Why you can’t ignore password policies and how to implement them

The concept of passwords and how they keep data safe is simple. However, the majority of people don’t engage in strong password management because it can be inconvenient, frustrating, and even annoying.

According to a Google survey, more than 50% of people reuse passwords for multiple accounts and 13% use the same password for all accounts. If you think your business is safe because you require unique passwords for tools and apps, think again. Many people use the same or similar passwords in their personal and work lives.

Strong password policies and a way to enforce them can dramatically increase your company’s security and reduce your risk of data breaches and cyberattacks.

What are password policies?

Password policies are written rules for how passwords are treated in your organization and what employees in various roles are responsible for when it comes to security. Many organizations opt for an IT security password policy. Your technical professionals often know what the best practices are for passwords, so it makes sense to involve them in creating, implementing, and enforcing such policies. While your IT team may drive your password policies, it’s also a good idea to include the rest of your employees to encourage buy-in and engagement in both password policies and overall security.

Why are password policies important?

Password policies help ensure everyone is following strong password management. Without them, you could have employees engaging in activities that put your organization at risk, including:

  • Using easy-to-guess passwords such as strings of sequential numbers or simple words.
  • Reusing passwords across various applications.
  • Writing or storing passwords in unsecured locations.
  • Sharing passwords with others.

Enterprise password policy best practices

Every organization must create policies that work for its business and workflow. Here are some best practices to consider as you work with your technical teams to structure your own:

Put them in writing

Password policies should be specific, understandable, and actionable.

Provide training

Don’t assume employees will read and understand the policies. Provide interactive training upon hire and annually as a refresher. Include the big picture reasons for why the policies are so important.

Require strong passwords

Your IT department can help you establish parameters, but longer passwords made of random strings of characters are typically best.

Mandate confidentiality and security

Tell employees they cannot share passwords with others and should not write them down and store them at their desks or in other places that can be discovered.

Use automations

Put technology in place to help reinforce and support password policies. The most secure thing to do should be the easiest thing to do.

How to manage enterprise password policies

Implementing best practices is often easier said than done. It’s one thing to create policies, but another to enforce them, especially when it comes to password policy. You can tell your employees not to share their passwords with anyone, but that’s difficult to stay on top of. One of the ways you can manage these policies and enforce better password compliance is with a password manager like 1Password. 1Password Business benefits include the ability to:

  • Secure your entire team across various browsers, apps, and devices.
  • Access reports so you know how your teams are using 1Password and whether they’re compliant.
  • Get premium support to help you manage implementations and troubleshoot any issues.
  • Create group and role-based permissions.
  • Understand whether company email addresses or other credentials have been exposed in a breach.

Maintaining strong password policies is just the tip of the iceberg with 1Password Business. With advanced reporting, Secrets Automation, and the ability to connect with existing systems like Okta and Active Directory, 1Password Business is the last piece of the puzzle you’ve been looking for.

Start your free trial today and see how easy it is to enforce and manage password policies with 1Password.

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