Friday, May 24, 2024

Successful Password Management for SMEs in the UK

Successful Password Management for SMEs in the UK

Are you confident that your employees' passwords are safeguarding your business's most valuable assets?

Strengthening Your SMEs Cybersecurity

In today’s digital age, where cyber threats lurk around every corner, safeguarding your company’s sensitive data is paramount.

As an SME owner or manager, you hold a significant responsibility in protecting your business from cyber attacks. One crucial aspect of cybersecurity that often gets overlooked is password management.

Your employees act as your first line of defense when it comes to Cyber Security risks, and their password management plays an important role in safeguarding your data breaches.

In this blog post, we’ll delve into the importance of password security and provide practical tips on how SMEs in Norfolk, Suffolk, Bath, and across the UK, can enhance their password management practices.

The Importance of Password Management Tools

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) stresses the significance of robust password management as a fundamental pillar of cybersecurity.

According to their insights, weak or reused passwords are a common entry point for cybercriminals. Compromised passwords further exacerbate the risk, making SMEs particularly vulnerable to cyber attacks that target their data and systems.

In fact, a staggering number of data breaches occur due to easily guessable and common passwords like “admin” or “12345”.

To combat this threat, the UK government has recently initiated a crackdown on lax password practices, banning commonly used passwords in an effort to bolster cybersecurity across the nation.

This move underscores the urgency for SMEs to reassess their password policies and adopt stronger security measures to protect their assets.

UK's 10 Most Commonly Used Passwords in 2023

  • 123456
  • password
  • qwerty
  • liverpool
  • 123456789
  • arsenal
  • 12345678
  • 12345
  • abc123
  • Chelsea 

Two Employees Looking at a Laptop, Reviewing Password Management Tools.

💡 Top Tip for Choosing a Password: Password management

You should consider using the longest password or passphrase you can. Combine three random words together, with two numbers. Capitalise some characters.

Bonus: Add in some punctuation and capitalisation.

Implementing a Password Manager

One effective solution recommended by our Acora One IT experts is the use of business password managers.

These tools offer a secure and convenient way to generate, store, and manage complex passwords for all your employees accounts, specifically designed to meet the needs of your SME company.

By utilising a business password manager, companies can mitigate the risk of password-related vulnerabilities while streamlining access to various online platforms.

Incorporating a secure password manager into your business’s cybersecurity strategy not only enhances privacy and security through features like breached password alerts and two-factor authentication but also ensures unlimited password storage and continual improvements to safeguard company secrets effectively.

Here at Acora One, we recommend our clients to use 1Password. With just one password, you can create secure, strong passwords for every account and credentials your employees use.

The importance of creating and remembering a single master password to access the password vault is critical for securing and encrypting login information, making it a foundational element of your cybersecurity strategy.

Security isn’t a feature. It’s a foundation. Password managers also have the capability to securely generate as well as store passwords, ensuring that your company's login information is protected with end-to-end encryption and accessible across multiple devices.

They are also available with helpful browser extension options, meaning that they can automatically generate strong password suggestions and fill out log in details directly from the manager, saving you time and energy every day!

Password managers offer several benefits:

Enhanced Security: Password managers generate strong, unique passwords for each account and incorporate two factor authentication, significantly reducing the likelihood of unauthorised access and adding an extra layer of security for businesses.

Simplified Access: Employees can securely access their passwords across devices, eliminating the need to remember multiple login credentials. This includes the ability for teams and small businesses to securely share passwords with authorised users or teams through password sharing elements, enhancing collaboration without compromising security.

Centralised Management: Administrators can oversee password policies and monitor employee compliance from a centralised dashboard, ensuring consistent security standards.

💡Bonus Tip for Password Management

Protect your password manager with a physical security token. Our recommended extra layer of protection would be YubiKey, a physical tool that provides multi factor authentication to further secure your password management for all your online services.

This means you don't have to remember yet another password!

Choosing the Right Business Password Manager for Your SME

When selecting from the best business password managers for your SME, it’s essential to prioritise reliability, security, and user-friendliness, ensuring the tool is specifically tailored for business needs including strong password management for employees and robust admin controls.

Given the security breaches involving only password manager options, it's crucial to select a password manager with strong encryption to safeguard against the theft of password vaults, encryption keys, and personal data.

Look for features such as encryption, multi-factor authentication, and compatibility with your existing systems.

Choosing the best password manager requires considering specific business requirements and features that enhance security and operational efficiency.

Comparing the recommended password manager with other password managers reveals differences in security features and user-friendliness, highlighting the importance of selecting a tool that offers superior protection and ease of use.

Conduct thorough research and consider seeking recommendations from trusted sources to find the best fit for your business.

 

Password Management Training and Education

In addition to implementing password managers, SMEs should invest in comprehensive cybersecurity training for employees.

Educating staff about the importance of strong passwords, phishing awareness, and safe online practices can help fortify your company’s defenses against cyber threats.

So, as an SME owner or manager, you can rest easy at night knowing your employees are steadfastly protecting your business.

💡Top Tip for Choosing a Password: Password Management

Use Unique Passwords! Too many people fall into the trap of using the same or very similar password for all accounts.

Cyber criminals try to use stolen passwords from one service to log into other services, known as “credential stuffing”.

You can defeat this by using a unique strong password for each service that your employees use.

Bonus: Use a password management app to set random passwords for each account. 

Local Support for SMEs

For SMEs in Norfolk, Suffolk and Bath seeking tailored IT solutions and cybersecurity expertise, Acora One offer local IT services and we can offer invaluable support.

With our specialised knowledge and experience, we can assist SMEs in implementing robust password management strategies and fortifying their overall cybersecurity posture for your employees.

Find out how Acora One can provide your SME with industry leading managed Cyber Security services and password management advice. Start Today!

Password Management Overview

In conclusion, password management is a critical aspect of cybersecurity that SMEs cannot afford to overlook.

By adopting password managers, enhancing employee awareness, and seeking support from trusted IT partners, SMEs in Norfolk, Suffolk, Bath, and across the UK can strengthen their defenses against cyber threats and safeguard their valuable data.

For more tips on Cyber Security Awareness for Your Employees please check out our guide available here.

References:

National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) - What does NCSC think: Password Managers

Sky News - Admin and '12345' banned from being used as passwords in UK crackdown on cyber attacks

 

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