Technology has become a significant part of our lives, as we use it not only in our day-to-day activities but also in organizations. With more organizations depending on technology to store financial transactions, private communications, and other important information, the security risks have significantly increased. This is why administrators should encourage employers to create strong passwords as a frontline defense for hackers. System administrators also play a critical role in educating users on the importance of complex passwords by having password policies in place. With these, users can stop viewing complex passwords as an obstacle.
What is a Password Policy?
A password policy is a set of rules that cover the design of your password from the combination of numbers, words, and symbols. These rules help increase the security of your organization by encouraging your users to create secure passwords, store them, and use them appropriately. Password management has evolved significantly over the years. With passwords becoming a requirement in almost every device or platform we use, keeping track of each password you create can be a challenge. However, thanks to password best practices, you can easily remember multiple passwords without having to cram them.
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Three password policies system administrators should implement:
Minimum Password Length
Password policies help in determining the minimum number of letters/characters a user requires to come up with for passwords. Most policies require users to use at least eight characters to make it harder to crack.
However, system administrators can increase the number of characters to a minimum of 14. This will help improve your site’s security even further.
As a system administrator, this password policy enables you to determine how long users can use their passwords before creating new ones. Such a password policy prevents users from evading the security system by creating new passwords every time they log in.
It also keeps users from reverting to the old password after creating new ones. With such password standards, you can limit the minimum password expiration age to seven days.
Use of Strong Passphrases
Although similar to a regular password, passphrases are longer. They contain word sequences and other texts that make them memorable. A longer passphrase is harder to breach, unlike a regular password. However, for this passphrases to work make sure you:
Use at least 18 to 20 characters
Use phrases you can remember
Incorporate special characters
Abbreviate the phrases you use
Teamstack supports password policies
With the above password dos and don’ts, it becomes quite easy to secure your information as an organization. Teamstack also supports password policies, which you can implement for users of your organization.
With Teamstack’s password policy feature, you can assign password requirements to each user via the User Policy section.
In the user policies, it’s possible to add password settings, which adds specific password requirements for any users that have been assigned the user policy. This includes specific minimum password length, the inclusion of special characters, lower/upper case characters, and even automatic password expiration after a set timeframe.
Premium users can further enhance user settings like enforce multi-factor authentication (MFA), location settings, and IP settings.
The bottom line
System administrators have more control over the safety of their organization’s information. However, for these best password policies to work, make sure you also educate your employees on the and don’ts. That includes the proper way to store passwords – and why having them on a sticky note is a bad idea.
Do people still leave passwords on post-it notes? Unfortunately, the answer is a resounding “yes”. And this is a common practice in companies that do not prioritize cybersecurity. This careless lack of password management system and security can lead to severe consequences.
An Example of Carelessness
Hawaii’s Emergency Management Agency accidentally revealed their password for one of their internal systems. The leak was undetected to the agency for a long time and was spotted by a member of the public. This was because a journalist took a picture for a news article that had a sticky note with a password on it in the background. Thousands of people saw it in that picture, and the employee who made the mistake was reassigned.
Everyone is at Risk
According to HSB, an insurance company that provides coverage for cybersecurity incidents, 33% of Americans were hacked in one given year. One of the main reasons why people get hacked is because they are not careful with their passwords. HSB’s survey also revealed that only 16% of Americans used a password management system. Some organizations use the same password for all systems and computers within their facilities. Some even have such a password stored in plain sight for all employees to see. Still others store them in the notes app on their smartphone (are you guilty of this?). Some write them down in planners. And some, like that hapless Hawaiian Government employee, put their passwords on post-it notes for all to see. Practices like this present considerable security risks for the company and its interests. Is your organization guilty of these poor password management practice?
An excellent way to make sure that your password is safe is to use random words that are not common together in speech. If you combine those unusual combinations of words with a combination of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols, you will end up with a reasonably strong password. Another excellent way to ensure higher security is to change all passwords periodically if your system administrator hasn’t already made that part of the system automatically. All of this may seem very complicated, but a password manager like Teamstack makes it simple. It can keep you from making a mistake like putting your private information on post-it notes.
How Teamstack Helps
Over 2,500 teams use Teamstack to enforce security protocols that would otherwise be ignored within an organization. Team stack allows you to manage users, groups, authentication methods, and permission levels in an easy-to-use interface. Teamstack also enables your organization to be up-to-date with permissions for specific users. Precise permissions management can prevent disgruntled former employees from wreaking havoc on your organization, and can allow you to give specific permissions to different members of your team. With Teamstack, you can go from putting your passwords on post-it notes to taking on your organization’s security like a Fortune 500 company. No more vulnerability because one of your employees has a post-it password. No more vulnerability because of human error. Let Teamstack take care of your password usage guidelines, security, and user management.
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.
Setting Up Passwords Correctly
A password is a string of letters, numbers and symbols used for authentication. Currently, passwords are one of the most secure authentication methods available. Numerous types of password managers are available including the team password manager, cloud identity management, the company password manager and the password vault. Our issue with numerous passwords is the security threats often resulting.
Correct password managers ensure password safe practices. Afterwards, the principles just follow by all organizations. Our password management provides users with secure options for managing and storing passwords. We believe efficiently securing passwords can prevent data breaches and unauthorized access. Businesses can determine the security of passwords by visiting howsecureismypassword.net
10 Tips to Improve Your Password Security
There are numerous ways to make passwords more secure. Additionally, it includes a password organizer and for that reason, we recommend using the following tips to improve password security:
You should use unique and strong passwords for all applications and websites
Avoid consecutive numbers or letters
Reset passwords should at regular intervals
Don’t use adjacent keyboard keys
Configure two-factor authentication for every account
Avoid words found in a foreign language or English dictionary
Store all passwords in the same place with secure password policies
Try to avoid common abbreviations
Review password violations and try to take necessary actions
Use different passwords for critical or sensitive data
When we look at the perspective of the user, we realize it is much easier to manage one password, instead of multiple passwords including a complex password. If users can authenticate every system through the use of a single password, protecting the password becomes much more important. Our issue is it not feasible to use a single password for certain systems or for accessing multiple operating systems.
