Enterprise password managers

The weakest link in your networks security is the human component

Password management is big business, and with good reason: the weakest link in your network's security is the human component -- the one that can succumb to social engineering, phishing, or inadvertently running the wrong program at the right time (for the keylogging malware, at least).And then there are passwords, the proverbial keys to the kingdom.

It's an unfortunate fact that a password that is easy to remember is also easy to guess or crack. Dictionary attacks on passwords are as old as the trees, and so inherently it's the long randomised passwords mixing alphanumeric characters, often with some special characters thrown in, that are both more secure and hard to remember -- enough that your average user will likely just write down on paper somewhere, or store in their phone in plain text, defeating the purpose of a secure password in the first place.

It also doesn't help that, even if a user has a relatively decent password, most people will use the same one across many sites and services (think water and the path of least resistance), leaving a gaping hole in security if this password is discovered. And it doesn't always take a hacker or phishing to exploit them -- with the big breaches we've seen over the last year, millions of user accounts have been published online for [i]other[/i] less well-meaning individuals to take advantage of.

Humans aren't designed to remember multiple long complex sequences (except for that chap who can recite Pi, maybe). But computers are. And that's where password managers come in: instead of needing to remember a range of passwords for the networks and applications a person uses, they need to remember only one -- their master password. The password manager will use this as the seed for encrypting all the other passwords they use for sites and services, remembering their logins for them, conveniently stored and managed by the password manager.

Most will go a step further and even auto-generate strong passwords for you (the long, cryptic type). So hard to crack passwords can be used system-wide for network logins, online services, web sites and applications, and the user only has to remember the one.

There are plenty of consumer-oriented products that do this, but enterprises can also benefit from these tools. They can make password management for IT much easier by consolidating passwords and logins into a centralised, simplified, platform. Less time is spent with employees calling help desk, and password recovery is simplified for IT. They can even make it easier to set and change policies for who can access what and when, without bothering the user with new logins or credentials, since it's all centrally managed via their one password managed login.

So here's our look at some of the big players in enterprise password management, as well as a few of the less well known options:

1. Roboform

2. LastPass

3. Password Vault Manager

4. Pleasant Password Server

5. PassPack

6. Passwordstate

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Linuxnetwork loginsMacOS Xpassword managementCSO AustraliaRoboformLastPassPassword valut managersecurityEnterprise passwordkeylogging malwarePleasant password serverPassPackSafenotesPasswords Enex TestLab

More about 24/7BuiltDropboxGoogleindeedLinuxMicrosoftPalmPremiumRSASymbian

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Ashton Mills

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    IDG Live Webinar:The right collaboration strategy will help your business take flight

    Speakers - Mike Harris, Engineering Services Manager, Jetstar - Christopher Johnson, IT Director APAC, 20th Century Fox - Brent Maxwell, Director of Information Systems, THE ICONIC - IDG MC/Moderator Anthony Caruana

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts