Smart companies and agencies know that information security is a cornerstone of trust and that effective password management is the first line of defense against breach. What too many of these entities don’t realize is that the most effective password management solutions include an automatic password reset tool with self-service capabilities.
Why is an automatic password reset tool so important? It’s because benign neglect is rapidly becoming the biggest driver of a privacy breach.
It’s human nature to gravitate to simple, predictable and memorable passwords and reuse them across a variety of accounts. Since password strength hinges on complexity and unpredictability, it’s critical to automate protocols that enforce password management best practices. Once a suitably complex password is established, the password management software should synchronize across applications so that a given user need only keep track of a single secure password. And, if users forget their more complex passwords, they need to be able to securely reset them on their own quickly and easily without draining IT department resources. A self-service password reset tool empowers users with such capabilities while lowering costs and improving information security.
The risk associated with poor password management protocols and inadequate password policy enforcement is sobering. Simply leaving confidential data on a company laptop with inadequate password protection can cause a significant breach. A single lost or stolen computer can put enormous numbers of people at risk.
The pervasiveness and potency of this problem is certifiably staggering. Earlier this month California Attorney General Kamela Harris released a report stating that in excess of 2.5 million Californians in 2012 alone had their personal information placed at risk by private companies and public agencies — that’s nearly 10% of the adult population in the state.
The problem is compounded by convenience of web-based services — more and more folks are managing their entire lives online. This means that companies and agencies are storing vast quantities of private information ranging from credit cards and bank accounts to birth dates, addresses, social security numbers and tax records. When that kind of data is inadequately protected and slips into the wrong hands, identity theft and organizational liability run rampant.
While there have long been stringent laws around the proper management and disposal of paper documents, regulations and compliance requirements around safeguarding digital records are still in their infancy. However, if the estimated rate of risk reported by the California Attorney General is anywhere close to accurate, there’s no doubt that additional legislative and regulatory activity will flow into the pipeline. Companies and agencies that sit back and wait to see what happens will be sitting ducks. Getting out ahead of the problem is the far more prudent path.
The risk of data breach will always be present. Like all property — physical or digital — nothing is ever 100% secure. The report from the State Attorney General’s office is only the tip of the iceberg. Without change more and more large-scale breaches are inevitable. This will lead to public outrage and lost trust. When the public is outraged and distrustful, legislative and regulatory bodies will move to enact mandated protections.
Implementing enterprise password management software combined with prudent password reset protocols is the first and a critical step that all organizations must take to protect company assets and reduce risks. Effective enterprise password management solutions mandate complex passwords that may be difficult to remember, but an automated password reset tool with self-service capabilities empowers users to reset them on their own without issuing a help desk ticket. This reduces costs, improves efficiency and ensures regulatory compliance. Self-service password reset is a wise investment in prevention and risk management, because raises employee awareness about protecting the data they store on company equipment.
With Password Station, this corporate password management software includes an automated password reset tool. Trusted users can reset their passwords anytime and anywhere. Password Station provides password reset software audit controls to increase an organization’s IT cyber security through password self-service. It lets business users reset passwords in active directory without making a helpdesk password reset request. Watch the video:
Learn the Top 10 Password Management Best Practices for successful implementations from industry experts. Use this guide to sidestep the challenges that typically derail enterprise password management projects.