Security Features Necessary For Your Business
There are specific security features we believe are critical for certain applications and operating systems of business. These types of systems are able to enforce the password criteria recommended by the organization. This features include:
Automatic suspension of user accounts after a pre-determined number of attempts resulting in an invalid login.
Reactivation of suspended user accounts should require manual reactivation controlled by the security or system administrator.
All users should be prevented from re-using any password used in the past or passwords not meeting the length and characteristics determined by the organization.
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The Most Common Issues of Traditional Password Management
We have witnessed numerous challenges in creating secure passwords due to a free password manager. Organizations require more passwords for web services every year. Improper password management has resulted in a significant increase in cybercrimes and data breaches. The most common threats for password protection and security include:
A data breach occurs either when confidential information or login credentials are stolen directly through the organization’s website database.
A sniffing attack is using illegal access to the network such as key logger tools to steal passwords.
Login spoofing occurs when cybercriminals illegally collect passwords using a fake login page.
A brute force attack is using automated tools to steal passwords by gaining access to the data of the user.
Shoulder surfing attacks result through a micro-camera. User data is accessed by stealing passwords when they are typed in.
Your Password Management Might Be Too Risky
All of the above threats provide attackers with an opportunity to receive unlimited access by stealing the passwords of the users. Users generally manage passwords through the use of risky password management as for example:
Users write down on post-its and sticky notes
Customers create simple passwords hackers can easily guess
Buyers share passwords through telephone, email and spreadsheets
Users reuse passwords for web applications
We believe understanding hackers can implement advanced attacks using specific tools is critical for every organization using traditional password management. A password organizer or password vault is an important tool for increasing password security to decrease the risk of security threats. The major web browsers including Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome offer web browsers with integrated password managers.
We have a major issue with all of these browsers. The security is far below what we believe is necessary for an effective password manager. Above all, passwords for both Internet Explorer and Chrome are unencrypted and stored on the computer of the user. Unless the hard drive of the computer is encrypted, the password files can be accessed fairly easily and stolen.
The master password feature offered by Mozilla Firefox enables users to encrypt saved passwords for storing on the computer. Unfortunately, this feature does not offer numerous important features including cross-platform syncing or allow for the generation of random passwords. We believe a dedicated password manager should provide organizations will specific features.
Passwords need to be stored in an encrypted form. A good password manager enables the generation of random and secure passwords and provides a powerful interface. Finally, the user should be able to access passwords easily and securely using different tablets, smartphones or computers.
How to Safely Manage Passwords with Teamstack
We have witnessed many organizations unsure how to offer team members secure access to the web, legacy and mobile applications. We believe security is always a critical concern. One of the best ways to manage passwords securely is with the cloud identity management platform available through Teamstack. Teamstack offers convenient and secure access for all organizations.
Teamstack works with well over 500 different applications to make everything a lot easier. Our automated identity management allows employees, customers and contractors to work together seamlessly and access apps safely. Teamstack provides businesses with one-click user provisioning, single sign-on and pre-built integrations. We enable team members to log in safely with no compromises in security.
Our Password Management Solutions
We protect organizations with cutting-edge security features ideal for password management. Users can establish security policies through our included dashboard including password requirements and multi-factor authentication. Organizations can use our password management solutions for specific users or for the entire organization. Our Cloud Directory enables businesses to manage all groups and users securely.
Our Cloud Directory enables organizations to create users or use outside sources for importing users. Organizations use real-time for synchronizing users to ensure all data remains current. Our Cloud Directory provides organizations with control over their users. Suspended accounts and individual user logs can be easily checked. Users can be added to groups using authentication policies and set permissions.
The Teamstack Audit Trail was created to ensure organizations remain aware of the actions of the users. For example, organizations can determine when users have logged in, logged out or requested credentials. Above all, they can find the browser information, location and IP address for every user. This helps organizations increase security, ensure proper password management and find malicious login attempts.
We offer one-click provisioning to add or remove users quickly and easily from every single application. That improves efficiency while decreasing any potential risks. Additionally, as soon as the organization has added a user to a group, the required permissions are automatically granted. It makes certain the user can access whatever is necessary. Moreover, one of our most exceptional features is SAML because it eliminates passwords entirely.
Our application works because we transfer the identity of the user to the service provider right from Teamstack. As a result, it offers user convenience in addition to security
As the old adage goes, “teamwork makes the dream work” and it has never been more true. Working as a team is one of the primary foundations of success when working through the various phases of a project. When you are asking for help from a fellow coworker, you are working as a team. Even attempts to boost individual statistics to bring up overall team averages is considered working together. This aspect makes working as a team important. However, when project managers attempt to coordinate projects – especially now, as more teams are beginning to become virtual – it poses a question: how do you improve your teamwork efficiency?
The Meaning of Team Efficiency
Almost every team has a specific, set goal. Getting things done in a timely manner, and increasing overall output is important. We have to consider the streamlining of work-related tasks. Each individual has to contribute to outputs for a project and complete additional output in a timely manner.
Essentially, teamwork efficiency relies on each member of the team collectively working and contributing, with minimal wasted time, energy, effort, and output. Each teammate will need to be able to easily communicate with other members of the project to cohesively complete a deliverable while still meeting project deadlines.
When working together in person, this can be accomplished relatively easily. However, teams often begin to struggle as they transition to remote work, creating problems for businesses. Quickly and efficiently completing work becomes now more important than ever. When working remotely without direct supervision, a teammate might become more lenient in how and when he/she chooses to complete their assigned tasks. This is where working as a team becomes even more important. There will be accountability.
Developing Teams Who Work Efficiently
As leaders, we understand how frustrating it can be to develop a team – especially when they are working remotely. Team collaboration on projects is often not only desirable but essential to the timely completion of deliverables for your clients. Teammates will need to be able to interact with each other, as well as collaborate on specific tasks and duties.
Sometimes, it might happen that a teammate is unwilling or unable to collaborate with the rest of the project team. That can be a problem as it might push back the entire project back from its original schedule. To some, it may seem as though this is an overstatement. However, missing as much as a singular piece of code in a coding project can cause errors that keep the project from moving forward.
Therefore, encouraging and fostering teamwork efficiency is more important than ever. Working as part of a team requires openness, visibility, security and communication. All of it can be hard to achieve when working remotely.
