What is a business password manager?

A password manager is an automated solution that helps businesses and individuals discover, store, and manage their credentials and accounts. Business password managers include built-in capabilities to generate strong and unique passwords for applications and services, rotate and randomize passwords periodically, and generate comprehensive password reports for compliance requirements.

Secure business password management
Password Manager Pro Secure business password manager

Last updated on: Dec 01, 2021

Why do organizations need a secure business password manager?

Enterprises are home to millions of critical accounts and credentials, which provide privileged users with access to exclusive business-sensitive information systems. While strong passwords aid in securing access to privileged resources, manual management of these credentials is a painstaking process—especially in an enterprise landscape—due to their sheer volume. Managing large volumes of credentials using spreadsheets and local databases in real time is cumbersome, and even the slightest negligence, be it purposeful or inadvertent, can put organizations at the center of massive breaches.

Password management solutions help prevent the risks and threats associated with privilege misuse by keeping all passwords and accounts secure and updated. They provide options to declutter and organize passwords customized to suit business requirements, making it easier for you to perform bulk operations effortlessly.

Secure business password managers help simplify and streamline the password management process with automated account discovery; user provisioning and deprovisioning; and periodic password rotation, auditing, and reporting. Further, these solutions are designed to eliminate password fatigue by automating additional best practices, such as password generation, creation, rotation, monitoring, and deletion.

Some password managers provide integration with other IT management tools, such as help desk software, IT analytics, and security information and event management tools, to facilitate seamless compliance with regulatory standards, like HIPAA, PCI DSS, and SOX, and to aid in timely and smoother resolution of password-related issues.

Top benefits of using a secure password manager for your business

The role of password management software isn't limited to just providing a securing storage to enterprise passwords but also extends to securing, managing, and governing access to shared sensitive resources. Following are the top benefits of leveraging a password management solution:

1. Centralized management of privileged accounts and assets

Business password managers leverage automations to take stock of all the critical IT assets, domains, and associated service accounts pertaining to corporate endpoints, databases, networks, applications, and cloud and virtual environments across the network. This is usually followed by automatic consolidation and storage of the credentials in a dynamic, secure vault, which comes with multiple levels of encryption using avant-garde algorithms like AES-256.

2. More than just a digital vault

Password managers go beyond just storing passwords; they aid in auto-filling credentials to provide faster access to applications and systems. Besides passwords, these tools help in centralizing the management of other sensitive entities such as web accounts, public and private keys, license keys, digital certificates and signatures, documents and executables, and service accounts.

3. Automated password rotation, randomization, and reset workflow

A secure business password manager lets you rotate passwords periodically, which not only saves a considerable amount of manual effort and time but also prevents the risks posed by the exposure and misuse of shared credentials. It also helps eliminate downtime by simultaneously rotating credentials used to secure access to confidential data and applications. Additionally, business password managers provide password reset options to support a wide range of target resources, either automatically through scheduled tasks or on demand.

4. Granular control over critical enterprise assets

To help you gain complete governance over privileged passwords, business password managers give you the option to grant access to critical assets with granular levels of permission. You can set up a request-release workflow, which requires users to provide a valid reason while raising a temporary access request to a privileged password. Upon the expiry of the requested period, password managers use built-in automations to revoke access and rotate the passwords to prevent any misuse or unauthorized access in the future.

Similarly, orphaned and invalid admin accounts that have no associated owner because of user unavailability and inactivity will be either automatically transferred to other authorized users or be removed. To ensure further safety, business password managers can provide secure access to privileged systems without revealing the passwords in hard-coded, plain text formats.

5. Clear accountability of user activities

Business password managers enable organizations to practice proactive IT security by providing real-time insights into user and password activities. This helps IT teams make informed security decisions and instantly eliminate bad actors and suspicious activities. Additionally, password managers provide secure access to privileged resources on prior review and approval by administrative users via a request-release mechanism.

6. Strict adherence to industry standards

Password managers offer comprehensive reporting and auditing capabilities to enable organizations to comply effortlessly with privileged access control standards set by the GDPR, NIST, FISMA, HIPAA, SOX, PCI DSS, NERC CIP, ISO/IEC 27001, CCPA, and more. This helps IT teams mandate strict adherence to the best practices of privileged access management.

How to choose a secure password manager for your business

Are you looking for a robust password manager for your business? Here are some top capabilities you should consider while choosing one:

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A secure password vault with multiple levels of data encryption

Password managers should serve their primary purpose of storing privileged identities. That said, an ideal password manager should offer an online repository for secure storage and retrieval of credentials. These password vaults should be encrypted with advanced algorithms, such as AES-256, and the data stored in them should also be encrypted at multiple levels.

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Effective password security controls

Business password managers should include automations to enforce strict access management policies and criteria, including password complexity, password reset frequency, SSH key pair generation, time-limited access to privileged resources, password rotation after every use, and so on. These solutions should also enforce least privilege controls, where users are provided with minimal privileges and role-based access to passwords to perform their activities.

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Automated password management capabilities

In order to eliminate the fatigue of having to create and remember complex passwords, password managers include built-in password generators to auto-generate passwords according to predefined password policies. They should also include capabilities to automatically randomize and rotate passwords after every use and expiry on both a scheduled and on-demand basis.

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Strong, multi-factor authentication options

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is one of the versatile options available at our disposal to add an extra layer of security to privileged credentials. An ideal business password manager will support MFA via email, SMS, QR code, or integration with third-party MFA tools.

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Real-time insights on privileged user activities

A secure business password manager should provide real-time audits on all identity-related activities, such as user logins, password sharing, failed login attempts, and password resets. It should also include capabilities to monitor and record all privileged user sessions in real time for IT audits and compliance requirements.

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