When your wallet is stolen, you’ve got to take stock of how many credit cards, bank cards and IDs have been stolen. You’ve got to take time out of your busy day and cancel those accounts and get new credentials. It’s a time-consuming process. Without a good password manager, the same thing can happen when even one of your employee’s passwords is compromised.
Using a password manager will save you time and increase your digital security. If you need to log in to an employee’s account, you’ll have instant access. If a password is ever hacked, you can quickly determine which other accounts used the same password. Password vaults make life easier and help you avoid costly mistakes that put your company at risk.
A Nightmare Scenario
When you end an employment contract, unless you take affirmative steps, your now-former-employee is going to still have access to all his old accounts. He’ll have email passwords and company login information for your top vendors. Even if he left on good terms, this isn’t information non-employees should have access to. And if he left on bad terms, now you have to worry about his using this access to harm your company.
This reality faced by many businesses isn’t just about the “bad” breakups. Even happy employees can have medical emergencies and catastrophic life events that take them out of commission. Transitioning ownership of employee’s email and vendor accounts can slow your productivity. And there’s really nothing you can do to prevent bad scenarios from ever happening. Sometimes life throws you a curve ball, so it’s always best to be prepared.
The Old Plan: Continuity Books
Some companies have employees produce and update continuity books. These books are an outline of each job to instruct the employee’s replacement. A hard copy is typically kept in a secure location near the employee’s desk. This is a step in the right direction, but keeping passwords written down in this manner can be a major security risk. It can also be difficult to keep the book updated every time a password or account changes. There’s a much better way to manage the transition of employee passwords: the business password manager.
The Modern Plan: Password Managers
A password vault is simply a program that stores your passwords. It remembers them and fills them out for you when you access websites throughout the day.
This certainly makes life simpler, but simplicity isn’t what makes password managers so valuable to an employer. You see, people tend to be careless when it comes to passwords. They write them down and leave them to be found. They use the same password over and over. And then there’s the constant problem of forgetting what a password even is. But if you use a password vault, it does all that work for you. All you need to remember is a single password—the one that logs you into your password manager. Once you’re in, the password vault will generate new passwords for you and automatically fill in passwords when you need them.
And this makes it possible to do three things:
- Have a completely different password for every single online account.
- Have an incredibly complex and secure password for every account. (This makes it tougher to hack a password. And if a password is compromised, you’ll only have to change one.)
- Not go insane trying to keep track of it all.
You will keep your sanity because your password vault enables you to focus on remembering just that one password to get you in.
There are many personal password managers on the market. They are built to help you stay in control of your private information. But deploying them in a business context requires a greater degree of customization and that is where the business password manager comes in.
Business Password Managers
A business password vault differs from a personal password manager in one very important aspect: control. When the rubber meets the road, these are not accounts that belong to the employee; they belong to the business. And a business password vault is designed to understand that.
Business password vaults like LastPass Enterprise allow administrators to delegate authority and switch ownership of passwords and accounts. In case of a departing employee, it makes retrieving ownership of those accounts easy. When onboarding a new employee, access can be granted to your new hire at the press of a button.
With this system, each employee is given his or her own login which acts just like a personal password vault, except management determines which accounts and passwords she can access. Once implemented, a business password vault will increase productivity, improve security and make it significantly less stressful when employees come and go from your company.