How Leaders Can Foster Collaboration From Afar
We all know that managing teams, to begin with, is no easy task. Getting things done when your team is remote may seem nearly impossible – however, there is a solution. As the market demand for online project management has grown, more software has become available. These tools help teams collaborate like never before and increase teamwork efficiency.
Teamwork software has a wide variety of features that allow users to interact and collaborate in ways that are productive. Even for teams who are working remotely. This software takes the primary requirements of team management and provides a platform to monitor and evaluate progress in real-time. Team leaders and teammates both benefit.
Team Management Software and Its Features
Some of the features included in most team management software include, but are not limited to:
task calendars: these calendars allow teammates and leaders to view specific tasks, deadlines, and completion notes. They provide a space for each individual on the team. They review project goals and requirements and effectively plan for future tasks
collaboration tools: collaborating is going to be an important part of any goal. Project tools are provided in this software to ensure teammates can collaborate through screen sharing, video, and audio call functions
project briefing: teams can receive updates on the status of a project. They also might receive any urgent changes or news in regards to the expectation of deliverable timeframes
Other important functions include being able to search for specific freelancers – filling missing gaps in teams and building projects based around specific skillsets. This is important for many startup companies, as finding the right source of talent can be nearly vital to project completion.
Ultimately, team management software allows teams and their leaders to make their work more efficient. For example, it takes full control of their projects, and search for individuals who are qualified and ready to fill in the hiring gaps. Nevertheless, it also provides a streamlined process for collaborating and utilizing a variety of other project tools.
How Teamstack Can Help Take Your Teams to the Next Level
Teamstack understands teamwork efficiency- in fact, we built our platform around it. We have realized that companies, freelancers, and startups all require integrative online project management software to be successful – and that is what Teamstack aims to provide. Our software can be utilized with 500+ different programs, meaning you and your team will be able to work from the comfort of your home and collaborate.
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Networking, Managing Your Teams and More With Teamstack
One of our best features is talent searching and networking. We provide lists of individuals who are skilled in specific areas and eager to provide services. In other words, we can connect you with top industry specialists who are knowledgable in your field.
Furthermore, any teammates you are already working with can be categorized by skillset and managed into their own separate teams. This allows relevant employees to view and manage tasks specific to their personal contributions, creating networks of individuals to ensure that tasks are completed.
We also offer briefing services. They allow you to provide your teammates in all branches of a project with updates in regards to progress completed, where your teams are in the process of completion, any deadline changes or deliverable changes. They also allow teammates to determine the next best step to completing their projects.
By utilizing integrated compatible programs, we guarantee that businesses can easily and efficiently streamline their deliverables. Our teamwork software provides a full-stack solution to many common collaboration issues and connects with you an audience of individuals to develop your workforce and teamwork efficiency.
No matter what your team’s specific needs are, utilizing our collaboration software will help promote collaboration and meet your goals, making it an essential part of any team’s daily workflow. If leaders are unsure as to whether or not the software is right for their team, we do offer a free trial period of the software. It allows you to explore options and features.
We support teams and help their growth. Utilizing our program will help take your team’s projects to the next level. It gives team leaders peace of mind in knowing the remote collaboration is possible.
Phishing is used for tricking email recipients into thinking the email comes from a known source such as a bank or utility company. You should never download any attachment or click any link unless you are certain of the source. We have seen numerous attackers disguise themselves as a real person or company. This type of attack began during the 1990s, has become more sophisticated and is commonly used today.
What is Phishing and How Does it Work?
Phishing is an attack through email, SMS text messages, social networks or direct messages in an attempt to gain personal information including financial details, work history, activities and interests. We have seen phishers obtain email addresses, names, personal details pertaining to key employees and job titles. This information is used to target companies through an email containing malicious attachments or links. We urge you to be careful regarding any potentially fake emails.
Emails may contain phishing software through links and attachments. The attacker is connected to the email through a malicious website. The intent is the installation of malware on your device or to trick you into revealing financial or personal information including credit card details, account IDs and passwords. However, you can prevent phishing attacks through an access management platform providing convenient and secure access such as Teamstack.
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You should also use anti-phishing software, antivirus security, phishing security and email security for the best possible protection.
Examples of Phishing
There are several common types of phishing attacks that you and your employees definitely need to be aware of:
Forged Links: If you receive an email with a recognizable name in the contents, the email may not be real. We recommend placing your mouse over the link to determine if it matches the email. Do not click the link if you see the slightest discrepancy. Above all, if the website link is HTTP as opposed to HTTPS, do not proceed because the site is not secure.
Generic Greetings: Phishing emails often use generic titles such as Electric Utility Customer. In other words, if your name does not appear, be suspicious. We recommend calling the company directly.
Urgency: If you receive an email attempting to make you act quickly due to urgency, it may be an attempt to steal your information.
Personal Information Requests: Any email requesting personal information may be a phishing attempt. Once again, we recommend calling the organization directly.
We encourage you to conduct a phishing mail test at your company and use Teamstack security software.
How to Recognize Phishing
Phishing emails often include a company name, company graphics and logos. There are clues you can use to determine if the email is fake. At Teamstack, we recommend looking for the following.
Public email addresses as opposed to corporate emails
Misspelled or suspicious URLs and subdomains
A request for personal information
Poorly written messages with grammatical errors
Types of Phishing
Based on the phishing channel, we can classify the types of phishing attacks into the following categories:
Spear Phishing: This is an email created for authenticity. We recommend looking for a reference to your name, personal information, location, company executive or co-worker.
Clone Phishing: This is a legitimate email you have received in the past with an attachment or link. Attackers copy your email while replacing attachments or links with malware attachments or malicious links. If you receive a clone phishing email, phishers may be in control of your system. We recommend tighter, cloud-based security such as what we offer at Teamstack.
Whaling Attacks: Whaling attacks an organization’s senior executives with the intent of stealing a large amount of money. These emails usually appear genuine. If the email seems to be from an executive with the intent of authorizing a large vendor payment, you should be very suspicious.
Pharming: This attack is dependent on redirecting you from a legitimate site to a fake site to trick you into logging in, because somebody might steal your credentials.
Twin Wi-Fi Attack: This is an attack using an access point for Wi-Fi. It is advertised using a deceptive name much like one of the legitimate access points. If you connect, the attacker has access to all transmissions including your password and ID.
Voice Phishing: Hackers use this attack for telephone service or voice over IP. Speech synthesis software is used for leaving voicemails telling you there has been suspicious activity. We strongly recommend against using the phone number left on the message because it will be used to compromise your account. If you have any doubts, contact the company directly.
What to do if You Suspect Phishing
If you believe a phishing attempt has been made, we recommend taking the following steps:
Do not open the email and do not reply at all
Delete the email immediately
No downloading of any attachments
Do not click on any links or attachments
Report the phishing attempt
Use the online complaint assistant for the Federal Trade Commission
Have you Already Responded to a Phishing Email? It is Not Too Late
Obtain protection for phishing attacks as quickly as possible. As an access management and cloud identity platform, Teamstack offers your company convenient and secure access. We work with more than 500 different applications to provide simple yet extremely effective phishing security. Email security is imperative for the protection of the business.
Five Steps to Protect Yourself from Phishing Attacks
You can decrease the risk of phishing attacks by using caution while checking your emails. Never click on a link unless you are 100% certain of the authenticity. Remember, no legitimate organization including your bank will ever ask for personal information through an email. You can decrease your risks by using anti-phishing software.
If you are suspicious, reread the email. Phishing emails often contain a lot of typos, exclamation marks and words typed in capital letters. Look for impersonal greetings such as Dear Madam or Sir or Dear Customer. You can spot the mistakes in the email if you are careful. A phishing mail test will determine how well employees respond to a phishing attack.
Shortened Links: A shortened link may be a sign of a phishing attack. In addition to using phishing software, place the mouse over the email link to determine if the website matches the website listed in the email text.
We recommend using extreme care if you receive an email with an urgent deadline or containing threats. A reputable business may require urgent action. This has occurred after a data breach and is not standard policy but an exception. When an apparently legitimate company requires urgency or makes threats, it may be a phishing attempt. This is yet another reason antivirus security is critical. The most common threats are notifications regarding a fine or requesting actions to prevent account closures. Ignore the email and contact the company directly.
When a website begins with https://, this means the browsers address bar contains a security lock icon. The “S” is critical for both browsing and sending personal details online including your credit card details. At Teamstack, we strongly recommend against using an unsecured or public Wi-Fi to enter your personal details including shopping or banking. You should never place convenience over your own safety. If you have any doubts, use the LTE or 3/4G connection available through your mobile device.
Take care before it’s too late
Making an effort to spot unsecure or questionable websites is worth every second of your time. Some of the major search engines are making the effort to label any website without the right protection. This does not mean you do not need additional protection for your business.
Identity access management (IAM) encompasses the policies, processes and products for the management and regulation of user identities. Access is in reference to the actions performed by the user. In addition, due to the digital global economy, IAM also links the productivity and security of the entire enterprise.
The Specifics of IAM Authorization
We understand that the design of IAM systems must enable identification, authentication and authorization. Importantly, only the correct individuals should be able to access hardware, IT resources, computers and software apps. Some of the key IAM components for an IAM framework are:
Database with the access privileges and identities of the users
Tools for monitoring, deleting, creating and modifying access priveledges
System used for access history and auditing login
IT departments, which are responsible for data management and cybersecurity usually handle the IAM functions. The tools include identity repositories, provisioning software, monitoring and reporting apps and password management. We see API security as essential for single sign-ons between user-managed access and mobile applications. This enables the management of personally identifiable data and IoT device authorization by security teams.
The Importance of Identity Access Management
We have found IAM is a crucial aspect of enterprise security plans. Moreover, in today’s digitized economy is IAM directly linked to the productivity and security of the whole identity governance. We have seen compromised user standards allow an entry point into the information assets and networks of numerous organizations.
The added Value of Identity Access Management
Currently, we expect the cost of ransomware damage to be more than $5 billion this year. As a comparison, it would be an increase of 15 % of the damages happened in 2016. That is why IAM became an important tool nowadays. In other words, IAM solutions provide a safeguard for informational assets. They provide protection for the increased threat of ransomware and malware attacks including phishing and criminal hacking.
Commonly, a lot of organizations provide users with more access privileges than required. Identity management software provides an additional protection layer by making certain user access policies and rules remain consistent throughout the organization.
Software For Identity and Access Management
Identity management software enables companies to increase access to all information systems using a wide range of SaaS tools, mobile apps and on-premises applications without compromising security. When outsiders receive better access, collaboration can be driven in numerous ways as employee satisfaction, revenue, enhanced productivity or research and development. When identities are well-managed, the organization has better control, which means that the risk of both external and internal breaches will decrease. We feel this is very important due to the increased frequency of these threats.
The Ability of Identity and Access Management software
With its several functions, the IAM might enhance the business productivity of the whole company. IAM offers users the ability for:
Setting up and configuring uses, roles and groups to control which users receive authorization for access to company resources
The creation and implementation of identity access management policies for restricting or granting specific permission for a wide range of resources
The implementation of multi-factor authorization
The implementation of a password policy in alignment with the internal security controls of the organization
Choose security and convenience with Teamstack
Teamstack, with its excellent reputation and high standards, provides workforces with convenient and secure access through an access and cloud identity management platform. Teamstack provides organizations with critical IAM solutions including:
Single Sign-on: From the perspective of the user, Teamstack is an excellent option as the need to sign into numerous applications individually has been eliminated. Furthermore, the IAM solutions only require Teamstack credentials to be entered once access to every application has been achieved. Currently, Teamstack has established integration with over 500 popular applications to ensure users are granted priveledges for single sign-on.
Multi-Factor Authentication: Teamstack is about a lot more than a simply ease-of-use. The key goal is making the process of offboarding and onboarding incredibly smooth for team members. Teamstack can use different factors for authentication across numerous security levels for the entire organization.
Secure Cloud Directory: Our Cloud Directory enables organizations to manage groups, permission levels, users and authentication methods through a secure and intuitive web interface. In this case, Teamstack ensures that users are synced using real-time. The organization can oversee all the approved users while identifying any fraudulent activities. This is one of many reasons Teamstack is able to provide exceptionally strong identity and access management tools.
