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4 Reasons It's Clever to Choose a Cross-Platform Password Manager

[SECURITY |5 MIN READ] MSPs looking to boost security for themselves and their customers should consider a cross-platform password manager, which brings numerous benefits to the table.

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As we all become increasingly reliant on digital services, more of our confidential data is being circulated over the internet. For most of us, this includes our bank account details, social security number, and account passwords. The reality is our data is stored on company servers, and there is always the potential our information could be stolen in a breach.

As a managed services provider (MSP), this risk is multiplied a thousand times over when you consider the many customers whose data you’re responsible for protecting. Most individuals and companies have registered user accounts with dozens of platforms, each of which requires a unique password.

Remembering all these passwords is tricky, so users often choose simple phrases or dates that are easy for them to remember. For example, common passwords might include a birthday or a partner’s name. These simple passwords, however, are often exploited by hackers. A secure password typically contains characters, numbers, and random special characters that make the password harder to crack.

Password managers were created to help you create, maintain, and manage safe passwords that minimize vulnerability to attack. This guide will outline what these tools are, how they work, and how they can benefit you as an MSP.

What is a cross-platform password manager?

Password managers have been in use for more than a decade. As a standard, they typically include these three features:  

  1. A secure generator for unique, complex passwords.
  2. An encrypted vault, where passwords can be safely stored.
  3. Two-factor (2FA) or multi-factor authentication (MFA) for trusted access.

While certain password managers use a local database to store your passwords, others use remote online stores that are encrypted. A cross-platform password manager is highly recommended for MSPs because it automatically synchronizes your password vault across multiple platforms and devices. This capability means you can access your passwords via your mobile device, computer, tablet, or any other device you might use. This mobility and freedom is incredibly attractive for both MSPs and their customers. Overall, using a centralized cross-platform password manager can save you time and boost efficiency.  

1. Provides the convenience of syncing across multiple devices securely

Once someone logs in to a password manager, credentials for a variety of accounts will be accessible—which is why it’s extremely important that you use a secure password for the password management system itself. The security should then be doubled with MFA.

Once you log in, however, a cross-platform password manager provides the convenience of syncing across multiple devices. A strong cross-platform password manager will have 2FA built-in and will offer mobile apps for both iOS and Android systems. This functionality offers great cross-platform compatibility and flexibility—allowing your passwords to be synced and accessed from anywhere, with any device, by simply logging in to your account.

2. Strengthens regulatory compliance

Most industries have regulations and protocols in place. If a company fails to meet these regulations, they may be forced to pay large fines. Many password managers also serve as IT documentation software, giving you access to auditing logs. This means that reports can be generated to prove documentation and password compliance in a matter of seconds, relieving MSPs from an otherwise tedious and time-consuming process.

3. Enhances accountability for your technicians

The existence of audit logs made possible by your password manager means you can always hold your technicians accountable for their work. Audit logs trace activities back to the person who performed them. An awareness of these audit logs holds technicians accountable, which boosts performance, reduces errors, and makes rectifying issues significantly easier and faster.

4. Offers a form of competition differentiation 
Using a robust, cross-platform password management solution can help you stand out from your competitors. Customers are more likely to put their trust in an organization with proven security measures in place. With a password manager, you can demonstrate how seriously you take protecting your customers’ security.

Choosing the right cross-platform password manager

There are several password manager programs on the market and choosing between them can feel overwhelming. SolarWinds® Passportal is a cross-platform password and documentation manager designed to manage customer credentials and privileged client knowledge quickly and securely via a single console. This tool streamlines password access to customer devices, applications, and networks for a seamless experience and increased security.

With Passportal, implementing password management best practices couldn’t be easier. The tool is fully encrypted and built specifically for MSPs. It offers credential injection, auditing and reporting capabilities, password change automation, and privileged client documentation management. Credentials are stored in a secure password vault, with role-based permissions and multi-factor authentication in place so that you can control who has access to what.

The Passportal dashboard is dynamic, intuitive, and easy to navigate. Data is represented graphically—wherever possible—in the form of dials and charts. Although this tool offers advanced functionality, it’s also simple and requires no training or experience to get started. If you’re looking for a new solution that helps increase security for your own MSP and your customers, you can request a demo here.

Additional Reading

 


SolarWinds® adds Passportal suite to its MSP product portfolio. MSP security, simplified. SolarWinds® Passportal + Documentation Manager is a SOC 2 certified, RAPID 7 tested, award winning platform.

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