Contrary to popular belief, effective password management is a skill — one that’s fundamental in the workplace. Office employees work with a lot of data and software. Protecting it is vital to ensure it’s usable and you’re productive.
Let’s further explore why effective password management is key below and how you can always protect your passwords.
Imagine logging into your workstation one day and something is changed or someone accessed it without your knowledge or permission. This is a realistic scenario when your password is hijacked because it is weak and/or unprotected.
The workplace becomes a lot less safe and productive when passwords fall into the hands of unauthorized people. So, safeguarding your passwords in the office is a must. Here are a few significant reasons why.
There were 1,802 cases of data compromises reported in the U.S. in 2022, according to Statista. In that same year, over 422 million people were affected by data compromises, such as data breaches, leakage, and exposure.
There are many reasons for these data compromises, including hijacked passwords. A cybercriminal can guess your password if it’s weak enough. Or, they can gain access to it through phishing schemes or other cybercrimes.
Once the wrong person gets your password they can access any sensitive information protected by it and there starts a company data breach.
You can better protect the private company, customer, and employee information you work with when you prioritize strong passwords. That, in turn, fortifies data security. In addition, when data is secure, it reduces potential risks.
Cybersecurity risks aren’t the only risks you avoid when you ensure your passwords are strong and managed well. Your impact on risk management can be much bigger, with the potential for the following to happen:
- Business relationships aren’t put in jeopardy;
- Financial consequences don’t happen because of data breaches;
- Your coworkers don’t gain access to information they aren’t permitted to;
- The company’s reputation doesn’t fall because something bad happened due to password mismanagement.
In addition, you protect your customers when your passwords are strong. The likelihood of a data breach is low, which means the chances of their private information falling into the wrong hands are too.
Aside from reducing potential risks in the company you work for, your commitment to effective password management helps the business maintain its integrity.
Following a moral and ethical framework is essential in every business. A huge part of that moral and ethical framework is ensuring employees adhere to best practices regarding data storage and maintenance as well as software usage.
Effective password management helps enforce the above. You ensure that any sensitive data you work with is safe and used ethically. You also become more trustworthy and diligent with your software use when security is a top priority.
Password management may be simple, but it echoes in large ways for the company overall. Once you understand its importance, prioritize the following actions:
Educate Yourself on Cybersecurity Best Practices for Password Management
Learning more about cybersecurity best practices will help you pay more attention to how strong your passwords are, how you manage them, and additional techniques you can use to protect yourself.
For example, one of the ways cyber thieves gain access to confidential information is through software vulnerabilities. When you don’t keep up with computer maintenance, your systems become outdated, and therefore less secure and more vulnerable to cyberattacks.
Knowing this, you can implement a maintenance schedule to prevent the above. Follow that up with creating a highly secure password to access all software, and protection from cybercrime gets even stronger.
When you know what kind of threats are out there, you can implement strong passwords and additional cybersecurity strategies to protect your company from cybercrime, such as:
- Regularly updating software;
- Be on the lookout for potential threats;
- Regularly backing up your data offline;
- Make sure your hardware is stored securely;
- Make use of multi-factor authentication;
- Create a plan for recovering if a cybersecurity incident happens;
- Reset your login information securely and store credentials in a password manager.
Ask your manager if there’s any company-provided training on these topics and other cybersecurity best practices, and engage in these pieces of training if there is. If not, take your education into your own hands with an internet search for cybersecurity best practices.
Keep in mind that cybercriminals are always using new tactics. So, make sure you’re continuously learning about cybersecurity best practices.
Use Technology-Based Ways for Password Management
There are many approaches to managing passwords. Some people memorize all of their passwords. Some write them down on a notepad and hide the notepad to secure it. Others keep track of their passwords in the Notes app on their phone.
As tried-and-true as these password management techniques are, they aren’t the most secure or reliable. Instead, rely on technology to help you strengthen your passwords and manage them to ensure they’re safe.
For example, passwordless authentication is an emerging technology that verifies a user’s identity without needing a password, through fingerprints, facial recognition software, magic links, and possession factors.
If your office offers passwordless authentication, use it. Eliminating passwords removes a lot of the risks and negative consequences of weak passwords.
If your company has yet to implement passwordless authentication options, at least use a password manager to keep all of your passwords organized and secure in a central system. A password manager also helps you create unique passwords for each new platform you sign up for, eliminating the dangerous practice of reusing the same password for everything.
Along with all the other skills you’re developing to be the best office worker you can be, make sure you’re growing your password management skills too.
Author Bio: Katie Brenneman is a passionate writer specializing in lifestyle, business, education, and fitness-related content. When she isn’t writing, you can find her with her nose buried in a book or hiking with her dog, Charlie. To connect with Katie, you can follow her on Twitter.
Tags: Password Management