Identities for end users are the keys to an organization’s digital assets. In these identities, unique and robust passwords might be the difference between an organization being compromised or instead staying free of hacks. But end users may struggle to remember multiple passwords while keeping them unique and sufficiently hard to guess. Password reuse can lead to the compromise of various systems if just one system is hacked. Brute force password-guessing attacks can lead to compromise as well, if just one password isn’t sufficiently strong. So, what other strategies can IT organizations implement to simplify password management while keeping their vital systems secure?
Hosted Password Management Solutions
A hosted password management system is an emerging popular choice for modern IT organizations. They are often a part of a broader virtual identity management tool that includes a cloud directory platform. By combining these tools, IT can create a secure solution that is still user friendly. Historically, IT organizations wanted every system to be tied to Microsoft® Active Directory®, so there was ‘one password to rule them all,’ but over time, software as a service required additional logins, so the Active Directory password became just another for end users to manage. Because so many tools were now outside of Active Directory, password security also became challenging to manage for IT.
With this new approach to password management, a cloud-based solution is implemented as a directory solution that connects with other services to provide the end user with one login credentials set. Because end users are only required to remember one set of credentials, this single password can contain a large number of characters that are unique to this password management system. By ensuring no password reuse from personal accounts, an end user is less likely to be hacked and less likely to compromise critical IT systems. This also reduces friction with an organization’s IT systems. A cloud based hosted password solution finds the right balance between protecting critical systems and empowering end user satisfaction.
Another way to improve security is by introducing a secondary layer to password management by enabling multi-factor authentication (MFA) on all critical systems such as a cloud directory service or hosted email solution. Multi-factor authentication means that an employee must know something and have something at the same time. An example of this is knowing a password but also using a mobile device that presents a one-time password that rotates every minute. There are multiple ways to generate this one-time passcode, but since it requires physical access to a device, a compromised password is now much less useful because a hacker would not have access to the device that generates the one-time passcode. All logins that have administrative access should have multi-factor authentication implemented. If an administrative account is compromised, an organization could see disastrous repercussions, as a hacker could have access to change passwords for other users and access critical organizational resources.
With a hosted password management solution combined with a cloud directory solution, IT organizations can create an environment where end users can enjoy one password to access all resources, while keeping critical company resources secure. Striking a balance between usability and security should be a crucial part of IT strategy for organizations of all sizes. IT security must be top of mind for everyone at an organization to avoid system compromise, ransomware, leaked data, and other hacking events. Security isn’t just an IT problem, but a concern for everyone.
The JumpCloud® Directory Platform offers users a single, secure set of credentials for convenient yet secure access at all times to get their jobs done but in a way that keeps the company secure. Get started with up to 10 users and 10 systems in JumpCloud Free!