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Case Study: How VillageReach eliminated hundreds of reused passwords within a global workspace

  |  Dashlane
Village Reach Case Study

The company

VillageReach is a nonprofit with an inspiring mission: to drive equity and bring scalable, sustainable healthcare solutions to rural areas in low-income countries.

Healthcare-Focused Nonprofit

Company size
175 employees and volunteers

The challenge: Securely sharing (and not reusing) passwords

VillageReach employees and volunteers are busy focusing on the organization’s mission of solving healthcare delivery challenges in low-resource communities, which means they simply don’t have the bandwidth to manually police password management.

“We’re not a software company,” explains Ben Leibert, Technical Manager at VillageReach. “We view technology as a means to an end, but at the same time we recognize that cybersecurity is becoming increasingly important.”

With the nonprofit’s employees and volunteers having varying levels of tech literacy, Leibert knew he needed to boost VillageReach’s cybersecurity.

The growing concern over cybersecurity went hand in hand with an increase in security incidents. “Just like many other organizations, both big and small, we’ve been targeted and breached in various ways,” Leibert shares. “We've seen firsthand that cybersecurity risks are real.”

Leibert needed a password management solution that would address VillageReach’s security challenges. The ideal solution would free the team from learning the complexities of cybersecurity practices and enable them to focus on their life-saving mission.

“One of our biggest concerns is phishing email. Many of our employees and volunteers weren’t raised with technology to the degree that it’s now prevalent, and many don’t natively speak English. It’s understandably harder to pick up on poor grammar and other red flags in phishing email.”

Ben Leibert,
Technical Manager, VillageReach

VillageReach was already using a password vault, but it didn’t provide the level of security the organization was hoping for. 

“The hard reality is that we need to share passwords to certain applications, and our previous solution was just an encrypted repository of shared passwords,” Leibert explains. “We had untold numbers of people accessing the passwords, pasting them into forms within a browser and, by default, having the browser indefinitely save our passwords alongside all of their personal ones.”

Expanding on the security challenges that VillageReach faced, Leibert shares: “Passwords could be changed by anyone at any time. If someone changed a password but didn’t update the one saved within the vault, users could get frustrated and unnecessarily change the password again. We needed more governance.”

In addition to not providing adequate governance, the previous solution didn’t offer an offboarding process. So, when employees or volunteers left, they still had access to accounts.

“We needed an easy-to-use password management solution to support us because we simply don’t have the resources to track down and change numerous passwords every time someone leaves.”

Ben Leibert,
Technical Manager, VillageReach

Leibert knew VillageReach needed a simple—not simplistic—solution that would enable the organization’s global workforce. The ideal password management solution would allow secure password sharing, improve visibility into password health, eliminate weak and reused passwords, and simplify offboarding.

The solution: Maximizing ROI with a full-service password management solution

Leibert read reviews on the best password management tools on the market. When he began to research, he knew what he wanted and it didn’t take long for him to decide on the solution for VillageReach. “Dashlane consistently showed up as a recommended password management tool,” Leibert shares.

Screenshot of the password vault in the Dashlane browser extension app on desktop.
Dashlane's password vault in the browser extension app on desktop.

Leibert also liked that Dashlane would optimize his own personal workflow. “I noticed right away that Dashlane would allow us to share passwords with people who can’t update or necessarily even see them. We can also change a shared password without negatively impacting those who are legitimately reliant on it.”

Leibert found that Dashlane met all of his requirements and even offered major features, like a virtual private network (VPN), which he hadn’t sought. 

“Our employees travel frequently and, while in transit, ought to use a VPN,” explains Leibert. “But we didn’t have one.”

A screenshot of the VPN settings on the Dashlane web app.
A screenshot of the VPN settings on the Dashlane web app.

With Dashlane, VillageReach would have one solution to bolster the organization’s security in numerous ways.

“Simultaneously getting a robust password manager and a VPN was a big win.”

Ben Leibert,
Technical Manager, VillageReach

Leibert was impressed by the wide variety of languages that Dashlane supports, including English, French, and Portuguese—all the languages that VillageReach employees and volunteers speak.

In addition to centralized management, a VPN, and support in a variety of languages, Leibert was excited to supercharge VillageReach’s password security with all the other Dashlane benefits, including: 

  • Dark Web Monitoring to alert employees when their information appears on the dark web.
  • Password vault to enable a single Master Password to unlock all securely encrypted passwords. 
  • Secure sharing lets employees (and clients) securely share encrypted passwords with individuals or groups 
  • Password Health Dashboard to help people assess and improve the health of their passwords. 
  • Multi-factor identification (MFA) to fight phishing and other security attacks by detecting abnormalities in responses and requiring two-factor authentication (2FA). 
A screenshot of Dashlane’s secure sharing portal in the web extension.
A screenshot of Dashlane’s secure sharing portal in the web extension.
A screenshot of the Dark Web Monitoring feature in the Dashlane web app.
A screenshot of the Dark Web Monitoring feature in the Dashlane web app.

VillageReach recognizes Dashlane as a force multiplier.

“We have the global password management solution we need, and the broad range of benefits that we get from Dashlane are invaluable,” Leibert shares.

More on Dashlane

For more information on Dashlane, check out our business page or get started with a trial.  

The result: Removing hundreds of reused passwords

When Leibert implemented Dashlane, the impact was instantaneous. “We immediately saw the benefits of Dashlane,” he shares.

One of those benefits was on-the-spot security insight. Leibert discovered that hundreds of weak passwords were being reused and that VillageReach’s Password Health Score was 30 out of 100. With the information surfaced by Dashlane, Leibert was able to quickly improve the organization’s password hygiene.

As Leibert was granting access to passwords, it quickly became clear that people had previously been sharing credentials over the phone or by email with others who lacked official access approval. “As we began refreshing our passwords, people without formal permission to access the associated services began reaching out to let us know they could no longer log in to them,” shares Leibert. “It was alarming to see the degree of shadow IT. If you don’t thoughtfully govern your passwords, you may quickly lose insight into who has access to them.”

Today, the organization’s password health has improved by 122% and it continues to climb thanks to the secure password sharing and crystal-clear insights offered by Dashlane. 

"With Dashlane, I can easily see everything I’d like to know about our passwords: how many are being used, how strong they are, whether they’re being reused, and who has access to them.”

- Ben Leibert,
Technical Manager, VillageReach

While Dashlane’s Admin Console provides VillageReach with invaluable insight, the benefits don’t stop there. Leibert shares, “Shared credentials can be an inescapable business requirement, and Dashlane provides a fluid and secure way of managing them.”

A screenshot of Dashlane's admin dashboard which showcases the company-wide password health score, the number of compromised passwords, and other important metrics.
A screenshot of Dashlane's admin dashboard which showcases the company-wide password health score, the number of compromised passwords, and other important metrics.

Leibert is also enjoying the hands-off security monitoring that Dashlane provides with Dark Web Monitoring.

“Dashlane’s Dark Web Monitoring has been invaluable in helping us uncover security risks. We’re more aware with Dashlane and thus more proactive.”

Ben Leibert,
Technical Manager, VillageReach

As travel increases in the future, Leibert is looking forward to the additional security benefits that VillageReach’s staff have access to, including a VPN. 

“We’re excited about all of the benefits Dashlane offers,” Leibert says. “Our security posture has significantly improved and we can more readily focus on our mission.”

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