Using Passwordless Authentication To Improve Security

It is more important than ever to protect your data in this day and age. One way to do that is by using passwordless authentication. This method improves security by eliminating the need for passwords. This blog post will discuss how passwordless authentication works and its benefits.

What is Passwordless Authentication?

Passwordless authentication is a form of 2-Factor Authentication that does not require any passwords. Instead, this type of authentication utilizes something you have (like your phone) to give users access to data or applications without remembering another password.

The key to understanding passwordless authentication is the idea of something you have and something you know. The “something you know” part is a traditional user name and password combo. The “something you have” component is the mobile device that generates a one-time use code or pushes notification. This way, even if passwords are compromised. Attackers would still need something like your phone to access certain data or applications.

How Does Passwordless Authentication Work?

There are a few different methods that one can use in passwordless authentication. One of the most well-known is receiving a code via text message or push notification. It happens when logging into apps and services from your mobile device. In this scenario, an app or service sends you a unique login code to use each time you log in. The idea is that only someone with physical access to your phone would be able to get this code. It also means that if a hacker were to find out your login credentials, they would not be able to access your data. However, they can do it unless they also had physical access to your mobile device.

Another common way of doing passwordless authentication is using a physical Security Key. A Security Key generates a login code that only works once and never again for as long as you have it activated. Think of these devices like a USB stick that only provides access one time. This, in turn, means that if your Security Key is lost or stolen, only the one-time use code will be compromised. It also means that you do not have to worry about receiving codes via text message or push notification. That leaves your data and accounts more secure because hackers would need something like your phone to access certain data or applications.

Benefits of Passwordless Authentication

There are many benefits to using passwordless authentication over traditional logins. Some of the most notable include:

Higher Security

No additional data like usernames and passwords are necessary when using a Security Key. Because of this, your account can not be hacked unless someone has physical access to both the key and your phone. This means that if a hacker could find out your password, they would still need something like your phone or Security Key to access certain data or applications.

Faster Entry Into Apps and Services

Passwordless authentication reduces the amount of time spent on login while also simplifying the process. This means that it is easier to access apps and services while, at the same time, you are less exposed to attacks. It also means that you are not bogged down with time-consuming processes, which can get frustrating if your password is long and complex.

No Password Management

Passwordless authentication eliminates the need for users to manage their passwords. This includes remembering them, updating them, creating new ones, or resetting old ones. This simplifies the process while at the same time making it easier to access apps and services. You are also less likely to reuse passwords or have your accounts hacked because traditional passwords are not used when logging in.

Lower Support Costs

Passwords are complicated things that are difficult for many people to remember, especially if they are long and complex. Passwordless authentication eliminates this problem since users can log in without remembering a password at all. This reduces the amount of time spent on support tickets for forgotten passwords, which saves everyone money. In turn, this authentication creates a better overall experience for both the user and the company.

More Convenient

Passwordless authentication is a great way to cut down on the number of times a day you log into accounts from your mobile device. If you have a Security Key, this means that you do not have to carry it around with you all of the time while still being able to keep your accounts secure. Also, if you receive a login code via text message or push notification, you do not have to type it in each time manually.

Seamless Experience

Using the authentication makes for a better overall experience because it simply just works. This means that you can log in without worrying about remembering passwords, resetting them, creating new ones, or anything else of the sort. You log in and get on with your day while at the same time keeping your accounts secure. The user has a better experience, resulting in happier users and more referrals.

Threats Associated With Passwordless Authentication

However, passwordless authentication is not without its own set of potential threats. Some of the most notable include:

Sharing Factor

Login with a Security Key eliminates the need for usernames and passwords. It also means that you are sharing something one can use to access an account if lost or stolen. If this device (such as a Security Key ) falls into the wrong hands, it can be used to access your accounts without you knowing about it. The severity of this depends on how much access the device provides.

Phishing Attacks

Similar to traditional phishing attacks that use emails or messages, hackers can send you messages with links to malicious websites designed to steal your data. If you are not paying attention, this information can be collected if caught by a Security Key. This would then compromise your accounts as well as any other data shared.

SMS and Push Notification Spoofing

If you receive an SMS or push notification with a login code, this also means that you are sharing something that one can use to access an account if lost or stolen. If this code is intercepted through spoofing, it could be used to gain access to your account. This is why it is important only to use the login codes you receive rather than sharing them with others or saving them later, like passwords.

Security Misconfigurations

One of the biggest problems with using passwords and usernames is that it involves sharing information, leading to security misconfigurations. This means that you might trust a website more than you should because it looks legitimate or allows access even though you do not recognize it. The authentication is also susceptible to this since hackers could impersonate a legitimate login page to trick you into entering your data.

Lower Security Clearance

Remember that there are still different security clearances that determine the type of access allowed. This means that with such authentication, you have an increased risk of granting lower-level users access to accounts they should not have since they do not have passwords. Administrators of the system would still be able to gain access. However, they may not know which accounts were accidentally compromised.

Mobile Capabilities

Passwordless authentication can usually only be done from a mobile device since it requires texts or pushes notifications. This means that you cannot do it from a desktop computer. You also need to use another device such as a laptop if you need to do so. If you receive a login code on your phone and want to use it on your laptop, this means that you can grant access and then revoke it. This would mean creating another session in the account, which requires authentication. Alternatively, you could use a passwordless authentication app like Google Authenticator or Microsoft Authenticator. This would allow for multi-factor authentication, and the code generator would work on both devices.

Multiple Accounts and Device Requirements

If you have multiple accounts, this means that you will need to use multiple devices to log in without passwords or usernames. For example, if you activate your Security Key on your mobile device and you lost it. You would not be able to log in to your desktop computer unless you also activated it on that device. This also means that you might need to manage multiple accounts since many websites or services limit the number of devices that can be used with them simultaneously.

Teamstack is a cloud identity and access management platform. It allows customers to provide SSO access through the most recent technology. This means that companies can unify their user experience. They can manage all aspects of the identity lifecycle from a single platform, lowering operational costs and improving security. We can help you manage user identities and access across multiple teams, devices, and clouds.

Passwordless authentication can be beneficial in certain circumstances. It reduces the number of passwords you need to remember and ensures that only authorized users have access. However, it is important to consider its drawbacks before implementing this system to know of any potential problems with using passwordless authentication.

