Organizations are home to many privileged accounts where users often are provided elevated access to business-sensitive information. Given the omnipresent nature of passwords across the corporate network, it's important to safeguard this access. Password vaults act as a single repository for users to securely store passwords and the data of the corresponding accounts.
According to Verizon's 2023 Data Breach Investigations Report, the three primary ways in which attackers access an organization are stolen credentials, phishing, and exploitation of vulnerabilities. Additionally, over 74% of breaches involved the human element, with "the use of stolen credentials" playing a major role, the report notes.
Without a password vault in place, enterprises need to rely on manual, unsafe methods to streamline password management–using spreadsheets, text files, and notepads. These archaic methods are time-consuming and can compromise crucial enterprise data by exposing privileged accounts to malicious insiders and hackers. This is why a password vault is vital.
Most password vault software allows users to import their credentials–from sheets, text files, and other password vault solutions–secure them in a central repository, and safely share them with other users in the organization. Additionally, some password vaulting solutions offer extensive capabilities for end-to-end management of privileged accounts to:
Conventional password vaults secure human identities such as user accounts, addresses, payment cards, and other personal identities. These serve as your personal strongbox to secure your digital identities.
Similarly, enterprise password vaults help streamline credential management for human and non-human identities that are essential to business workflows. These password vaults help automate credential management across the enterprise by managing privileged identities of all kinds.
A password vault manages and secures access to many kinds of sensitive information. The benefits of using a password vault at an enterprise extend beyond just having a secure repository for passwords. Here are some of the key advantages:
Password vaults grant complete access and control over privileged assets. This provides strict role-based access and a granular view into high-value privileged accounts.
Password vaults ramp up IT security by proactively tracking user activities in real time. Administrative approval is required to access critical resources. In addition, the request-release workflows and granular controls ensure that access is restricted to prevent privilege misuse.
Password vaults provide more than the capability to store and secure credentials of privileged accounts. They help manage and consolidate several key assets including public and private keys, web accounts, digital signature files, license keys, and digital certificates. The vault also encrypts at multiple levels, which enables it to provide high-level security against threats.
Using vaulting solutions, administrators can moderate access privileges in real-time to ensure sensitive information isn't compromised. The password vaulting process involves three fundamental steps:
Here are some standard capabilities to look for when choosing a password vault for your enterprise:
In addition to utilizing a password vault in your organization, it's important to implement the right strategy to efficiently streamline password management. You can ensure this by following these best practices: