Good passwords are messy. They're long, chaotic, and very difficult to memorize. That's what makes them so strong. To keep them good and useful, though, requires a tool — a password manager.
The idea at the core of most password managers is simple: A database that matches user names and passwords to login pages is stored under the protection of a single strong password. When a login page is encountered, the password manager springs into action, filling in the necessary fields when unlocked with the master password.
With a password manager, the security best practice of a different strong password for every account can be followed, and changing those passwords on a regular basis becomes much less traumatic.
Any password manager worthy of consideration will perform this basic task well, though differences exist in how it is performed, how credentials are protected, and how the tool integrates with other security, directory, and network management components. These differences are especially critical for small businesses. Since smaller companies tend to have smaller budgets for IT staff, the need is high for a password manager that has features to fill in the blanks left by other products, is easy to integrate into existing infrastructure, and protects passwords for users who might have access to significant caches of critical data.
What products fit the bill? Dark Reading scoured the Internet for user comments, professional opinions, and published reviews of password managers of use to small business IT. We found half a dozen candidates that span a wide range of capabilities and prices.
As you click through the list, you'll notice there are no free or open source options. That's because all of the options in those categories are most suited to individual consumers, are quite complex to integrate into business infrastructures, or both.
We'd also like to know: Which password manager do you use for your small business? Do you worry about integration, or do see password management as a purely end-point issue suitable for a free-for-all solution? Let us know in the Comments section, below.
(Image: beebright VIA Adobe Stock)