Organizing authentication using an automated password manager
Critical systems should require user passwords with at least twelve characters in length using a collection of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. Remembering just one of these passwords is difficult, but administrators have dozens of passwords to remember. Most systems have several servers, routers, and network appliances that require a unique password. It’s bad practice to use the same password across multiple systems, so administrators must have access to an enterprise password management system to help organize and retrieve passwords.
Just like any other sensitive asset on the network, administrators need password management software for an enterprise environment. This means that the enterprise password management solution must be able to not only store passwords but store them safely. A password manager can be hosted in the cloud or stored on a local network drive. Wherever passwords are stored, private keys should be safe from brute force attacks and any encryption should use the latest algorithm to protect from attackers.
Secured Enterprise Password Management Tools
Some enterprise password management tools offer a way to automatically generate new passwords, making them more secure due to randomization. Randomized passwords that follow a strict password policy harden security and protect assets from brute force and dictionary attacks specifically designed to run through a list of common user password choices and find weaknesses in authentication processes.
Token-based hardware devices are convenient ways to store and manage passwords without storing keys and the database on a network-accessible drive. Hardware password managers keep passwords on smart cards or USB flash drives making them portable and available anywhere the user travels. These options offer multi-factor authentication and provide more secure ways of allowing users to log into computers. For instance, instead of storing the password database on a local storage drive on a laptop where it could be stolen, users carry around a portable USB flash drive where passwords are stored.
Hands-free authentication is the most convenient and secure way to provide password security for your network. Using a system like GateKeeper, users log in based on proximity to their system. When they walk away, the workstation automatically locks. Not only is this enterprise password management solution convenient, but administrators get IAM tools and two-factor authentication that hardens asset security. Also, common but pervasive issues such as password sharing, password reuse, and weak passwords can all be a thing of the past in an instant.
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