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The Role of Password Management Software in Protecting Small to Medium Sized Businesses Blog Feature

Managed IT services Cybersecurity

By: Collabrance LLC on October 25th, 2023

The Role of Password Management Software in Protecting Small to Medium Sized Businesses

Did you know compromised user passwords are among the most common causes of security breaches? According to the National Cybersecurity Alliance, 81% of all hacking-related incidents are due to weak and stolen passwords. Cyber criminals know a company’s passwords are the keys to its tools and accounts – and if cyber criminals are able to get those keys, they gain control of a business’s data, workflow, and reputation.  

For these reasons, a strong password management strategy is critical – including a password management tool to protect user login credentials. Password management software provides a platform that secures, controls and standardizes how login credentials are chosen, rotated, used and stored within an organization, helping employees to avoid using passwords that are easy, short, or old. Secured by multi-factor authentication, a password management tool allows employees to access business applications and data with one click, and without having to remember complex passwords. 

Before we dive further into the benefits of a password management service and how it works, it's important to understand the dangers of substandard password management. After all, if a business stakeholder doesn’t understand what’s at risk, they’re much less likely to take the necessary steps to safeguard their accounts.  

The risks of poor password management  

Poor password management can make a business and its employees susceptible to the following threats:  

  • Brute force attacks: A brute force attack happens when a hacker attempts to guess a user’s password by trying different combinations of letters, numbers, and symbols until they find the right one. This type of attack is usually automated, and simpler passwords are cracked easily. 
  • Phishing attacks: A phishing attack happens when a user is successfully tricked into giving their password to someone or something they perceived as a trusted source, like a website or company they do business with. Phishing perpetrators may send an email that looks legitimate but contains a link to a phony login page. Once the user inputs their name and password, the phisher can access the user’s real account freely, or they can sell the user’s credentials to the highest bidder.  
  • Social engineering attacks: Social engineering is the use of psychological tactics to draw out sensitive information from a user, such as their password. A social engineer may do this by pretending to be someone the user trusts, or by offering something in exchange for the user offering their password. 

With these risks in mind, let's take a closer look at how password management software works and its benefits.  

Related: The Technical Guide to Combatting Business Email Compromise 

Password management software for small to medium sized businesses 

Secure passwords are vital for keeping sensitive data and key IT systems safe from hackers and other threats. If a company’s employees are re-using the same passwords across multiple accounts, or it’s not clear which individuals have access to which systems, the entire business could be at risk.  

A password management service can dramatically reduce that risk – but consumer-grade, “free” password management tools are not sufficient for business cybersecurity. If a business uses multiple user accounts, an enterprise-level password management tool is essential. Robust password management security software will allow employees to generate strong, unique passwords for each account, and keep track of them in one central location. In turn, a company’s daily workflow and data is more secure.  

Here’s how a password management solution works in practice.  

Key features of password management software 

  1. Password generation: Password management software helps users generate strong, unique passwords for various online accounts, unique to each employee. Not having to remember multiple, complex passwords can be a huge time-saver – the password manager will do it for the user.
  2. Password storage: The password management software stores all passwords in a secure location. This can be useful if an employee needs to reset their password.
  3. Password recovery: If a user forgets their password, password management software can help recover it. This is an important feature, as it can prevent a user from losing access to their account and all the data stored within it.
  4. Password rotation: It’s important to change passwords regularly. Password rotation helps to keep passwords fresh, and it makes it more difficult for hackers to guess a user’s password. 

The benefits of these features are easy to see. But the business advantages of having the right tool and strategy for password management go far beyond helping employees remember their passwords.  

Expanded business benefits of password management software 

A wide array of pro-growth benefits can be leveraged with the use of an enterprise password management solution. Here are a few.  

  • Organizational ownership and more granular control of access to mission-critical data and applications 
  • Less time and fewer resources wasted due to password reset delay 
  • Greater visibility into what business data and applications are accessed, by whom, and when 
  • Simple provisioning of new or remote staff, as well as immediate system access termination for employees who leave the company
  • Easily generated reporting that aligns with compliance mandates  

Password management software can streamline and secure your business – and promote other cybersecurity best practices, too.  

Related: Seven Cybersecurity Best Practices for Small to Medium Sized Businesses

Other password management best practices for businesses  

Use multi-factor authentication (MFA) 

As technology and best practices for password security grow and advance, so do cybercriminals’ methods of stealing those passwords. By enabling MFA, another layer of security is added to keep accounts safe, even if a cybercriminal manages to access an employee’s password. Any password management software should be accessed using MFA. 

Related: How to Educate Your Customers About the Importance of MFA  

Educate employees 

One of the most important things that can be done to promote password security is to educate employees about the risks of password compromise and instill best practices to protect their information. In addition to implementing the use of an enterprise-grade password management platform to store all business-related credentials, developing an ongoing security awareness training program for employees to learn and recognize the many forms a cyberattack may take can help individuals stay safe.


Passwords are the key to a business's entire organization. While research shows that 90% of passwords meet minimum safety standards, more than a third of those passwords are still at risk of being hacked. Without proper management, individual passwords will remain vulnerable and put businesses at risk. Don't wait until a breach takes place – take control of passwords and systems access now with strong password management software.  

Collabrance provides managed security services to help MSPs deliver the comprehensive security solutions their customers need. Visit our managed security resources page to learn more.