One-Click Provisioning: One of the best tools we offer is our one-click provisioning feature. Only one click is necessary for the addition or removal of a user from the organization’s applications. The need to monitor which employees have access to specific applications and sharing passwords individually has been completely eliminated.
The bottom line
To conclude, Teamstack simultaneously increases the security and production of workers in a range of environments. Numerous aspects of secure user access can be automated for enterprise data and networks.
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Above all, since all IT positions in modern society have become security positions, we have found these benefits critical. The shortage of cybersecurity workers is global with penalties for noncompliance with relevant regulations. Noncompliance can cost companies millions or billions.
Passwords are the backbone of online connectivity and productivity. However, online users generate weak passwords every day that are often very easy to hack. Not only businesses are left vulnerable because their employees use weak passwords. Regular Internet users at home do not use strong passwords because they are afraid of forgetting them. 80% of security breaches involve password hacking, and that should lead you to make changes to your personal and/or business security protocols.
Strong Passwords Are More Than Important
Strong passwords are often seen as a headache because they are difficult to create even more difficult to remember. However, a secure password is difficult to crack. If you are wondering how secure your current “go-to” password is, you can use sites like my1login.com to check.
When you check the strength of your password, the site will show you how long it takes to crack the password. You may not realize how quickly a hacker can hack your password, and you may be far less safe than you thought you were.
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Operating Systems And Platforms Help You Generate Passwords
Nowadays, you can allow your platform or operating system to generate a password for you, or you can use this passwordsgenerator.net to generate strong passwords when you need them. If you are not sure how to build a strong password, you might want to read some guidelines for making your own passwords.
Remember that using a generic password makes it easy to hack. You need to mix several elements that a password generator would use to give you the results you want. Use the secure password offered by your platform or use the password generator every time. You can write down these passwords in a safe place that never leaves your side.
How Do You Create A Strong Password on your own?
A strong password should include all the following things:
The password should have a minimum of 12 characters. The longer the better. Passwords that are long are harder to crack, and they present too many variables to a hacker.
Include numbers. However, you should not include just one number. Spread the numbers throughout the password so that it is more difficult to find their position in the password.
Add symbols. You should add as many symbols to the password as possible. Again, you should move the symbols around the password so that they are difficult to find. Beginning and ending passwords with a symbol is often not enough.
Try not to use a word that you can easily guess. Using real words makes it easier for a hacker to type those words and get closer to hacking your password. If you use made-up words or random phrases that come from another language, you are much safer.
Use capital and lower case letters. You should mix letters throughout your password so that they are not all capital or all lower case. Starting with capital letters is too obvious, but consecutive capital letters are more difficult to hack.
Try not to use the most obvious substitutions for letters in order to get a stronger password. You should not use the number 1 for the letter I because hackers can guess that easily. If you are generating some sort of dictionary word, you must break up the word so much that it is almost unrecognizable.
What Do You Do If Someone Gets Your Password?
If someone has gotten your password, you need to take a few steps to ensure you are safe. Passwords that are hacked through one service could be reused for another platform or service. Use the tips below to ensure that you have protected yourself if your password is stolen.
Change your password immediately
Contact the service where the password was hacked. You could have lost your email or bank password, and these companies need to know that you have been hacked.
Contact other companies where you use the same password.
Use a password generator to create a strong password for all the sites or services you need to change
Use a password safe test to ensure the password is strong enough. Immediately change the password if it is not very strong.
Use a password manager or password saver to store the strong passwords that were generated for you.
Dealing With Passwords The Easy Way
At Teamstack, commercial and business customers can use the password organizer or password vault to manage passwordless sign-ins for any website or platform. Business security is instantly improved because the password security system will store the passwords, keep them on a secure server, and allow frequent business users to log in quickly.
Teamstack will integrate with many different platforms to save passwords, and that ensures that customers can protect their personal information. The system also asks these customers to create stronger passwords so that they do not compromise the system.
The Teamstack password safe is an easy way to manage passwords when IT managers must update security protocols. Teamstack makes it easier for customers to get new passwords if they need them, and the company can connect to any system they want. Teamstack ensures that business security does not falter. Small companies run out of home offices can use Teamstack to store passwords, and the Teamstack staff can help with any password issues in the future. Because the company consistently upgrades its security protocols, Teamstack helps customers generate safe passwords that cannot be hacked.
Be Online, But Stay Safe
Using strong passwords is the only way to stay safe online. People who are using weak passwords put themselves and the platforms they use unsafe. You can test your passwords, generate stronger passwords, and use Teamstack to help your work team log on without worrying about password breaches.
Today’s average internet surfers have close to 88 online accounts, mostly attributed to business vendors and social media. Cybersecurity experts recommend users have a different password for each online account if the user wants to guarantee a safeguard against hackers. However, memorizing 88 online accounts is impossible for the average citizen. Sadly, most people fail to take security seriously and breaches of confidential information continue to occur daily. Nowadays, there is a high volume of usernames, passwords and ultimately user error. As a result, computer engineers invented more convenient and more secure measures to authenticate a person’s identity and improve security. WebAuthn(Web Authentication) portrays exactly such an example.
What is WebAuthn?
WebAuthn is a complex way to prove our identity to an online service without passwords. Computer engineers and coders have different types of web authentications atypical from a traditional log-in. Some WebAuthn types consist of:
USB security token
Hardware Security Module – HSM
Trusted Execution Environment – TEE
Trusted Platform Module (Discrete, Firmware, Integrated and Software) – TPM
USB Security Stokes and Hardware Security Module
USB security keys and HSMs are like each other by relying on hardware to create a secure relationship between user and machine. HSMs are a more complex version of USB security keys as the employee attaches the ID Badge as a portable authenticator. The NFC (near field communication) powers such an authenticator. HSMs are technically USB security keys, but they can also have security protocols designed through MicroSD cards and PCI-E cards and they do not limit to physical removable and portable interfaces. Network devices may use HSMs to help prevent a breach of information. IT must properly set up a network to interact with an employee on their workplace computer.