What Are The Best Ways To Remember Online Passwords?

With all the websites we login into on daily basis, forgetting online passwords becomes a major challenge.

Almost everyone forgets a password or uses similar passwords on different platforms. This can happen due to the several forms that we have to fill when visiting different sites online.

Strong Yet Hard to Remember

Almost every time you visit one of the many websites we use daily, the common advice is to create a strong password. In most cases, creating strong passwords is important as it helps to protect your account.

People tend to have passwords, with many of them being very complex passwords. However, it becomes tricky to remember all the passwords. Most internet users use different passwords, more than they can even easily remember.

Notably, passwords for your most important accounts should be unique, using a method that creates secure but easy passwords to remember.

Initially, the key to your online passwords is creating strong passwords which are more challenging to actually create a distinct character set that you can remember easily.

In this case, you could use similar passwords for different sites, which can include something like a birthday, favorite song, or even your telephone numbers.

However, with this, it becomes easier for the hackers to guess the passwords since it is just a matter of time for them to guess and get the correct passwords.

If you use a similar password on all your sites, then a password-stealing Trojan that slips past your antivirus can effectively breach all your secure sites.

Read more about password cracking in this article.

Every internet user should use a complex, unique password for every single website.

One way to manage that is via a password manager.

Pros and Cons of a Password Manager

Password managers offer both pros and cons. The benefits include the creation of complex, random and lengthy passwords, auto-logons and the ability to work with multiple devices. Unfortunately, most password managers are difficult to set-up, will not work with all websites and trigger unexplainable crashes. Furthermore, they do not support all devices and browsers.

We’ve discussed in length in our previous articles 5 reasons why a password manager is not safe for you and the problems with password managers.

These tools work on all devices from desktops, laptops, and smartphones to even tablets. They are considered to generate unique unpredictable passwords and those that are easy to remember and you can automatically use those saved passwords to login into every account of your choice.

Tips to make an online password memorable and tough-to-guess

Arguably, to this point you are probably sick and tired of hearing how important it is to create a strong password and how to follow certain steps on generating secured online security.

But you should acknowledge the importance of keeping this in mind since creating a strong password is the key to security to all your online accounts’ safety. For this reason, here are some of the tips to remember to select an online password that is memorable and tough-to-guess.

Create a tip sheet

Using a tip sheet gives you relevant clues regarding the passwords you should avoid based on the ease of predictability. Here, you are advised to never write down your passwords anywhere that someone else can easily have access to the passwords.

Having a cryptic hint that only you understand can help you to memorize the password and jog your memory in case you forget the password.

If you write down your passwords, disguise them.

In this case, you can have password hints that include the first letter of your passcode and a memorable hint that can help you to remember the full password.

The disguise can also include hints that rhyme with your passcodes, maybe just an acronym that could jog in your mind. If you choose to use this approach, ensure that the passwords and the disguise you use are not similar in any way.

On the other hand, if you do need to write it down keep them out of your computer. There are other better hiding spots, including among other letters alongside a list of your phone numbers. Just ensure that it is not clear in a way that another person can understand that it is a password. If possible don’t include the passwords that will unlock your phone and other digital devices.

Use Shortcuts

Notably, using the website name or rather its logo color can help to create a memorable and secure online password. For instance, with Facebook, a person can use the initials FB as the first letter or last in the password. Using it as a trigger is another option.

In that case, the letter F could be used to stand for favorable food, and then you can build your password with that in mind.

Never compromise security
for convenience, choose both!

Create a personal code

The main trick here is to replace letters with other characters and numbers. Or maybe purposefully misspell words, using acronyms and abbreviations.

With a few code tricks, you can generate a strong memorable, and distinct online password that is difficult to predict and compromise.

Here, you can replace letters with special characters. You can even avoid certain letters altogether.

Besides, it is important to remember that a password is a secret and so whichever the words, the spelling is not the most important thing.

Choose Four Random Words

A short phrase of several random words is another option in making an online password memorable. In this case, you can use the entire word and replace some letters with special numbers to enhance password security. It is advisable to choose something silly such as an inside joke, favorite food, animal, or even a color.

Generate a phrase based on a memorable sentence

One recommended way you can use to remember complex passwords is by constructing a memorable sentence and developing an acronym.

In this case, you can come up with something that you consider meaningful, such as an inside joke that gives you specific hints.

For instance, when I was 3 I loved my pink doll. This could create something like www3ilpkDoll. Here, adding the number and capitalizing one of the letters strengthens the password.

Avoid patterns and common passwords

Choosing some common password is simply like giving hackers a place to run the business.

For instance, a password like 12345 makes your account vulnerable since such a password is easy to predict. Therefore, try as much as possible to not fall into such a habit. Always avoid common passwords and patterns since this can help in enhancing the security. The trick here is to come up with unique and memorable online passcodes.

Make it poetic

Everyone has a favorite song or a poem that cannot be easily forgotten. Whichever the song or poem is, you can use the verse and turn it to be a password. These earworms are sometimes stuck in our minds, so you can possibly use them to create unique online passwords.

You can use combinations such as a catchy phrase from your favorite album and pick additional characters from the name of your best song.

Ideally, you should focus on using something that is important to you, but remember to avoid the easy solutions like a birthday.

Use a secure browser

In the current technological developed internet world, most internet browsers like Firefox and Google Chrome have features that allow you to save passwords and usernames.

Use this strategy at home and never while in public or on a shared computer.

Teamstack solutions

At Teamstack, we have state-of-the-art software solutions that can help your organization manage login credentials and passwords.

Our Single-sign-on and multifactor authentication systems provide a convenient way for users of a computer system to log in and access vital data and applications. Learn more about Teamstack here.

What is a Time-based One-time Password (TOTP)?

Using complex passwords has become the best practice. In the past, this type of password was a good solution to account security. Using long passphrases is a better option than complex passwords, but there are two other solutions much more secure. One of the most frequently used is TOTP or Time-based One-time Password. This is different than a one-time password or PIN because you can use it more than once.

In this post, we’ll discuss what TOTP is, how it works, the advantages as well as the disadvantages of a time-based one-time password.

Defining Terms

Before we define what TOTP is, we must first discuss two-factor authentication (2FA) since a time-based one-time password is a form of 2FA.

