With an influx of cyber-attacks following the need for so much homeworking during the pandemic, the security of your IT systems is now more important than ever. Your password is the key to unlocking lots of valuable and sensitive data, as well as accessing private systems and pages.
This is especially true if you’re reusing your passwords, as 50% of people are found to do. This means once your password has been leaked, hackers will have access to every site and app you’ve used it on, which might include where you transfer money and store personal or client information.
Even unique passwords are usually weak. It’s surprising how often a password can be discovered when sequential numbers (eg 1234) are involved. Considering the most common password is 123456, with over 17% of consumers using it, data can be pretty precarious when put online. A password that’s strong enough for business use will be random and non-human, with unpredictable symbols and characters, so it’s purposefully hard to remember. It’s tempting to go for the easy option when you’re logging into work systems multiple times a day, but when your security is on the line, it’s seriously important to have those secure passwords. And because the whole point is that they’re challenging, it’s also worth investing in a good password manager.
What is a password manager and why do you need one?
Password managers are your first line of defense in cybersecurity. These extensions will randomly generate secure passwords consisting of unintelligible strings of letters, numbers, and characters that are impossible to guess. Luckily, you won’t have to, as these login details will all be recorded and stored in your personal vault, easily auto completed for speedy and secure login. The time cost is minimal for setup, but the payoff is significantly increased cybersecurity and protection against hackers stealing your data.
Free or low-cost browser-based password managers, while appealing, aren’t recommended for business use and are not nearly as reliable as dedicated managers. Using a browser manager can be a risk to your data as the passwords your store here aren’t encrypted, which means they’re easily read, especially since they likely won’t be randomly generated. So, if Chrome asks to store your passwords to make logging in easier, that’s not quite the same as having a secure and encrypted password manager.
If you need help choosing the best program to keep your business’ systems secure, we’ve compiled a list of the best passwords managers of 2021.
Keeper is one of the marketplace leaders in password management. Its services are available at various price points, with a limited free tier which offers password generation and storage as well as automated form-filling. Syncing across devices, secure sharing, and unlimited identity storage come as premium features. Keeper is a serious contender for the best overall password manager due to its smooth and secure functionality.
- Extensive browser extension
- Biometric login options (Touch ID and Windows Hello Authentication)
- Messaging service
- Smooth user interface
- Easy to share data with colleagues
- Access may be granted to a close contact should the user be unable to access the account
- You cannot change multiple passwords at once
- Initial setup may take longer than other password managers
- Several features are behind paywalls
- Mobile app is less functional than desktop use
We use Keeper ourselves, and (full disclosure), we also provide it as a service. If you’re interested in that, give us a shout.
NordPass is from the same makers as NordVPN, making it a popular and trusted program known for its clean and appealing aesthetics. It’s at the higher end of password managers, but like Keeper it does provide a limited free version.
- Data Breach Scanner
- Biometric identification
- Password health reporting
- Visually appealing design
- Unlimited password storage
- Available over a large range of platforms
- Strong encryption and reduced data breaches for users
- More expensive than other programs
- Few password recovery options
- Lacks password inheritance
Dashlane is a great manager for reporting on breaches and misuse of your data. It’s simple to set up and use, but again the functions are limited with the free version of the program.
- Data Breach alerts
- Virtual Private Network (VPN) for secure browsing
- Automatic mass password changing
- Dark web monitoring
- Simple to use
- Good security coverage
- Encryption is kept on local servers, so data never leaves your device
- The free version is far less useable
- No recovery options if master password is lost
- Inconvenient syncing between devices
4. Sticky Password
A high-security option that’s still easy to use for those with no experience with password management. This is a good program for individual users, but businesses may want a manager with more up-to-date interface and modern features.
- High- quality encryption
- Two factor authentication
- Local wi-fi syncing
- Easy to use
- Simple auto-fill options for forms
- Easy sharing between devices and accounts
- Outdated interface
- Lacks more technical features e.g. web monitoring
- Less visually appealing than other programs
5. Thycotic Secret Server
Thycotic Secret Server is perfect for people working in IT or those who take charge of a company tech systems. Administrator access allows an individual to effectively manage and secure all selected accounts for a simple but safe IT system.
- Privileged account management
- Account tracking and breach reporting
- Risk management
- Unique management features
- Strong password protection service
- Easy to use
- Limitations on individual user’s access
- Features may be hidden behind paywalls
- Not optimised for personal use
LastPass is a great password management program and is popular for a reason. It’s simple to use and has great options for sharing within a team making it great for businesses. However, it’s worth paying for a premium LastPass pro account as its free version isn’t quite up to scratch.
- Streamlined sharing features
- Strong password generator
- Password review system
- Easy to input passwords
- Good team sharing options
- Low cost
- Outdated design
- No VPN system
- Limited functionality with the free version
Whatever your password preferences, it’s always the best choice to leave it to a password manager to generate and store your login information. Keeping your personal information and client data secure and safe from hacking is a top priority for businesses. While these password manager programs all have their own quirks and fancy features, all six of our favourites would be a great choice for protecting your team’s IT.
To wrap up our review, here’s the best password manager for the category you need.
Top password manager for easy usage:
- Sticky Password’s simple interface and straight-forward features make it great for beginners
Top password manager for team sharing:
- Keeper has great sharing options while maintaining good security
Top password manager on a budget:
- LastPass provides a great service at a price lower than most competitors
Top password manager for super high security:
- Thycotic Secret Server goes above and beyond for helping its users stay secure and informed on digital safety