Trusted Execution Environment and Trusted Platform Module
TEEs and TPMs are like each other because the security object cannot be removed “at will” like the USB and HSM systems can. Moreover, they are hardwired into the computer’s parts. With these systems, there are dedicated parts of the circuit board to store important security protocols. The TEE- and TPM system were owned by separate competitive companies. At first many people chose sides for the TEE and TPM systems. As time continued the pros and cons of TEE and TPM security protocols became evident. One was not better than the other.
Today we know the TEE and TPM systems are implementing similar strategies of security as a method to team up and streamline their authenticators. For instance, the two companies noticed that TEEs work well with third party programs. They also noticed a TPM can operate inside a TEE system. In a nutshell, a TEE and TPM are almost synonymous to each other regarding security now and they highly refine in today’s market of security system choices.
Which one is more secure?
Hardware security systems like USB security keys and HSMs are the best choice if we trust our coworkers to perceive information security as a top priority in the workplace. USB and HSM systems make coworkers responsible for issued USBs, ID Badges and other types of access cards. If we compromise those objects, companies could experience a breach. TEEs and TPMs are a static security system which cannot be transported out of the office space. In other words, TEE and TPM systems cannot be removed “at will” and are literally more secure. USBs and other HSMs are portable. Teamstack’s WebAuthn system is highly secure, the question is how soon do you need a WebAuthn cloud identity server?
The Future of Passwordless Access
The only way to avoid the confusion of managing 88 potential online accounts, forgetting passwords, forgetting usernames, remembering a large bank of passwords is through WebAuthn’s access management system. Large tech companies have already started to invest large amounts of money into a passwordless workforce by using secure cloud identity servers. Business owners realize WebAuthn disposes of employee error and instead relies on authenticators so workloads can be accessed and worked on now – instead of later.
WebAuthn: A More Detailed Description of Architecture
However, WebAuthn is only half of the solution to use the security devices and platforms discussed. WebAuthn interacts with a web browser. One must remain cognizant of CTAP2, the process of the security device communicating with the authenticator. CTAP2 stands for Client to Authenticator Protocol (obviously the number two indicates an upgrade to the original system).
Fast IDentity online 2 (FIDO 2)
Together, these two parts have a complex relationship of security checkpoints falling under the umbrella term FIDO2. Computer engineers and scientists have taken the time to perfect the seamlessness of the web’s relationship to the security device and the browser. To explain simply, WebAuthn communicates with the device and sends a security token over the internet to the authenticator. After a proper clearance has been registered, the authenticator sends back an electronic file packet confirming a log-in’s access. CTAP2 is the process after the WebAuthn. The client initiates the WebAuthn and apart of that the cloud server’s security system initiates automatically the CTAP2.
FIDO2 also may be used as another factor for a traditional username and password credential pair, for example, a WiFi address may not have a WEP/WPA password. Instead, a traditional web browser will auto-kick us to a prerequisite website requiring web authentication through a username and password. This is a basic form of FIDO2, but this is for another blog post. Teamstack uses WebAuthn systems to guarantee a safe work environment for employees and circumvent the debilitating moment once a user forgets the passwords and/or usernames
WebAuthn for Multi-Factor Authentication
Is there a website that you log onto once a month that is still pressuring you to record your phone number in the Account Settings? This is a basic version of multi-factor authentication that websites are endeavoring to roll out for all their customers. Due to the high number of breaches that service websites have been experiencing with their customers over the past two years, a notification after every log-in by cell phone has become popular. This basic security measure is popular but has risks. Imagine taking this security measure to the next level with WebAuthn cloud identities.
Make sure you share your accounts safely by a cloud identity management system like Teamstack!
Despite the increased security of passwords, we have determined that hackers are still able to hack the process. Moreover, according to Verizon, 81 % of all data breaches occurred due to weak or stolen passwords. We find these statistics extremely alarming. You definitely should get rid of weak passwords to improve your security before it becomes too late. We have researched two-factor authentication due to the second password required for logging in. There are changes currently in process we believe will permanently eliminate the need for passwords in the future.
Why Passwords Are Weak
We believe the majority of people are lazy because they do not want to remember long, complicated passwords. We have found the most secure passwords are the most difficult to remember, create and type. For this reason, the majority of employees use simple and more easily hacked passwords. Hackers already possess a list of stolen passwords and usernames. They continue to use them until they find the ones that work. Since most users have the same username and password for multiple accounts, the situation has become dire.
We have seen numerous users share passwords. Moreover, many of the defaults are easy to guess because the user store them publicly in manuals. Sidefaultsnce most users do not change passwords regularly, hackers can use stolen passwords for long periods of time. Hackers use password cracking tools to guess passwords. Unfortunately, we have found these tools works also for strong passwords. Hackers steal the passwords through various hacker websites or unsecure networks and emails.
Many businesses take a long time to realize that their passwords have been stolen by a hacker. During this time, hackers are stealing sensitive information. We have also found malware enables hackers to steal passwords fairly easily. Many businesses remain unaware there is an issue. When a business does not remove the passwords and accounts of previous employees, there is a risk the former employees will access unauthorized information.
Improving Password Security
We highly recommend every business takes steps for improving password security and get rid of all weak passwords. Importantly, all strong passwords should include a combination of:
Three random words
A minimum of 16 characters
More Security Awareness Needed
We recommend changing passwords every 90 days, refraining from storing passwords or writing them down using sticky notes and eliminating all common numbers and known names. When employees are not paying attention, errors occur leading to successful cyberattacks. All employees should receive security awareness and basic cybersecurity training for the protection of the business. We believe this is imperative to help ensure sensitive data remains safe and secure.
Businesses can remain safer through the generation of complex passwords. We recommend a combination of a password generation tool and complex passwords for the effortless management of all passwords. To ensure passwords are unique and more difficult to hack, a minimum of 16 characters should be used. We have found a wide selection of password generator tools offering automated functions designed for the creation of complex password strings.
The tool stores and rotates the password strings to eliminate the need to memorize countless passwords including unique words, symbols, characters and uppercase and lowercase letters for each password. We also recommend MFA or multifactor authentication. We have found this critical for all modern businesses. MFA adds an additional security layer to help prevent advanced persistent threats for both the business and the customers.
Protect your account
What is FIDO?
FIDO is a new technology capable of overhauling the log-in-process. Businesses can combine new technology referred to as hardware security keys, fingerprint and face recognition and phones. We believe FIDO will get you rid of weak passwords such as 123456. With FIDO2, users authenticate themself for common devices of desktop and mobile online services.
FIDO standardizes hardware devices including security keys for secure authentication. Apart from that, it is being developed by numerous companies including Microsoft, Google, Nok Nok Labs, PayPal and Yubico. A security key is very similar to a digital house key, which means that the key is simply plugged into either a Lightning or USB port. This enables one digital security key to work seamlessly and securely with numerous apps and websites. The key can also be used with biometric authentication including Windows Hello and Face ID from Apple. Moreover, some security keys are even wireless.
FIDO enables services and sites to completely eliminate passwords. We believe this will make logins easier and more secure because hacking becomes a lot more difficult. We believe every major internet service will be using an alternative for passwords in the next five years. FIDO offers a wide range of benefits including:
FIDO will only work if the website is legitimate to prevent phishing. This type of security attack enables hackers to use a bogus site and fraudulent email to trick users into providing their information for logins. FIDO additionally helps relieve business concerns regarding critical data breaches containing sensitive information such as account credentials. FIDO ensures hackers using stolen passwords will be unable to log on. If FIDO becomes popular, business passwords may be eliminated.
No Passwords for Signing On
Sign-ons using FIDO can work without passwords. The first step is opening the login page of the website. Once the user types the username in, tapping a button enables the biometric authentication feature of the laptop including Windows Hello and Touch ID from Apple. We like the convenience because the user can use smartphones as a security key. Once the user enters the name, the phone provides a prompt so it can be unlocked. The user then engages the biometric authentication system for approval.
Bluetooth establishes communication through a laptop. FIDO supports protection by multifactor authentication. At the end, users prove their log-in credentials in a minimum of two separate ways.
The FIDO Authentication Process
The first time we used FIDO, the experience was very similar to two-factor authentication. We typed in our conventional password first, then used FIDO for the connection to a hardware security key. This can also be accomplished by plugging-in. However, we still needed to use passwords. We found that the process was a lot more secure than passwords by themselves, enhanced by SMS codes or retrieved from any authenticators including Google.
Using both a security key and password enables the use of FIDO on Google, Twitter, Facebook, Dropbox and Microsoft services such as Windows and Outlook.com. We found the hardware security keys extremely secure. This is the reason they are being used by all Google employees, the computing services division of the Canadian government and congressional campaigns. Numerous customer services mandate plugging in the keys when a user logs in for the first time using a new phone or PC.
A plug-in may also be required for changing a password or sensitive actions including money transfers from a bank account. Having the security available when necessary is not difficult. FIDO identification is provided to browsers and websites through the WebAuthn feature. Android apps have FIDO built-in for users. Even Apple is now part of the FIDO alliance. This means there will be support for FIDO for iPhone apps. Microsoft is also a major supporter of FIDO. No-password logins have been enabled for numerous online services including Office, Outlook, Xbox Live and Skype.
Windows Hello fingerprint ID and face recognition technology require a hardware key. All phones using the authenticator app from Microsoft requires the combination of a PIN code and a hardware key. FIDO has been using the technology of public-key cryptography for decades for the pmrotection of credit card numbers. FIDO security devices offer a tremendous advantage. Both phones acting as hardware security keys and the keys themselves will not work with a fake website.
The importance Of Security Keys
One of the traps most frequently set by hackers is using a bogus website to phish for passwords. The registration of security keys makes it impossible to access anything other than legitimate websites. A security key means the website must provide proof to the security key as opposed to the website being verified through the user. Once Google mandated all employees must use security keys, all phishing attempts were effectively eliminated.
When no passwords are required, hackers have a lot less sensitive data available to steal. Our IT administrators consider this a type of computer magic. FIDO has successfully eliminated centralized databases hackers use for stealing company credentials. FIDO has earned our recommendation.
The Issues of Eliminating Passwords
Even though we are certain the efforts are worth the results, we realize the move to eliminating passwords will not be easy. Both businesses and individuals have become comfortable with the use of passwords. Everyone has developed a system for sorting passwords. It is more difficult to set up a security key than to create a password. The process can be complicated due to the range of procedures different websites use for the registration of security keys.
Certain services only allow a single security key. Until this changes, a backup key will not work. The good news is the current process for the registration of a security key is expected to significantly improve. During the period of time security keys have been available, the process has already become a lot simpler and smoother. Despite the number of security keys necessary for all of our accounts, we believe learning key management is worth the hassle due to the benefits we have received.
Hardware Security Keys To Enhance Security
We are not denying registering security keys can be difficult. We firmly believe the process is much safer and more secure than the use of passwords. Hardware security keys are a much better defense against cybercrimes than passwords. Although a forgotten password can be reset, the process is expensive and vulnerable to hackers interested in stealing accounts. We have learned the hard way creating and remembering unique and strong passwords for every site is nearly impossible.
FIDO empowers passwordless logins through the use of security keys to greatly enhance security. We know there are a lot of individuals more than willing to purchase an expensive safe for the protection of their valuables. These individuals use the latest in technology to ensure everything remains secure. We believe the protection of sensitive data is just as important if not more so.
Cloud Identity & Access Management Platforms
As every business team continues to grow, the management of user accounts and passwords increases in importance. We believe the answer is an identity management solution such as Teamstack. This convenient service is appropriate for all sized businesses. Teamstack is one of the best cloud identity & access management platforms currently available. The platform offers businesses convenient and secure access and above all, Teamstack works with more than 500 applications to simplify the process.
Teamstacck supports FIDO 2.0 to ensure businesses can place a Webauthn layer over not just normal passwords, but every login as well. The cloud identity management offered is simple to use in addition to working with tools previously installed on the computers. The other apps used by the business are automatically connected by Teamstaack to enable growth for the team of users. When customer, contractor and employee ability is automated, access to the most frequently used apps becomes a seamless experience.
More Security And Efficiency With Teamstack
The mission of Teamstack is the protection of business identities. This means the right people are able to log into the business systems, apps and websites. Users can log in whenever necessary because passwords are no longer required for access. This is due to the multi-factor authentication provided by Teamstack. Enterprise-grade security is provided by Teamstack in a simple and secure manner and the user does not need to be an expert in cybersecurity to use or understand the system.
