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What Businesses Can Do in Q4 to Get 2021 Off to a Good (and Secure) Start

  |  Dashlane

Like many of us, you’re probably ready to put 2020 behind you. But before you do, don’t miss the opportunity to strengthen your company’s security for the year ahead.

Like many organizations, you may be losing your remaining budget at the end of the year if you don’t spend it. If that’s the case, and even if it’s not, why not invest some of your remaining budget in improving your company’s security strategy? Even better, you can do it at minimal cost—and simplify your employees’ online lives at the same time. Here’s what you need to know and do in Q4 to empower a culture of security in 2021.

Remote work is here to stay

For many businesses, 2020 was the year of the remote work experiment. With an estimated 42% of U.S. workers forced to work from their homes full time, the pandemic pushed the work-from-home economy into the mainstream. But remote work didn’t just move from the fringes temporarily. It’s here to stay.

Nearly three-quarters of chief financial officers surveyed by Gartner said they planned to permanently shift some of their employees to remote work. Another survey found that chief information officers expect to double their permanently remote workforce in 2021, compared to pre-pandemic numbers. Even if your company’s employees work from home only part-time or occasionally, you need to consider how that impacts the security and privacy of company data.

How does remote work impact businesses?

More employees working remotely means:

  • Businesses may be a bigger target for phishing scams. Scammers make the most of current events, and they’re using remote work to their advantage. A quarter of respondents surveyed by Deloitte, for example, reported a higher number of spam, fraudulent, and phishing emails sent to their corporate accounts.
  • Employees rely on cloud-based collaboration and sharing tools more than ever before. And let’s face it, many will reuse passwords, including compromised ones, putting your company at greater risk.
  • Unsecure practices—from sharing passwords via email, to connecting via public WiFi, to using unpatched devices—add to your security concerns.

The year of company security and privacy

With the influx of remote workers—and the new risks that come with that—it’s not surprising that businesses are reprioritizing their cybersecurity budgets.

More than 70 chief information security officers expect budgets to shrink this year, but plan to ask for significant increases for 2021, according to a McKinsey & Co. study. Identity and access management (IAM) is one of the top priority areas where they plan to spend more. And that goes for both large enterprises and small and medium-size businesses.

Two things are clear. One, 2021 will be the year for improved security and privacy controls. And two, an IAM solution is even more critical in a remote-work environment.

Why your company needs a password manager

A password manager is a low-cost IAM solution to a potentially high-cost catastrophe. It’s simple to implement, manage, and use—making it an ideal solution to poor password habits and blunders. And there were plenty of said blunders in 2020. Here are just three examples:

  • Tech: Security researchers found half a million Zoom user accounts for sale on the dark web in April. The researchers suspect that the cyber thieves used credential stuffing—a large-scale, automated way to gain access through stolen credentials from prior breaches of other companies.
  • Travel and Hospitality: Marriott International discovered that hackers used two employees’ login credentials to gain access to sensitive data. The breach resulted in the exposure of 5 million guest accounts, including information such as phone numbers, mailing addresses, and personal details.
  • News: The Washington Post reported in June that “woefully lax” security led to the theft of top-secret CIA hacking tools in 2016. One of the various security faux pas was the sharing of admin-level system passwords among users. One employee reportedly stole more than 2.2 billion, or as much as 34 terabytes, of information.

Passwords have played a starring role in numerous other breaches over the years. But if that doesn’t convince you that your company needs a password manager, here’s three more reasons:

  1. Sticker shock: Data breaches are expensive, and costs could add up to millions of dollars. But data breaches that result in stolen credentials have an especially high price tag.
  2. Password leaks: When employees leave your company, they may keep more than just corporate swag like pens or notebooks. Password managers make onboarding and offboarding simple for IT admins, ensuring that employees don’t walk off the job with company passwords in hand.
  3. Complicated (online) life: Employees reuse passwords because it makes life easy. And you can’t blame them, considering how many passwords they have to remember. Password managers simplify their life—and yours. Employees can focus on doing their work instead of remembering how to get to it. And you can focus on strategic security initiatives instead of chasing and locking down compromised credentials.

Make the resolution to secure your company in 2021

Extend the tradition of New Year’s resolutions into your workplace and start 2021 by ushering in a culture of security. Cybersecurity for a business can mean a variety of things, from two-factor authentication (2FA) and single sign-on (SSO), to virtual private networks (VPNs) and password managers. Each of these adds another security layer—and Dashlane’s business plans offer all four in one place:

  • 2FA: Built-in two-factor authentication replaces security codes normally sent via email to notify users about new device authentication. Dashlane works with mobile app authenticators such as Authy and Google Authenticator, as well as with WinAuth for Windows and YubiKeys.
  • VPN: A built-in VPN enables employees to browse privately when using unsecure networks such as public WiFi. Dashlane doesn’t keep track of the browsing history or other corporate data, providing complete privacy.
  • Overall company security: In addition to managing personal and work-related passwords separately, employees can see their password health score so they can improve their passwords. They can also choose to have their email addresses monitored on the dark web, with notifications sent if Dashlane finds a compromised account.

With Dashlane, admins can monitor and manage employees through a central Admin Console. In addition to easy provisioning, the console provides tools to monitor password health across the entire organization, so you can see how many passwords are weak, compromised, or reused.

Got extra budget? Give the gift of security

A password management solution is a great gift to give yourself, your co-workers, and your boss. Plus, Dashlane Business provides a free family plan for every employee (worth up to $90). Use your remaining budget to start the new year off on the right (and secure) foot. By spending a little on a company password manager, you’re investing a lot into keeping your company secure and your employees productive, not to mention making your boss happy. And if you need help pitching a password manager to your boss, we’ve got you covered.

It’s easy to get started. Check out Dashlane’s business plans today.

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