By: Tyler Thepsiri on October 28, 2022
3 Advantages And Disadvantages Of Password Managers
According to a quick internet search, the average person has 100 passwords. (That may be why 23 million people resort to the overused and not so safe “123456” password.)
All of us have moments when we pause before logging in, trying to remember which password we used for a particular account or application. The sheer volume of passwords can often lead to unsafe practices like writing passwords down.
(For those of you who have your passwords on a sticky note under your computer keyboard, that’s one of the first places a person with bad intent will look.
And, for those who may be feeling good about your decision to stick the passwords to the bottom of your keyboard or phone…those are common tricks, too!)
When you stop to think about all of the passwords in use at your business every day and the possibility that any one of them, if found, could be used to breach your systems, it can be nerve-wracking.
So, what can business leaders do to help employees remember their passwords and keep them safe?
I’ve been an IT professional for eight years and am currently manager of engineering services at Kelser. One of the most effective ways I’ve come across to manage the barrage of passwords is to use a password manager. But, to be perfectly honest, no one solution is 100 percent effective.
In this article, I’ll explain how password managers work and walk you through the pros and cons. After reading this article, you’ll have all the information you need to be able to confidently decide whether password managers are a good solution for your organization.
What Is A Password Manager?
A password manager is software that securely saves your passwords for various websites and applications. It can save username and password combinations as well. With one secure password, users can gain access to passwords they have stored for a variety of applications and websites.
How Do Password Managers Work?
Once installed, a password manager will ask users if they want to save their login credentials as they sign in to applications or visit websites. Once the login credentials are stored, the password manager serves as a vault saving the passwords for easy access.
Users simply log in to the password manager and click on the website or application they want to access. The password manager will automatically autofill credentials (user id and password).
What Are The Pros Of Password Managers?
There are many advantages to using password managers.
1. Ease Of Use
Password managers are easy to use. They make it unnecessary to memorize and remember multiple passwords for different applications and sites. Passwords are easily accessible and quick to load.
2. Enhanced Security
Password managers add another layer of protection for users.
Most people use the same password for everything to make it easier to remember. This is a huge security risk because if the password is compromised, the attacker now has access to multiple sites and applications with just one password.
With password managers, users don’t need to memorize their passwords, so it is more likely that they will use unique, complex passwords for each application. And, some password managers will even generate secure passwords for you!
3. Mobile Compatible
Password managers can even work on mobile devices, so users no longer have to worry about having passwords handy when they are on the go.
Check out this article for tips on how to keep remote work safe.
Related article: Benefits Of Multi-Factor Authentication: Security For A Network, Simplicity For End Users
What Are The Cons Of Password Managers?
Some of the disadvantages of password managers that people cite include:
1. Single Point Of Failure
The biggest disadvantage of a password manager is that because access to all of your passwords is protected by a single strong password, there is the potential risk that an attacker could gain access to all of your passwords with one hack of your password manager.
If using a password manager, it is imperative that you also use multi-factor authentication to keep your data safe.
Related article: The Truth About 3 Common Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) Concerns
2. Stored In The Cloud
Password managers are stored in the cloud. Not everyone has implemented cloud technology in their workplace. In addition, there is a level of mistrust associated with storing information in the cloud.
3. Extra Step To Login
Although password managers simplify the login procedure, the perception is that it adds a step to the login procedure. With the focus on speed of access, password managers can be a tough sell.
It’s important to educate users about the overall security improvements and the speed at which password managers gain access.
Does your business have all the tools you need to keep your data protected? Not sure? Click the button below and download the free cybersecurity eBook to learn 10 steps to take today and put in place all of the tools you need to help secure your data.
How Much Do Password Managers Cost?
Many password managers provide limited features for free. If you opt for a paid version to gain access to more features, they usually cost from $3 to $6 per user per month.
Who Would Benefit From A Password Manager?
I firmly believe that everyone would benefit from using a password manager. Most people are dealing with the issues that a password manager solves: having to remember multiple passwords, generating strong passwords, etc.
Who Would Not Benefit From A Password Manager?
The only people who might not benefit from a password manager would be those who do not like storing their passwords in the cloud and are concerned about the potential of any hacks. Fortunately, most password manager companies have very robust and secure systems.
What Password Managers Do People Choose?
Here is a list of password managers that you might want to consider from Cyber Magazine.
What’s The Bottom Line About Password Managers?
After reading this article, you have a full understanding of password managers. You understand what they are, how they work, the pros and cons, and who would and would not benefit from a password manager.
With this information, you can confidently decide whether or not your organization would benefit from this technology.
At Kelser, we offer a cull complement of managed IT support services.
We know that managed IT support isn’t the right option for every organization, so we provide articles like this that provide unbiased assessments of technology topics so business leaders like you can make the best IT decision for their organization whether they work with us or not.
We are committed to providing the information you need to keep your organization safe.
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