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How a Password Manager Can Increase Technician Accountability

[SECURITY | 4 MIN READ] Password managers are more than just convenient for users—they also hold MSP technicians more accountable.

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Technicians at managed services providers (MSPs) wield a great deal of power. Holding administrator privileges on client servers (and often for multiple customers) means MSP techs have access to passwords, user account information, private data, and sensitive security settings. But as Spider-Man taught us, with great power comes great responsibility. Obviously, your technicians are professionals who take their roles seriously. But how can you minimize the security risks involved?

Having the right software is key. A password manager plays a critical role in ensuring technician accountability. In this article, we’ll examine how MSP password managers work and how they can help keep techs on their game for maximum security.

The Need for Accountability

Technician accountability is heavily tied to compliance and controlling access management for increased cybersecurity. When operational silos and a lack of privileged access management result in a lack of accountability, everyone suffers. Technicians are more likely to make mistakes when they can’t trace the mistakes back to them—and a lack of access control can often lead to overlapping responsibilities and duties that cause redundancies.

Accountability with privileged passwords and a password manager ensures you can tie actions to specific technicians in shared environments. Additionally, MSPs should practice continuous monitoring and reporting of electronic access to critical infrastructure. Not only can this type of auditing and monitoring produce valuable data for analytics purposes, it can also help meet compliance requirements and maximize security.

Holding technicians to the highest standard of business is key to providing exceptional service—especially when it comes to MSPs and managed security services providers (MSSPs) who function by offering IT services to customers. A password manager can help make accountability a core component of your MSP business and culture for the better.

How Password Managers Foster Accountability

As guardians of customer passwords, MSPs present a treasure trove for hackers. Before the advent of password managers, MSPs typically stored passwords in spreadsheets. Besides the obvious risk of outside penetration, this practice caused problems from an employee accountability perspective. MSPs could access spreadsheets with no record of who viewed the passwords or when. In the event of a security breach, it was difficult to investigate who was responsible.

Customer password managers present a solution. You can configure a password manager so technicians only have access to the passwords they need to do their jobs and not others. Whenever a technician views or changes a password, their action is then recorded in the system. This audit log enables managers to easily tell which technicians were involved in case anything goes awry. A record will hold techs accountable and techs who know about the recording will proactively hold themselves to a higher standard of security.

Password managers also solve issues related to employee turnover and changing responsibilities. With a spreadsheet system, a technician can easily take the stored passwords with them when they leave the organization, which can be incredibly risky in the event of a disgruntled employee. If a tech is granted temporary access to a different customer’s passwords, there’s no easy way to revoke it when it’s no longer needed. Instead, a good password manager can provide for time-limited password access. Since passwords are stored in an encrypted vault, departing employees cannot copy and save them.

A Secure Password Manager for MSPs

SolarWinds® Passportal + Documentation Manager is a fully featured password management solution specifically built for MSPs. Passportal is a centralized, cloud-based platform that enables customer passwords to be stored, easily searched, changed, and automatically configured for efficient customer support. It integrates one-click website logins, multifactor authentication (MFA), role-based permissions, and a secure password generator to ensure your customers’ data is secure and easy to manage.

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