The plans were created to be affordable for all sized businesses. Every company can now enjoy the same security features the majority of Fortune 500 companies have been using for years. Depending on the needs of the business, Teamstack offers both paid and free plans. The company is responsible for the creation of over 500 app integrations and has in excess of 750 teams using the tool including both Fortune 500 companies, new startups and everything in between.
Teamstack offers tools for linking systems using integrations to other apps and tools currently used by the business in a cloud-based environment. Teamstack can be custom-built for the business or built on-site and integrated for the company. Every sized modern business requires the best possible security. Teamstack is there to ensure the complex is much more manageable. In short, businesses save valuable time managing users and access through universally compliant access, security and logins.
The Bottom Line
When only the right people have access, the business systems and apps are safe. Although passwords may have been effective in the past, we believe new technology has made hacking and data breaches far too common. The best way to get rid of weak passwords and to protect any business is with Cloud Identity & Access Management Platforms such as Teamstack.
If there’s one positive to the Coronavirus, it’s that it’s teaching businesses and organizations that it doesn’t need on-site staff. There are many benefits for both employers and employees in allowing your workforce to work at home. The chief among those is that it saves the business money. If you’re one of those employees or an employer who has made the transition to work at home, then you need to ensure you’re ready to provide the same quality service as before. Here are a few tips and tricks to follow.
1. How to Set Up Your Home Office
Perhaps the most important part for any entrepreneur or employee that works from home is setting up their office. An office that is set up properly can ensure you have the same amount of productivity at home that you did in the office.
The first thing to keep in mind is the location. Unless your home already has an office, you may need to move a few things around to transition a room into an office. There are a few things to note about choosing a room for an office. The first is that it should include some views. You don’t want to feel as though you’re trapped in jail when you work from home. At the very least, have a window.
The second important aspect of choosing your home office is that it should also be far enough from distractions. In regards to the Coronavirus, in particular, many children are being sent home as schools close down. Children generate a lot of noise. This can make working from home difficult to achieve. To ensure your productivity remains unhindered, your office should be far enough that you can’t hear the children playing or causing chaos.
With your room chosen, it’s time to set up the actual office. You’ll need a sizable enough desk with plenty of storage. The true secret to being a successful entrepreneur and employee is being organized. Remote work requires just as much organization as working in a traditional office, if not more so.
You’ll want to use filing cabinets or files that you can place in drawers. Label each one with clear instructions, so you always know where to look when you need a document. You can also write down client lists, contact information, and other quick-access information on a sticky note that you can stick to your computer monitor.
Certain software may also help you stay organized. Virtual calendars, meeting planners, and other applications can ensure that you never miss a deadline. There are also various sites and apps that help you track your time and limit internet access if you tend to become distracted.
One final aspect of your home office is your chair. At your business, you likely have a comfortable chair that’s made with ergonomics in mind. You may not be able to afford such an expensive chair at home. However, you should still invest in a good chair. Your comfort is going to determine how well you work at home. If you’re uncomfortable, you’ll be unfocused and unable to work well. If you’re going to splurge on anything, splurge on your office chair.
2. Technical Requirements for Working From Home
No office is complete without a computer and other pieces of equipment. Depending on your work, you may also need a webcam. Some businesses may require you to attend a virtual meeting with the webcam. Or you may need it in order to work with your teammates or to speak with your clients.
None of this will work without the internet. While you may already have the internet at home, it may not necessarily be capable of providing efficient and uninterrupted service for your work. Internet capabilities for work and internet capabilities for residents are two very different things.
You may need to invest in a higher caliber of the internet. In particular, you’ll want to look at the speeds. At the very least, you should have an internet plan for 100mbps. Check with your company beforehand, however, as they may ask for a different requirement.
You may also need additional pieces of equipment like a headset and mic if your webcam isn’t great for audio quality. It may also be worth it to buy an additional phone for work.
3. Create an FAQ Page for Home Office
It may also be beneficial to create a FAQ page for your service. If you’re someone starting their own business at home and intend to do remote work, then an FAQ page is vital. This page can solve a lot of the problems or answer a lot of the questions that your clients may have.
You likely don’t have a lot of time or resources to devote to answering every question that is sent your way. To refrain your support staff from being overwhelmed, an FAQ can go over some of the most common questions that they receive from customers.
You’ll want to be as specific as possible when answering those questions. It may even be a good idea to post a video of how to do something, if applicable.
4. Utilize Communication Services
Since you’re no longer able to simply walk to the desk of your coworker when you have a question, you’ll need a site that offers quick and easy communication between workers. Some examples may be Slack, Discord, Skype, and Zoom. While most of these services are free, you can also receive benefits if you choose to become a paid subscriber.
Depending on the site, you have your choice between text, audio, and video communication. You can easily host a meeting or work session. Or it can simply be in the background and be available in the event that you have any questions or someone has questions for you.
5. Cloud Identity Access Management
Since your business is primarily being held online, you’re going to need a lot of security. That’s where Teamstack comes into play. Teamstack offers identity access management services and security. Our applications are secure, private, and can ensure that all the work you do is safe and protected. Teamstack works with over 500 applications, so you can be sure that we support and offer the access management program that you need.
Working with a Cloud is also important. You wouldn’t want to buy servers and storage for your home. Yet you’re going to have a ton of data that needs to be saved and quickly accessed. That’s where Cloud storage and management really shines. You can upload your data into a secure environment, so your computer doesn’t become over-encumbered with the data.
Finally, you need to ensure that you have cybersecurity in place. Firewalls will further ensure that your identity and other information are kept safe. With plenty of businesses falling prey to hackers, you don’t want your company to be the next victim.
There are plenty of security programs out there to choose from. Find one that best fits your business model.
Keep Profits on the Rise
Even though the Coronavirus is hitting a lot of businesses hard, it doesn’t have to hit yours. Making the switch to a remote environment can save your business now and continue to save it money in the future. There will always be another Coronavirus pandemic around the corner. Making the switch to remote work now with Teamstack at your back can keep your business prepared for the future. Make the switch today and watch your profits continue to rise.
Never compromise security for convenience, choose both!