Two-factor authentication (2FA) requires the user to provide two different kinds of identification when logging in to a computer system or to an account online. Factor is a means for the user to convince the online service or computer system of their identity. The system can then determine if the user has the right to access the information they have requested.

The most common authentication factor is the combination of a password and a username. Single-factor authentication is used for security because accounts are accessible with just a password. Two-factor authentication, meanwhile, is different because the user must provide their password in addition to proving their identity to be granted access.

A time-based one-time password or TOTP, as we mentioned, a form of 2FA. An algorithm generates a temporary passcode that uses the current time of day as one of its authentication factors. 

Cloud application providers use this type of passcode for two-factor authentication. Normally, the temporary passcode generated expires after 30, 60, 120, or 240 seconds.  

TOTP in Action

Two-factor authentification verifies the user’s identity. User requires two different factors in order to gain access: something the user has and something they know. A good example is a user logging into their bank account with their password and username. An email or SMS message will be sent containing a random code. This code enables the user to log into the banking system.

The user knows their password and username and receives a random code through their device. There are a variety of methods to send a user a time-based one-time password such as:

  • The password is displayed on the screen as a hardware security token
  • A centralized server sends text messages
  • A centralized server sends voice messages
  • Mobile authenticator apps including Google Authenticator
  • A centralized server sends email messages

Why Use TOTP

Two-factor authentication is recommended because of major data breaches. This has placed millions of passwords and email addresses pairs up for sale through the dark web. The unfortunate result is less secure passwords. The majority of people reuse their passwords for numerous accounts and sites. Hackers simply use known passwords and email addresses pairs for multiple websites until they receive access.

On the other hand, with TOTP, the user needs to enter their static password in addition to a time-based one-time password to receive approval for accessing the information on a computing system. TOTP provides an extra layer of security.

TOTP provides additional security because if the user’s password is compromised or stolen, the attacker requires the TOTP to gain access. Since this password expires quickly, the attacker is denied access. Time-based one-time passwords are approved by the IETF or the Internet Engineering Task Force.

Industries Using TOTP

The majority of businesses have a computer system requiring their users to log in. Since TOTP improves security, it can be effective for almost every industry including:

  • Automotive
  • Accounting
  • Cloud application providers
  • Engineering
  • Website developers
  • Precious metals
  • Retail services

Never compromise security
for convenience, choose both!

Advantages of Time-Based One-Time Password

Aside from the obvious, which is adding an extra layer of protection, below are the reasons to use TOTP:

Inexpensive Implementation

Organizations frequently use a time-based one-time password due to the accessibility. The majority of authentification apps generating these tokens either charge a small fee or are completely free. As a result, regardless of the size of an organization, the identity of users can be secured.


Organizations need not install new hardware for the IT resources of the users. All the user needs is an authentication app on their phone, laptop, or desktop. The majority of app providers have 2FA available for all of these devices to enable users to select the best option for their individual needs.

Improved Access

When the user accesses the system or application for the first time, the token generator remembers and stores user information.

Because of this, users do not require cellular service or WiFi to acquire their codes. New codes are constantly generated for these resources.


All an organization requires for enforcing time-based one-time passwords is the right provider. This enables the organization to scale for all of its IT resources including a wide range of applications, file servers, diversified systems, and networks.

Disadvantages of TOTP

Required User Device

The only way a user can receive their code is if they have an authenticator app ready. The user might not be able to access IT resources if they do not have their phone or the battery in their device dies. A lot of web applications offer alternates to receive codes. If the user is unable to secure a token from an authenticator app, these alternates are often available.

Secret Key

A secret key is shared between the server and the authentication app. If this secret key is cloned, valid codes can be generated resulting in the user’s account being accessed.

Quick Expiration

The user may need to enter multiple codes in an attempt to log in before the expiration of their code. The extra time necessary can result in an account lockout if the user makes too many login attempts.

Ways Attackers Get Around TOTP Authentication

Below are some scenarios when cybercriminals get around TOTP authentication:

  • When online hackers access a user’s account, they are also able to access other accounts with the same user.
  • The user’s account can be accessed if the initial site is breached or the password of the user is exposed due to a third-party breach resulting from reusing credentials for numerous different sites.
  • The company must trust the app when an organization uses TOTP for authenticator application. If the app does not store the secret keys securely or follow proper procedures, it can result in poor security.
  • A time-based one-time password is not as susceptible to social engineering as many of the other types of multi-factor authentication. Despite this, users can be tricked into providing criminals with access.

When the user’s token is pursued by an attacker, timing is incredibly important. The attacker will try to log into the account using a valid credential. This is often a password the user recycled after a previous breach. The attacker then attempts to trick the user into revealing their token.

The Bottomline

Teamstack offers important features including MFA or multi-factor authentication as support for extremely popular methods including:

  • WebAuthn for Windows Hellow for Windows, TouchID for Mac and FID02
  • The TOTP Google Authenticator
  • SMS codes

5 Reasons A Password Manager Is Not Safe For You

The practice of diversifying your password may be one of the most important security protocols to protect the company from hackers, but it also presents certain problems for the users.

Remembering unique passwords for many accounts proves problematic for many people. That is where a password manager becomes useful. But are password managers safe?

Though useful in managing passwords in an organization, password managers do not offer all-round protection on their own. This article lists some of the shortcomings of using password managers in an organization.

What is a password manager and how does it work?

A password manager is a cyber security software tool that stores credentials used to log into different accounts. When creating user accounts on different sites, security protocols require that you create a strong password.

By definition, a strong password is one that contains a fairly long list of characters. In addition, the password should have a mixture of capital letters and numbers.

Some sites go further and make it mandatory for the password to include at least one metacharacter. Furthermore, security protocols advise against using the same password for different accounts. In other words, every account should have a unique password.

As a result, remembering such complicated passwords especially when you have multiple user accounts becomes hard.

The manager eases the management of multiple passwords by storing the different passwords for each account in memory. When using the manager, the users only need to set up and remember one master password. This password is used to log into the password manager to access all the accounts.

There are two types of password managers which differ in how they manage user login credentials:

  • Desktop-based password managers are installed on a personal computer and manage login credentials on your accounts. They store the credentials locally.

