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Can you trust password managers?

Password Box in Internet Browser

PASSWORDS. They’re a necessary evil hated by almost everyone. They’re either too hard to remember or too easy to guess. 

Hence the rapid growth of password management services. But you might be wondering “Are they secure? What if it gets hacked?”

LastPass Breach

Most IT professionals agree that the benefits of a password manager outweigh the risks of them being hacked. Even as news of LastPass, one of the most popular password managers, being hacked has made news, there is little worry for it’s end-users. 

According to Forbes “LastPass has made it clear that, courtesy of the ‘zero knowledge’ architecture implemented, master passwords are never stored…”. What this means for end-users is that their data was kept safe even though there was a breach due to a cybersecurity principal called ‘zero knowledge’ or ‘zero trust’.

Zero Trust 

So, you might be asking “What is zero trust? How does that keep my data safe?”. According to CrowdStrike zero trust is “a security framework requiring all users, whether in or outside the organization’s network, to be authenticated, authorized, and continuously validated for security configuration and posture before being granted or keeping access to applications and data”. 

One of the most effective functions of zero trust is MFA or Multi-Factor Authentication. It’s becoming standard with many applications, so you’ve probably experienced using this before. For example, if you have ever logged into your email account on a different computer than usual and been asked to enter a code that was texted to your phone to verify that you are who you say you are, then you have used MFA. 

This is extremely important when it comes to keeping your data safe. If someone doesn’t have the code sent to your phone, then they cannot access your email, even with your password. MFA comes standard with most password managers. 

So, what are the other benefits of using a password manager?

-You won’t have to create your own password. Password managers create unique, complex passwords for you.

-Cloud-based password managers will sync across devices, so they work the same way on your phone, tablet, desktop, and laptop.

-It can help protect your data by ensuring every password you have is different. This means if even the rare event that someone does access one of your passwords, they don’t have access to your other accounts. Because we humans like simple, we often re-use passwords. 

But to be fair, there are drawbacks to password managers as well.

-All your sensitive data is stored in one place, protected by a master password.

-You might forget your master password, which is deliberately hard to reset. 

If you are the type of person who can create long, complex passwords and remember them, then a password manager probably is not for you. For everyone else though, password managers can be an excellent way to keep their sensitive data safe. 

If you want to learn more about specific password managers and which ones are best for your business, grab a free copy of our ultimate guide to password managers. 

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