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Is your business data at risk because of an employee’s weak password? Passwords are a necessary evil in modern business; we use them for email, software, even computer access. But if a hacker, or disgruntled employee, were to abuse these credentials, the results could be catastrophic for your business.

Fortunately, password managers are an accessible solution to this problem. There are several options available on the market today – so which one is the most secure for your business?  Here are a few features to look for in any password manager that will help ensure your business data is secure.

1. Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) Encryption

Check to see if the password manager encrypts information at the device-level using strong, government-level encryption. Fortifying your passwords with robust encryption, like 256-bit AES encryption, will protect your business from man-in-the-middle attacks as your employees sync with your company’s password manager.

2. Key Stretching and Strengthening

There should be some sort of security measure against brute-force attacks, when a hacker uses software to repeatedly try and guess a password, such as overlapping safeguards that offer multiple layers of protection. Password-Based Key Derivation Function (PBKDF2) is an algorithm that protects passwords against such attacks by creating strong keys that preserve the integrity of the original passwords. SHA-256 is a hashing algorithm that further protects passwords by transforming each employee’s master password into an encryption key. Using both these methods in unison provides robust protection for sensitive data against malicious attacks by circumventing the common methods used to breach accounts.

3. Site Verification

Site verification ensures that password auto-fills are only utilized on approved websites, protecting your business from phishing scams and other malicious content. Your employees won’t have to remember their login information, and you won’t have to worry about passwords to your sensitive accounts floating around on unsecured websites.

4. Dictionary Attack Protection

Salt hashes are a protective measure that adds random data to passwords to “disguise” any words it may contain. By masking the true, plain-text password, salts make it difficult to decipher the password with dictionary parsing software, a tactic used on dictionary attacks by hackers. This feature is useful, since employees often use personal names, dates or phrases that can be easily guessed with a little probing or the right software.

5. Two-Factor Authentication

Two-factor Authentication is a multi-step verification process that adds an additional layer of protection to signing into an account. It may include actions like an employee entering their password, and then entering a unique code texted to their cell phone. This way, someone who has guessed the employee’s password to an account will also need access to that employee’s cell phone in order to breach their account. The more steps involved, the less likely someone will be able to successfully meet all the requirements and break through.

6. Client-side Protection and Cloud Storage

Ideally, you don’t want your business’s confidential information stored on a third-party server that can be compromised. Look for password managers that don’t store account data in any one location, like cloud-based storage or client-side encryption. The less data is stored in any one place, the fewer opportunities there are for hackers to access privileged information.

7. Management Portal

Lastly, make sure your business has a management portal where you or your Managed Service Provider can reset and update accounts and passwords without giving employees direct access. This way you can easily manage the software from within, removing old employees and resetting accounts as necessary.

When deciding on a password manager for your business, it’s important to look for multiple facets of protection. The features we’ve listed are some of the best practices in cyber security. With these features in place, you can incorporate a password manager into your business seamlessly and effectively.

Looking for more cyber security solutions for your business? Contact us at 914-934-9775 and one of our representatives will be happy to discuss solutions that meet your unique business needs.