This business cybersecurity post is brought to you by Dashlane.
The hard work you put into building your business and managing your business’s reputation should not be compromised by an avoidable hack.
Cyberattacks on businesses and other entities may seem inevitable, but many are avoidable. Given the importance of reputation — which amounts to everything anyone and everyone thinks or feels about your operation — preventing cybersecurity breaches is crucial to defending the overall perception of your business’s trustworthiness to consumers, clients and investors.
Implementing use of a password manager like Dashlane for you and your employees, whether they work remotely or onsite, is among the easiest and most effective ways to protect your business’s reputation, explains J.D. Sherman, CEO of Dashlane. Its web and mobile app simplifies password management for people and businesses.
“We saw a reaction to the need for people to work remotely during the pandemic, but I don’t think we saw a big change in the way employers or employees addressed security,” says Sherman. “The challenge is security is not just a technology problem, it’s a human problem.”
A business’s reputation is everything
Folks who run a business, large or small, know how they feel about it. And they usually know how they want others to feel about it, which is a way of thinking of the brand they want to put across.
But a business’s reputation goes beyond that. It’s so pervasive that its scope and value can get a little lost in the big picture.
A business’s reputation depends upon how everyone thinks of it. That could be the business’s employees, its loyal customers, new customers, target audiences, partners, competitors, someone googling it for the first time — anyone and everyone.
A business’s reputation is also everywhere the business is — stores, call centers, ads, blog posts, reviews on social media, personal conversations — and in everything the business does. Or, in some cases, in what it doesn’t do.
Cybersecurity is on everyone’s mind
PriceWaterhouseCoopers recently reported that more than two-thirds of consumers believe the companies they do business with are vulnerable to hacks. And a significant percentage of those folks said they’d walk away from those businesses if a breach occurred.
The same idea applies to businesses looking for a technology vendor. Salesforce Research data suggests nine out of 10 owners of small-and-medium-size businesses weigh potential vendors’ “trustworthiness” heavily in the decision-making process.
A few weeks ago, Colonial Pipeline Co. wasn’t exactly a household name. But after a high-profile ransomware attack, the energy company’s name is closely tied to the hack. That type of association is definitely not good for a business’s reputation (to say nothing of the $4.4 million ransom Colonial Pipeline paid the hackers).
It’s worth noting that even under normal circumstances — when you haven’t suffered a data breach — your business’s reputation is fragile. Not everyone will always take a fair and balanced view of it based on all available data. Choosing to do business with a competitor could result from a snap decision based on very little information.
That makes your business’s reputation delicate, vulnerable and all the more important to protect.
Prevent hacks to preserve your business’s reputation
It’s hard to overstate the importance of a business’s reputation to its ongoing success. So it’s crucial to take any and all steps to preserve it. One of the best ways to do this is to stop cybersecurity breaches before they happen.
The Allianz Risk Barometer recently rated cyberattacks among the biggest corporate risks globally. And with a continuing shift to remote work because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the risk has grown.
Various reasons contribute:
- Companies rely on remote-access solutions, such as requiring employees to connect via a virtual private network.
- Away from the office, employees may fall victim more easily to phishing scams and social engineering.
- Working remotely, employees might use unsecured personal devices at home or on unreliable public networks.
Those factors showcase the increasing complexity of dealing with your business’s cybersecurity. But you can eliminate one of hackers’ easiest points of entry — weak or reused passwords — by implementing a secure password manager for your business.
Secure passwords are key to cybersecurity
Everyone knows strong passwords can be a chore to create and remember. That’s why a majority of people in the United States reuse the same password in different places, according to the 2020 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report (.pdf).
“As humans, we generally know what the right thing is to do, but sometimes we can’t bring ourselves to do it because we’re looking for shortcuts,” says Sherman. “We know we should have complex passwords and change them often, for instance, but it’s a headache so we tend not to do it.”
Allowing employees to choose weak passwords and to reuse passwords are poor security practices. Such behavior invites risk that can damage your business’s reputation if a hack occurs. Getting around such weak security is among the easiest “ways in” to a business for hackers, leading to as many as 80% of breaches, according to Verizon.
Other ways hackers get passwords
There are many ways hackers can exploit your business’s weak security (and your employees’ bad habits):
- They discover passwords stored or shared on unsecure platforms. These can include text documents, collaboration software like Slack, email clients and cloud databases.
- Careless or malicious company insiders lose or steal credentials.
- Hackers can use malware-driven password dumping and brute-force attacks to collect credentials.
Reused passwords can mean hackers need only breach a single account to gain access to others. One high-profile breach of an online service provider can yield millions of compromised passwords.
And guess what? Many corporate security systems are designed to detect intrusions, not logins that may or may not be authorized. That means hackers logging in through purloined passwords may go undetected for a while — potentially after the damage is done.
Neutralize risks with a password manager
One of the best and easiest ways to protect your corporate accounts and other sensitive data is to implement a password manager. It may not sound like a comprehensive solution, but it does much more than store passwords securely.
Regarding cybersecurity, password managers like Dashlane empower employees to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem. They also make sure employees can’t leave the company with passwords that allow access to corporate accounts and other sensitive data.
Ultimately, Dashlane takes the stress out of creating (and remembering) strong passwords, while greatly bolstering security.
When employees use Dashlane, they only need to create and remember one Master Password, no matter how many password-protected documents or systems they need to access. Dashlane offers tools to help them make their Master Password secure.
As for all those subsequent passwords, they are unique and complex credentials Dashlane creates and encrypts automatically. The employee does not know them and can’t share them.
Dashlane also allows users to keep work and personal accounts separate. That helps ensure employee and company data remains safe and secure.
Learn more about how password management can preserve your business’s reputation with Dashlane’s e-book, How to Safeguard Sensitive Data for Business.
And consider starting a free business trial with Dashlane here. Your employees will be happy. You’ll be happy. And your business’s reputation will be secure from password-related hacks.
Price: Free business trial
Where to download: Dashlane