    As a result, there is a risk of losing the credentials if you lose the device where the desktop-based password manager is installed.
  • Cloud-based password managers are different from desktop-based password managers in the sense that they store login credentials in an encrypted format on the internet service provider’s network. Consequently, cloud-based password managers allow you to access your login credentials from any device provided you use the service provider where the passwords are stored.

Are password managers safe?

According to ISE, password managers have many benefits that trump not having one.

They guide users within an organization in practicing better cyber security practices such as having strong passwords on their accounts, using unique passwords, and frequently changing their passwords. However, leaving the management of passwords to a password management software has some weaknesses.

Because passwords are centrally managed and are protected under one application, a hacker that succeeds in bypassing the password manager’s master password gains access to multiple accounts. This poses a huge risk to an organization and leaves many persons asking, “Should I use a password manager?”

The reservations people have about using password managers in their companies are not unfounded. Below are some reasons that might make you reconsider using a password manager in your company.

1. Password Managers Are The Holy Grail For Hackers

Some well-known password managers such as OneLogin and Lastpass, have been successfully attacked before. Both companies have since then updated their applications but that does not guarantee full protection in the future since hackers also upgrade their skills and aggressiveness.

2. Experts Say Password Managers Have Serious Flaws

According to an article published on the Washington post, a recent study revealed flaws in some well known password manager applications. The applications leave the stored passwords exposed in the computer’s memory when left in locked mode.

3. Your Settings Might Leave You Vulnerable

Some password managers have many customization features, which make using them easier, but the customization features can also leave you exposed.

For instance, the autofill password feature can allow an unauthorized person to access some of your accounts so long as they have the master password.

While such a feature is good and eliminates the need to type in the password every time you want to log in, it can leave your accounts exposed.

4. Open you up to remote attacks

If your company uses a cloud-based password manager, it exposes you to greater risk through remote attacks that can happen without the hacker accessing your office premises.

A desktop-based password manager can only be accessed from within the company’s premises. In the unlikely event that a hacker accesses the desktop password manager and manages to bypass it, they gain access to multiple accounts.

5. Require more frequent updates

In a bid to curb the ever-growing risks from hackers, companies that provide password management software keep making updates and patches to their products. This means you should also keep your systems up to date for maximum protection.

As a result, keeping up with the software updates and security patches adds more tasks and consumes more time. Failure to perform the updates for your password manager exposes your system.

Never compromise security
for convenience, choose both!

Don’t become lulled into a false sense of security

Although password managers are a good choice when you want to enhance the security of your accounts, they also come with some problems as listed in the above section. After reading the shortcomings, you must be asking yourself, “Should I use a password manager?” We think not.

There are better approaches that work just as well. One approach involves using single sign-on technology, which authenticates a user once and grants them access to multiple accounts. This eliminates the need of having a different password for each account.

Another approach that companies can implement to replace password managers is using multi-factor authentication procedures. In this, users log in to their accounts by confirming their identity using a couple of ways that do not involve typing in a password.

The most popular multifactor authentication methods are SMS tokens, Phone calls, Email tokens, and Software tokens.

Our Security Software solutions

At Teamstack, we have state of the art software solutions that can help your organization manage login credentials and passwords.

Our Single-sign-on and multifactor authentication systems provide a convenient way for users of a computer system to log in and access vital data and applications.

How To Build A Strong Cybersecurity Policy

As you introduce your business to the online world, you must establish a robust cybersecurity policy. A security policy protects you from attacks.

Read on and learn what cybersecurity policy is all about and how it is essential to businesses. Also, get to know the steps you can take to build a solid cybersecurity policy for your company.

What is Cybersecurity Policy?

A cybersecurity policy, also known as IT security policy, is a document that outlines how a company intends to protect its information and technology assets.

The document identifies potential threats and describes the measures laid down by the company to avoid such risks. A security policy is essential for all types of businesses, whether big or small.

Here are the reasons why every business needs to have an IT security strategy:

  • Businesses are making it big in the online world. It is, therefore, imperative to protect your space and interests while doing business online.
  • Cybercrime has grown incredibly over the last few decades. As such, you’ll need to be quite vigilant when conducting online transactions.
  • You need to protect the integrity of your customers’ data from thieves, fraudsters, hackers, and other unauthorized parties. Leaked-out customer details can be detrimental to a company’s reputation.
  • Having an effective cybersecurity policy safeguards a company’s data at all costs. Remember that information stored in the cloud is prone to attackers. Having an acceptable security policy will ensure that the cloud is well secured.
  • A cyberattack can kill your business. Cyberattacks come with substantial financial losses. Many companies that experience such attacks fail and are unable to recover.

How Does a Sound Cybersecurity Policy Look Like?

An acceptable IT security policy must ensure that all technology and information assets are secured. Therefore, you should identify the assets to be covered in the policy. They may include:

  • Communications software and hardware such as firewalls, switches, multiplexers, modems, and routers
  • Application software
  • System software such as database management and operating systems
  • General computer hardware such as PC systems, applications servers, web, email, disc, and CPU

Developing a cybersecurity system should be done collectively by all the stakeholders in a company. They are also the consumers of the policy, including employees, the HR personnel, legal team, IT team, management teams, and board members. They should be trained about the details of the security system.

A cybersecurity security policy document may include the following topics:

  • Identification and authentication
  • Remote access control
  • Classification of data
  • End-user encryption key protection
  • Email policy
  • Data recovery plan
  • Acceptable use
  • Change management
  • An employee on/offboarding
  • Data backup
  • Physical security

How to Build a Strong Cybersecurity Policy

Set Password and Pin Requirements

A password policy sets out the rules that govern the formulation of security passwords in the organization. Also, it outlines the procedures for appropriate storage and usage of passwords. For instance, it gives recommendations for the number of characters to use when creating a password. A good policy will also help you know when to change your passwords.

Mobile Device Control

Mobile device policies seek to safeguard the information that may be contained in portable devices. These devices include laptops, tablets, and smartphones. These mobile devices need protection because they are more prone to theft as compared to CPUs and other storage devices. It is also easy to hack information on such devices by the use of malicious apps.

A lot of people also make financial transactions through mobile devices. As a result, these devices are a point of interest for thieves. An excellent portable device management policy should protect information contained in such instruments. Company devices should have unique passwords to block unauthorized users. The IT team should be able to access all devices remotely to identify suspicious operations.

Data Transfer Measures

Private company information can be easily breached when being transferred from one employee to another. With a firm cybersecurity policy, you can avoid security risks that result from data transfer. Essentially, your employees should avoid sharing confidential information unless it is absolutely necessary. The system should also inhibit the use of public networks and Wi-Fi, which may encourage a breach of data. Employees must verify the recipient’s authenticity whenever transferring information in or out of the organization.

Handling Sensitive Data

Hackers are often interested in confidential data. As a result, if this information leaks out, it may lead to substantial financial losses and tarnish your company’s image. Examples of sensitive data include customer lists, new technologies, formulas, patents, and financial information. The IT security policy should give directions on who should be the custodian of confidential data. It should also explain when and how such information should be shared with other employees. Additionally, you should outline the procedures to follow when disposing of sensitive data.

Set Standards for Internet and Social Media Access

Social media is a great marketing tool that also increases company visibility. However, social media platforms may become security threats if not used properly. A security policy needs to provide guidelines around which media may be used to promote the company brand. Choose the social media platforms that are less susceptible to cybercrime. The guidelines should also describe the person responsible for social media operations. Also, a sound security system should give a list of prohibited websites.

Email Policy

Emails are prone to malicious software and scams. An acceptable IT security policy should describe how emails in your organization will be protected from unauthorized access. For instance, the system needs to state email procedures and rules such as acceptable email attachments, prohibited communication, and email monitoring. You should organize a training program to educate your employees on the details of the email policy. This will avoid the misuse of emails in your organization.

Prepare for an Incident

An IT security policy needs to outline a disaster contingency plan. What do you do in case there is a breach of sensitive data? The policy should outline the procedure to follow in recovering data, applications, and systems. The recovery procedure should include the following details:

  • Public communication guideline
  • Infrastructure replacement plan
  • Data backup and restoration plan
  • Priority of services
  • Classification of data
  • Succession of responsibilities
  • Emergency contacts

Never compromise security
for convenience, choose both!

Keep Your Cybersecurity Policy Up-To-Date

There are constant developments in the IT industry. For example, there are new cybercrimes beings innovated each day. Similarly, cybersecurity experts, such as Teamstack, are continually developing better security systems for companies. Keep yourself updated with these essential changes and make the necessary alterations in your IT security policy. Ensure that all employees are aware of policy changes. You may develop a continuous training program to keep them abreast of new security procedures.

Appoint contact people

An IT security policy can only be effective if it is managed appropriately. Departmental heads or managers may be appointed to implement and supervise cybersecurity policies. They will monitor the compliance of employees with regard to the rules provided in the system. This may be done through regular internal audits. In addition, the policy contact people will make the necessary recommendations to management based on their audit findings.

The Bottom Line

Clearly, IT security is a growing need across all sectors. Many businesses are making an entry into the online world. On the other hand, there are increasing threats in cyberspace today than ever before. The need to have an IT security policy is vital and urgent. You need to establish a firm system to ensure the total security of your technology and information assets. Contact Teamstack today and get professional advice on how to develop an excellent cybersecurity policy.

The Benefits And Pitfalls Of Passwordless Authentication

Since their invention in the 1960s, passwords have been one of the main methods of authentication. However, with new technologies and trends, things are changing. Though it is an emerging method, passwordless authentication has gained popularity among many companies as of late.

Many businesses now understand the importance of this method of authentication and are implementing it. Businesses can provide their customers with improved user experience by eliminating passwords to authenticate logins.

With this type of authentication, users do not need to remember passwords.

But what are its benefits and drawbacks? In this article, we discuss what passwordless authentication is, and why you should consider this method of authentication for your business and its drawbacks.

What is Passwordless Authentication?

Passwordless authentication is a method that verifies users into a system without the need for users to provide passwords. With this method, users do not need to remember or memorize a knowledge-based secret.

Why Is There a Need for Passwordless Authentication?

As a means of authentication, passwords have been under increased criticism.

To most users, keeping track of the required credentials is a major challenge. What’s more is that the applications have different password complexity requirements, making it hard for an average user to remember.

Passwords hinder users’ security in several ways. They are common grounds for identity attacks through hacking. Below are just some of the practices that make passwords vulnerable to attacks:

Reusing Passwords

Choosing the right passwords for all accounts from personal accounts, work accounts, and social media platforms can be challenging.

Most people will choose one password to use for all the platforms. Reusing passwords may be convenient, but it could lead to major security problems. If a hacker successfully gets into one of the accounts, they will be able to hack the rest.

Never compromise security
for convenience, choose both!

Using Weak Passwords

Most people choose commonly used passwords such as personal names, date of birth, geographical locations, phone numbers, and pets names, among others so that they can remember easily. Remember that using weak passwords is a gift to hackers.

Improper Storing of Passwords

Lack of proper password management, especially in companies, can lead to severe security attacks and consequences. Writing passwords on sticky notes or notebooks, which is common among many people, can leak passwords to the public.

Forms of Passwordless Authentication

There are various ways of implementing a passwordless authentication method for users. Below are the standard forms of applications and websites use:


With email authentication, users need to provide their email address as a means of verification. The user will then need to click on the link in order to log in.

In addition to emails, there is authentication with a one-time code. User needs to submit their email address to get the code, which the user enters to log in to the application.


With SMS authentication, a user provides a valid phone number in the application. The user will then receive the code sent to the phone number, which he/she can use to log in.

A system generates the code automatically, and only the user gets to know the code. If the phone number already exists, you will get notified.

Third-party application logins

The third-party application logins use multi-factor, Biometrics, and cloud directory to verify users and log in. They are safe, and your information cannot get hacked.

Biometric authentication uses fingerprints and scans users to gain access to accounts. This type of authentication works on smartphones where users place their thumbs on the scanner to get logged in.

Pros and Cons

Passwordless authentication comes with both advantages and disadvantages. However, the pros outweigh the cons in a significant way.


Improved User Experience

As discussed earlier, entering a password every time a user is using an application is quite a hassle. With this new authentication method, the user experience is improved, and there are no hassles involved.

Users do not have to remember the sophisticated use of secret numbers, letters, and special characters to be logged in. This is essential for customer-facing apps that want to provide users with a secure login experience.

Increased Security

The significant advantage of this method of authentication is security. With this method, users do not need to worry about hackers and losing information from their cloud directory.

Password duplication is common among most people, and when there is no password to hack, users are protected from the vulnerability. For businesses with many users, eliminating passwords reduces a lot of risks.

Fast and Convenient

The process of remembering and entering passwords sometimes takes longer, especially if the characters are complex. But when you eliminate passwords during authentication, the process becomes easy and quick. Users do not spend much time logging it. In most cases, authentication is one-time, hence saves time.

Reduces Administration Overhead

Whenever there is a new user or employee, the administration will be required to provide passwords, which is not the case with this type of authentication.

When an employee leaves a company, the password reset is necessary to protect the company’s information. This can be tiresome and overwhelming for the administration.


Difficult to Troubleshoot

Since this passwordless authentication method is still not familiar to many people, users may encounter problems.

If a user wants to log in to another device, it can be problematic. Moreover, if one loses their device, which has the authentications, it can take time to troubleshoot and get their accounts back.

Therefore, a company will need an experienced support team from identity and access management firm to help out when such issues arise.

Increased Costs

Although many companies, with passwordless authentication, save on costs, the cost of installing this type of authentication may initially be costly. A business will be required to make initial investments based on the form of implementation you want. For instance, for a smartphone-based authentication, a company will need to consider development costs to ensure it runs smoothly.

However, after the deployment costs, there are no other costs involved.

Some Smartphones do not Support Biometrics

When using Biometrics for this authentication method, the user must have a smartphone with a scanner. This is not possible for users whose smartphones do not support Biometrics. It can be a significant drawback if a business is offering services through a smartphone-based application.

Make a Decision Today

In this article, we have seen how passwordless authentication enhances user experience and customers’ experience, which can improve your brand.

Despite the few drawbacks, the benefits are significant and could impact your business positively.

Cloud identity and access management platforms such as Teamstack can help your business deal with all the challenges that come with the authentication process.

With their experience and access to over 500 applications, including G Suite, Slack, and Dropbox; Teamstack provides your business with all the necessary resources to onboard, manage and automate your employees and customers’ accounts.

This includes passwordless login, single sign-on via SAML, multi-factor authentication, and browser extension support, among many more services.

How Good Password Management Can Revolutionize A Company’s Security

password management

We’ve seen the “hacking” scene that’s so popular in action movies: a hacker open their laptop and start frantically typing a random string of numbers and letters. Windows with green text flash across the screen. After a few minutes, the hacker says “I’m in!” Password cracked.

To commit a crime like this in real life, the audience thinks, surely you’d have to some kind of Bill Gates-esque computer genius. But in fact, websites and databases get hacked every day due to one simple error: poor password management.

What Is Password Management?

For years, we’ve heard the same tips and advice for password selection:

  • Don’t use “password” or “password123.”
  • Avoid using any variation of your real name.
  • Do not write it down where others can see it.
  • Refrain from using the same password for every account.

This might seem like common sense, whether you’re working for a major business or using a personal computer at home. And yet, countless security breaches have been caused by weak password security.

Often hackers don’t need to use fancy software or brute-forcing techniques. They can simply run a program that flashes through a database of thousands of common passwords until they find one that gets them inside. And once they’re in, your personal information–and the information of thousands of other people–are at risk.

Fear of Forgetting

Everyone knows the importance of choosing a strong password–and yet, many of us choose to ignore that advice because we’re afraid of forgetting our password.

A recent survey by the Pew Research Center showed that poor password management is currently putting thousands of companies and individuals at risk.

We tell ourselves that it won’t happen to us, but it could. All it takes is one hacker with enough free time to figure out the basic passwords that are guarding people’s personal information. And once that news goes public, the company immediately gets a reputation as “weak” and “careless with people’s personal information,” causing their stock–and their reputation–to plummet. Read about password cracking in this post.

To prevent these kinds of catastrophes, it’s important:

  • that employees in every level of the business use strong passwords that aren’t easy to guess
  • use a different password for every application,
  • make use of multi-factor authentication,
  • and never share their password with others.

The best passwords are typically a random string of letters and numbers that would be hard to crack by anything but the most high-end software–and even then, it might be too much for the software to figure out.

Additionally, using a different password for every application ensures that even if a hacker guesses one password, they won’t automatically have access to all the data in the company.

When your business uses good password management, it gives everyone peace of mind knowing that they’re safe from the lower-end security breaches–and the smarter hackers might decide that it’s not worth the trouble.

Never compromise security
for convenience, choose both!

How Can Poor Password Management Affect Businesses?

Businesses talk about security but many of them have yet to implement strict safety procedures for some of their most sensitive data: their employees’ passwords.

They tell employees to be careful with their passwords, but don’t strictly enforce it. As a result, people choose weak passwords that could be easily guessed. They write their passwords on sticky notes and leave them taped to their monitor or lying around on their desk. Some share their passwords in emails and over the phone, and store them in easily accessible Excel spreadsheets. Others use the same password for every online account and application.

Even if 95% of the office uses good password management, it only takes one person to get hacked and give the hacker access to a wealth of private data.

The amount of damage done depends on the severity of the attack. Sometimes the hacker can only access lower-level information, which they might discard or use to commit petty crimes.

But, if they hack deeper into the system, they might release the employees’ personal data, leak private company emails, and collect sensitive data. They might also target the business’s software and attempt to destroy the mainframe.

In a sense, there’s no limit to what hackers can do–that information is out there somewhere, and they just need to figure out how to access it.

If the hacker gets access to personal information like credit card numbers and social security numbers, they can sell this information online to other criminals who want to steal people’s identities.

More Than Data Loss

When it gets to this point, it’s not just about data loss. Thousands of customers will be compromised, and the public’s faith in the company will plummet.

For example, US store Target famously paid an $18.5 million dollar settlement after their customers’ secure information was breached in 2013. That’s a massive loss for major companies, and smaller companies can’t afford that kind of catastrophe.

For this reason, good password management can mean the difference between your company staying safe while others are hacked, and your company shutting down because a giant settlement drained their funds.

What’s the Best Software for Preventing Security Breaches?

Teamstack offers a range of security features to protect your data and your company safe from potentially damaging breaches.

With multi-factor authentication, your users can verify their identity before they log in so you know exactly who’s signing on.

Teamstack offers IP blacklisting and whitelisting services so you can allow access to certain IPs while denying access to others.

Below are just some of the features:

  • Set up security questions, define a strict list of password requirements
  • Track users’ locations while they’re signed in, and restrict access to certain areas altogether.
  • Enforce password policies for your employees and users.

Teamstack stores its information in a secure cloud database that can be accessed by anyone with the right credentials. From there, you can view your users’ activity logs and suspend users if you think something looks fishy.

Hackers tend to hide in plain sight, so don’t be afraid to keep track of your team. You can change your teammates’ permissions and decide which information they can view.

How Can I Use this Knowledge to My Advantage?

Now that you’re educated on the topic of password management, it’s time to revolutionize your company’s password security.

Change all your passwords, use a different password for each application, and consider switching to a platform like Teamstack that does all the hard security work for you.

Be a role model for your employees or co-workers and show them how good password management works to their advantage. Because it’s not just about us. It’s about our co-workers, our teammates, and customers that trust us to keep their data safe and secure.

And a single strong password can mean the difference between a crushing financial blow to your company, and a stellar reputation as a safe company to do business with.

How To Align Your Password Policy With GDPR

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has been in effect for approximately two years now. However, there are many confusing areas of the regulation. One of those confusion areas lies with the use of passwords and the development of a GDPR-compliant password policy.

In this article, we’ll discuss what GDPR is and how compliance works. We’ll also highlight the importance of aligning your password policy with GDPR.

What Exactly is GDPR

GDPR is a regulation giving guidelines to businesses that collect data from the citizens of the European Union (EU). 

The law applies to an organization that does business with citizens of the EU or that attempts to solicit the business of citizens in the EU. 

There are stipulations on how the data can be collected and used. The regulation also discusses requirements for the protection of the collected data. Citizens of the European Union are also given certain rights when it comes to the disposal of the data that has been collected regarding them and their online activity. 

It is important to be compliant with this law because there are stiff monetary penalties for not complying with the regulations.

Because of this, organizations must show a justifiable reason for collecting the data. They must also have mechanisms in place to protect the data. 

One of the best practices for data privacy is creating a GDPR-compliant password policy.

The Impact of the GDPR

The GDPR applies to any company in the world that wishes to conduct business within the European Union. This spans a wide range of businesses from commerce to higher education. 

The regulation applies to businesses within the EU if the data is going to be stored or used outside of the EU.

It also applies to organizations outside of the EU if the organization offers goods or services to the EU citizens. 

An e-commerce site in the US selling merchandise to citizens of the EU is subject to this law. The GDPR also states that any organization that monitors its online behavior is subject to the regulation. 

The internet put many organizations in the arena of being subject to the GDPR. For example, a teenager in Europe could easily order a gift for a friend in New York and have it delivered to their friend’s house. 

This would make the online company that fulfilled that order subject to the GDPR and its provisions. The company would have been seeking to do business in the European country by creating ads. This includes pricing in various currencies or utilizing other ways to cater to European customers and enticing them to place orders.

Companies that monitor their online behaviors are also subject to GDPR regulation. 

Such companies regularly use tools such as cookies and IP address tracking. These tools track the number of visitors to their website and the search trends of these potential customers.

If visitors from the EU country browse sites that have a parent company in another county, it could put that company on notice to the regulators of the GDPR and possibly make them subject to the provisions of the GDPR.

There are some exceptions to these GDPR compliance rules.

The GDPR does not apply to personal or normal household activity.

So, if you are collecting some data such as emails and addresses for a personal function (such as a wedding or baby shower), you will not be subject to data privacy requirements. Organizations with fewer than 250 employees may also not be subjected to the GDPR.

Never compromise security
for convenience, choose both!

Passwords and GDPR

The GDP does not specifically address the concepts of passwords in the regulation. 

But, this does not mean there are no requirements in the GDPR that pertain to the use of passwords or having a password policy. 

Adhering to GDPR prevents the unlawful access to personal data, the abuse of personal data, and the transfer of personal data.

Passwords are an important part of ensuring that this is possible. 

The GDPR also states the handling of personal data in a manner that ensures security and confidentiality of personal data and data privacy. Passwords and having a password policy are one way that organizations ensure GDPR compliance.

Unfortunately, the GDPR is very vague when it comes to the exact requirements of a compliant password policy. 

It states that ignorance will not be an excuse for failing to protect data. With this in mind, organizations are going to have to interpret the regulations.

This includes the use of industry best practices for data privacy when it comes to creating a GDPR-compliant password policy.

GDPR-Compliant Password Policy

The first thing organizations will need to do is define what a strong password looks like according to their policy. They should put guidelines in place to create a password that is difficult to hack with a brute force attack.  

The passwords should have multiple characters such as letters, numbers, and symbols. There should also be a requirement to use capital and lowercase letters. The policy should also encourage the creators not to write down passwords.

Password policies should also discourage the use of personal information. People often use memorable things such as birthdays, the names of children, and pet names for passwords. Astute cyber-criminals can search social medial profiles and obtain this information and use it to hack accounts.

One method to improve the effectiveness of passwords and password policies is the use of multi-factor authentication (MFA). 

MFA requires that a user has a second method to authenticate or confirm their identity when attempting to log in or complete a transaction on an organizational website. 

It combines the use of a password with another credential such as a token sent to a cell phone, a numeric code sent to an email, or biometric verification such as a fingerprint swipe.

Most cybercrime cases involve weak and compromised passwords. Organizations can utilize multi-factor authentication services like those offered by Teamstack to improve an organization’s security.

The Bottomline

This article only provides a glimpse into the intricacies of complying with the provisions of the GDPR. Businesses and organizations concerned with GDPR compliance should consult with professionals in the data privacy and legal fields. This will help ensure they have well thought out and developed policies.

The Real Risks Of Password Reuse: Why You Should Not Get Used To It

When trying to choose passwords for all your social media platforms, emails, and work accounts, it can be difficult to keep up. It is easy for you to use one password that spreads across all these platforms, and it seems harmless most of the time. However, reusing just one password could turn into a major problem that you might not even notice right away. 

Use these tips from our team at Teamstack to ensure that you are protected online.

How Common Is Password Reuse?

Password reuse is more common than you think. Around 52% of users responding to a Google survey stated that they use the same password for almost all their platforms. Meanwhile, 35% use a different password for all accounts, and 15% use the same password for all their accounts. 

You might be surprised to know that so many people reuse their passwords, and that is why it is so dangerous. In fact, some families will reuse passwords or personal identification numbers (PINs). This means that a husband and wife might use the same passwords or PINs. If a hacker gets into one account, they can hack twice as many accounts.

Why Is Modifying And Reusing Passwords Dangerous?

Modifying and reusing passwords is very dangerous because you never know how easy it can be to figure out your modified password. 

Your modified password is likely very similar to your original password, and that makes it easier for hackers to find your new password. You may be annoyed when websites or even work platforms tell you that your new password is too similar to your current password, but these systems are trying to keep you safe.

Modifying passwords is also too simple. You might simply add “123” to the end of a password, and a hacker can easily guess what you have chosen. You should also not use other family names, old passwords, or even your street address. Any public information that a hacker can find will be used to crack your password quickly.

Think of what could happen to you:

If you are using the same password for Gmail, Facebook, and Amazon, a hacker can do all of the following things: 

  • Access each account, change your password, and make the account impossible to recover
  • While you are trying to recover these accounts, the hacker is posting on your Facebook page, stealing information from your emails, and making purchases on your Amazon account.

You simply do not have enough time to fix all these problems, and you might fight with these companies for weeks trying to get your money or your accounts back. You also do not know how many accounts could be hacked. People often forget about accounts they do not use, and even more information could be compromised. In fact, it could be months or even years before you realize how much damage has been done.

What Is The Best Process To Use When Creating Your Passwords?

The best password practices vary depending on who you talk to you. When you work with us at Teamstack, we provide you with a password manager that that does everything you need. At the same time, you still need to use these tips to adjust your passwords, make wise choices, and prevent hackers from stealing your information.

You may want to take this a step further if you are trying to create a password policy for your company. You do not want a hacker to gain access to one account, infiltrate a computer, and get into your network. This is why password education is so important.

Never compromise security
for convenience, choose both!

You can use these simple tips to avoid problems in the future

  • Set a minimum length for passwords. If your passwords are longer, they are harder to hack.
  • Set an expiration date. You should change them every three months at the least, and set up your business systems to force everyone to change their passwords regularly.
  • Make every password as strong as possible. This means you have letters, numbers, and symbols. There is a mixture of upper and lowercase letters, symbols, and numbers. The password will not be an intelligible phrase.
  • Do not use sticky notes to save your passwords or write down anything that could be stolen by a hacker. Plus, the sticky notes app on your computer freely show off anything you have written down. It is easy for someone to steal your password as they walk by your desk. 
  • Do not share passwords with work partners. You should use a password manager to store all your passwords, and only give someone access to your passwords if you are in a dire situation. For the most part, you can share data with your partners without sharing your password.

If you are reusing passwords as a business, you will find that hackers can go into any computer or account that they want. The hacker might have access to your network, but they can break into individual accounts much faster. Every machine could be hacked in a matter of minutes, and you will not notice until it is too late. Passwords across your company should be so unique that a hacker will waste too much time trying to hack an account. You want to deter hackers from trying again in the future.

Conclusion: Work With Teamstack

At Teamstack, we offer cloud team identity and password management services that make you and your company safer. 

You can lock down all your accounts, learn about the risk of password reuse, and ensure that every account is updated regularly. You can store your passwords with no trouble, and you can enact new policies for your company that is automated through our services.

We are investing in the future of security, and we want to ensure that your company is not left open to hackers.

Should You Share Passwords With Your Partner?

A recent survey by online security service Comparitech 2019 has shown that 47% of participants shared their passwords with their spouses. The survey also showed that 17% of women and 28% of men developed more trust in their partners after sharing their passwords. It may seem a good idea to share passwords with your partner. However, we are not concerned with who you share the password with but rather the means of password sharing. It is more than a matter of trust. Instead, it is a matter of security for both parties. Therefore, partners who consent to share their passwords must do it in a secure method. One such way to guard shared confidential information is via end-to-end encryption.

What Is End-To-End Encryption?

End-to-end encryption is a secure method of protecting communication and information shared privately online. It prevents a third party from accessing the data while it is moving from one system to the next. It also uses secret algorithms on endpoints to encrypt and decrypt the communication. Thus, not even the service provider can access the data. End-to-end encryptions provide the best defense of securely sharing passwords with your partner.

Implications of Leaked Credentials

Passwords are what make devices vulnerable to security threats since they give a chance for human error. There are several adverse outcomes associated with leaked credentials.

  • Financial Theft – Hackers often target passwords shared online because they are the keys to users’ financial and personal accounts. Through a single password, hackers can access your bank accounts or credit details. Infringement may result in unauthorized transactions on their end.

Never compromise security
for convenience, choose both!

  • Identity Theft – Another risk of leaked credentials is identity theft. A hacker could use your identity to engage in illegal activities. It might land you in trouble with the authorities. Besides, scammers can use exposed data for defamation or blackmail.

What Are the Tips to Share Passwords Securely?

Nowadays, there are various ways in which passwords can get exposed. These involve computer breaches, using unprotected networks, or attacks on websites. However, there are tips for securely sharing passwords.
One essential security tool is the password manager. This advanced tool uses a high-quality encryption key to protect the user’s password. It also assists in dealing with many different passwords, which is a challenging task. It uses advanced keys to secure multiple passwords in a protected location. Another added benefit of a password manager is its ability to type your passwords in the browser, making the login process simple and safe.
Another defense tool is a virtual private network (VPN). This tool prevents password leakage, which could cause financial breaches by providing an additional layer of keys to data. Also, it keeps users anonymous online. Using a VPN is vital, especially when using open public networks.

Why You Need Teamstack Onboard

Teamstack is a cloud identity and access management platform that provides individuals and corporate workforce with secure, convenient access. Working with 500+ applications, we offer impeccable services to prevent a password breach.

Final Remarks

Use Teamstack password manager to test your passwords and generate stronger passwords. We also eliminate the issue of shared passwords. Furthermore, we allow safe password sharing through our end-to-end encryption. Therefore, you can use Teamstack services without worrying about password breaches.