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  • Mary Anne Harris

Password Managers and why you want them.

Password managers can add an extra layer of protection for your client accounts


In a previous blog, we talked about the importance of password management, most significantly teaching your employees good password hygiene.

There is another pathway to safeguarding your passwords and that is through a password management tool.


What is a password manager?

A password manager is an application that stores your passwords, so you do not need to write them down or remember them.

There are many different types of password managers and if you decide to implement this protocol for your company, it’s advisable to do your research to ensure you are selecting a password manager that matches up with the size and security needs of your particular agency or law firm.

Let’s take a look at the different types and uses of password managers.


Browser-based

This is probably the password management system that people are most familiar with. Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge for instance will ask you if you want the browser to remember your username and password for a particular site when you create them for a new site you are visiting. This is for everything from shopping at Wayfair to logging in to do a search at your local library.


Cloud-based

Cloud-based password managers, such as Dashlane and LastPass, allow you to store your passwords in the cloud so that you can access them from any device.


Enterprise

Enterprise systems are robust corporate password managers that offer strong layers of protection both internally and externally from credential theft. One key feature is the ability to revoke passwords when someone leaves the organization. Enterprise systems also allow for changing passwords quite often to mitigate the possibility of password theft or intrusion. Gartner lists Keeper, 1Password, Netwrix, Authlogic, NordPass and ASPG as some of the best reviewed password managers for larger enterprises.


Hardware

Devices such as USB keys or token password managers can be used to provide a kind of multi-factor authentication to allow someone into an account. Top providers in this area are Feitian ePass K9 USB Security Key, Yubico Security Key , Kensington Verimark Fingerprint Key, and Thetis Fido U2F Security Key.


There are a lot of benefits to password managers, including the convenience of not having to remember all of your passwords and increased security features. But there are also a few downsides, including the dangers of the password manager itself being hacked, or the potential for losing the master password or key and thus losing access to all of your passwords.


If you are going to use a password manager, the National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) advises that you follow three important practices:

· Use two-factor authentication on the password manager account

· Choose a strong master password

· Install updates for your password manager immediately when you are prompted to do so


With the growing threat of cyber intrusion in real estate transactions, there’s never been a more critical time to ensure you have the most stringent password protocols implemented at your agency. At Positively Balanced, we are committed to assisting you with safe and secure services to help you protect your escrow accounts and grow your business. Call us today to learn more!

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