Storing Your Passwords in Google Sheets

How are Cybercriminals Stealing Passwords During COVID-19?

Cybercriminals steal passwords in a variety of ways, but the increase of remote work programs during the pandemic has made it easier for them. When employees work from home, passwords are more vulnerable to cybercriminals because of the following reasons:

  • Employees might not change their passwords as frequently as they would in the office. Home devices might not utilize password “time out” technologies or other security features. 
  • Employees might use passwords that aren’t strong enough. Passwords might not contain enough characters, upper and lower case letters, numbers, etc.
  • Employees might use computer systems or mobile devices with security vulnerabilities or without proper protection.
  • Managers aren’t around to encourage employees to strengthen password security. 

Recommended reading: Are Your Passwords Hacker-Proof? A Checklist to Help You Decide.

Final Word

Despite a global health and economic crisis, cybercriminals are still causing destruction. Passwords, in particular, are vulnerable to fraudsters, who will go to any length to steal your company’s valuable data. As you open up (or adapt) your business in response to the coronavirus pandemic, investing in a team password manager will keep your sensitive information safe. 

TeamPassword helps you safeguard access to apps, services, and tools in your organization during the current crisis and beyond. Click here to sign up for a 14-day free trial

The Importance of a Strong Password For Each Account

Over the last few years you’ve probably heard all about the importance of using strong, unique passwords for your online accounts. But have you actually practiced doing so? Perhaps you aren’t worried about a data breach or hackers targeting you, because they only go after big companies, right?

Wrong. Very wrong. In fact, cybercriminals target thousands of small businesses and individuals on a daily basis. But whether you’re running a Fortune 500 company, a small business, or if you’re an entrepreneur or a contractor working from a home office, there is one thing all cybersecurity experts recommend and agree on — using unique passwords for all online accounts.

A strong, unique password is a strong deterrent to cybercriminals, but unfortunately, many organizations still fail to encourage their use. The main hindrance is that it can be difficult to remember different strings of random letters and numbers for the multitude of accounts we all have. It’s so much easier to simply use a few words or a phrase that’s easy to remember, for each and every account.

But that is exactly what cybercriminals count on.

How Strong, Unique Passwords for Each Account Help Prevent Data Breaches

While hackers can employ a number of sophisticated methods for acquiring usernames and passwords, such as malware, phishing emails, and keyloggers, the old-fashioned way of simply guessing still works.

Hackers will run a program that will try thousands of commonly used passwords per second, and often manage to access a computer network or account in this manner. And if the same password is used for multiple accounts, then a hacker now has access to a significant amount of personal information and sensitive data.

A cybercriminal can cause serious financial trouble or steal the identity of an individual, or steal thousands of data records from companies.

But a single, strong, unique password for each account can prevent cybercrime and protect your data and personal information.

Many cybercriminals manage to acquire at least one username and password via a phishing email. In fact, phishing accounts for 90% of all data breaches. But if an individual were to use different passwords for each account, the cybercriminal would only have succeeded in infiltrating one account, rather than all of them.

What is a Strong Password?

A strong password is considered to be a string of at least 10 random upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters such as a question mark. Many organizations now require you to create passwords conforming to these guidelines, which is good. However, many still use the same strong password for multiple accounts, which is definitely not recommended. 

So How Do I Remember All These Passwords?

Many computers come equipped with a password manager, or you can download password manager apps that keep track of all your passwords for you. You will, of course, need to at least remember a unique password for the actual password manager.

In an organization, keeping track of individual and group-shared passwords can be a more difficult task. Thankfully, password managers exist for teams as well. Many businesses utilize a team password manager aptly named TeamPassword, a fast, easy, and secure way for team members to share and access logins and passwords.

Ideal for teams of all sizes, TeamPassword helps to ensure a consistent flow of productivity while also ensuring protection of valuable and sensitive data. Visit TeamPassword today to learn more about how this intuitive password manager can help you.

Is it Safe to Save my Credit Card Online?

Wannacry, ransomware, and phishing may sound like menacing robots, but they’re actually the latest series of cyber threats hounding the online community. Digital security has become a talking point for many organizations, which continue to spend millions on beefing up their cyber defenses. It doesn’t help that malicious parties are constantly plotting and leveling-up their tactics. It seems like cyber authorities may throw everything except the kitchen sink and they’re still striking with full force!

Confidential information such as credit card details lies at the heart of this digital security saga. This is expected since these precious strings of data literally provide malicious hackers with the keys to your funds. The paranoia is so real that it has been widely taught in cyber hygiene 101 that privileged information should never be cached. 

But how much of this is true? Is there a way to bypass the security threats with a trusty system? Are you supposed to key in the details each time? It is truly frustrating and troublesome if you don’t have said credit card on hand for reference and you’re pressured to make a time-sensitive transaction (these things do happen). 

Hold on to your hats, we might have your ideal solution, but first, we should take a closer look at the basics of data storage. 

Understanding the Basics

All valuable information such as credit card details, personal passwords, or social security numbers is keyed in what we refer to as plaintext form. This type of data is readable by the average human user and hence, easily duplicated and stolen. So the question remains, is it safe to store the details of your credit card online? We believe some brows may be raised at this juncture. 

However, think about it, the storage of credit card details is really one of the greatest innovations in modern times, especially if you’re a frequent shopper. Simply key the details once and you’re free to bask in retail therapy to your heart’s content, swiping from one e-commerce site to another. Most websites, if not all, only store the numbers and expiry dates of credit cards. This means that card owners are still required to manually key in their CVV digits (the confidential three or four-digit numbers at the back of a credit card) to finalize a transaction. That makes it safe right?

In truth, the dangers are still very real. Under normal circumstances, cached credit card details are still easily acquired and manipulated by unauthorized persons. Garden variety scams such as spear-phishing techniques may trick card owners of their CVV details, and you’d be able to guess the rest of that tale. But we did say normal circumstances…

The TeamPassword Solution 

Now, under what we term “improved circumstances” (or the TeamPassword method), your cached passwords will remain under lock and key while still featuring the same level of convenience. How? Glad you asked. 

At TeamPassword, we believe that there is no such thing as being too safe. As such, we’re constantly implementing the latest methods of encryption. Basically, what encryption does is convert your standard plaintext credit card info into a gibberish ciphertext before being uploaded to a server. This means that malicious hackers will find nothing but cyberspace dust if they intercept your data en route. 

But as we’ve alluded, we are always optimizing the security process at every given opportunity. To that end, we ensure your data is locally encrypted before being transferred via encrypted connections for double the protection. Team Password’s hosting provider currently offers the latest and safest encryption method (which passes the ISO27001 standards at the point of this writing).  

Additionally, we provide additional security features such as vulnerability sweeps (where we assess and eliminate the gaps in your database), and 2-step verification to affirm that your credit card is being accessed by authorized users. Also, we understand that it is nearly impossible to get around without a digital device so our program is readily accessed from your tablet, mobile, and laptops while you’re on the move.

Never worry again about the security of your credit card details with TeamPassword. We’re the most secure and encrypted password manager equipped with the latest technology in safeguarding your precious digital assets. Join the winning team, TeamPassword, to experience the security standards of tomorrow, today.