Password Management Strategies to Combat Return to Office Delays

Ian Reay

February 22, 2022

The delays in returning to work have created a new global workforce that is composed simultaneously of remote, hybrid, and in-office employees. This reality has resulted in IT needing the proper tools to maintain security whether an employee is at home or in the office, precisely when cybersecurity is evolving. 

Despite the uncertainty, one thing is for sure: adopting a Zero Trust architecture. Attacks are so dynamic and diverse that a Zero Trust architecture is necessary for organizations to defend against breaches before they happen. Even the White House weighs in with the current threat outlook, urging the private and public sector to adopt a Zero Trust ransomware defense.

You can start with password management.

Stolen passwords and credentials are the most common way cybercriminals penetrate systems. Add in the prevalence of users at home using personal devices for work, and you have a vulnerable system. An organization looking to start its on-or-off-premise Zero Trust journey should begin by  enforcing strong password management. Doing so will give your business an edge on attackers – whether your infrastructure is remote, hybrid, or in-person. 

 

Stay Current with Contemporary Password Management Methods

Password managers, federation, and adaptive authentication are password management practices that will protect your users’ credentials, and in turn, protect your organization. These strategies will help build a robust cybersecurity culture within your organization, and they serve as an excellent foundation for further steps toward a Zero Trust Architecture. 

 

Consolidate With Password Managers

These applications automatically manage and store your online credentials, making it painless to access apps and websites. Instead of juggling multiple logins, a password manager asks users only to remember one password – keeping employees from walking down the hall and asking IT for help every time they forget their passwords, which costs time and lacks efficiency.

The goal of modern IT practices should be to provide simplicity and security simultaneously. In this manner, password managers like Hitachi ID Bravura Pass create less complexity through consolidation, similar to the simplicity provided by combining  login screens, implementing MFA, and making passwords a secondary option. All of which are crucial when dealing with Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), which is essential to remote work, though it opens up a security pain point: public-facing logins. 

Consolidate logins to a single platform, so users have one login page for a single sign-on (SSO) to combat public-facing login security threats. Take that a step further with MFA, which adds an extra layer of protection. You can then complement these powerful password policies and your password management platform with an enterprise password safe backed by a robust central security manager such as Hitachi ID Bravura Safe

 

Authenticate Identities With Federation

As the most common approach to enable SSO for end-users across web-based applications, federation is your next step towards Zero Trust. It's a method where one system is responsible for the authentication of a user. This system then sends a message to a second system (applications, resources, networks, devices, and more), identifying the user and verifying their authentication.  As a product of the growth of SaaS, it’s beneficial in both remote and hybrid work models due to its off-premise nature. 

 

Go the Extra Mile With Adaptive Authentication

Adaptive authentication takes security closer to Zero Trust, as it is a form of MFA that selects the right authentication factors depending on a user’s risk profile and behaviors. It “adapts” to provide an extra security and access control layer when it detects heightened risk. This solution creates additional authentication steps, such as forcing the user to answer a predetermined question or confirm their identity via text if a user initiates a series of suspicious activities when done in sequence.

Adaptive authentication solutions operate on the basic Zero Trust principle of trusting no one – not even privileged users by asking them to prove themselves through identifying questions without passwords constantly. 

 

Kickstart Your Zero Trust Journey 

Password management will get your organization on the right track to building a more robust, holistic security stack with Zero Trust on the horizon. 

With Hitachi ID Bravura Pass and Hitachi Bravura Safe, two layers of the Hitachi ID Bravura Security Fabric, you can create a  password ecosystem that streamlines your credentials and processes to meet the challenges of password proliferation and decentralization. The one-two punch of these solutions manages credentials across systems and applications while tackling the cybersecurity risks of scattered passwords and secrets.

The Hitachi ID Bravura Security Fabric empowers your organization to build a Zero Trust infrastructure through highly automated identity and access management. Launch your practical and cost-effective Zero Trust journey by starting with our Zero Trust and Access Management eBook.

Download eBook now