SMB Warning: You Should Not Save Passwords in Browsers

Cybercriminals continue to refine their hacking skills, and small to midsized businesses need to focus on the minute details related to their cyber vulnerabilities. Managing passwords is far more complicated than it was in the past. A one-password-fits-all approach is an invitation to having a data breach. Also, your pet’s name and your birthday just don’t cut it as passwords anymore.

Password management is no longer a simple task. Password risks and the need for more complicated passwords have never been greater. But the mental task of remembering many strong passwords comprised of various characters across multiple platforms isn’t practical. Instead, password managers are software tools that help keep track of the passwords you use for multiple on and offline services and websites. Good password managers can generate strong, random, complicated passwords that are guaranteed to be more secure than any you create on your own.

Strong Tools Are Available to Help With Passwords

Password managers can create strong passwords and efficiently store them. However, password managers built into your web browsers can create new cyber risks. If hackers can breach your built-in password manager, they might gain control of your computer and small business network, potentially stealing all of your passwords with just one cyberattack. Also, because all your passwords are stored in one place, a cybercriminal might be able to collect all your private data and steal your identity as well. In that instance, your password manager has become an “All Access Pass” for hackers.

Regarding password managers, the adage “You get what you pay for” applies. There are many free managers available. However, very few of them will have sufficient cyber security to protect your passwords and other saved private data. Some of them are poorly designed apps that are “buggy” and slow down systems. Also, many cyberattacks have been launched through free password managers that are designed to look safe and professional but are really designed to facilitate a network attack.

Today’s cyberattack target landscape becomes bigger by the minute with each new connected device. Cell phones and smart devices are all vulnerable network endpoints, through which many attacks are launched. IT technology has shaped our modern way of doing business. A professionally designed, strong computer network is the essential supporting infrastructure responsible for helping companies run more smoothly, efficiently and economically.

IT Consulting Services

Your passwords are the keys to your network and private data. Employing IT experts to set up and integrate all aspects of your system, including installing robust password managers, is money well spent. In addition, new system, network and software updates, established security protocols and strong cyber defenses should be in place at all times. By having a team of qualified IT specialists to support your system and network, you will be arming your company with an IT support team. That team can plan and install your network, maintain and repair your computer hardware, train your staff, update all software when necessary and provide the best cyber security for all your devices and other network endpoints.

A Case Study to Keep You Awake at Night

The managing partner of a small restaurant chain in New York City didn’t think restaurants needed to be very concerned with cyber security. He thought hackers wouldn’t select his chain as a target. What the owner didn’t know was that his impression was flawed. The reality is that businesses that ignore cyber security make themselves the “low hanging fruit” for hackers.

Company-wide, the bookkeepers, managers and chefs used the password manager built into the company’s internet browser.

One morning, the head chef at one of the restaurants booted up their system to start her inventory and immediately found that everything was operating sluggishly. The screens were loading very slowly, and some were freezing. When the morning manager arrived, he noticed that he did not have a bank confirmation of the deposit transferred to their bank on the previous day. So he called the bank and found it had no transaction record.

The general manager arrived at the restaurant to find the system completely down. She was also greeted by a disgruntled staff and voicemails from the GMs and chefs from the other restaurants in the chain. Their restaurants opened with servers taking orders with pads and pencils, copying their tickets on a copier and handing them to the chef. The restaurant chain had never been so disorganized and inefficient. The missing bank transfer was gone, probably rerouted by the hackers.

The GM finally called in IT professionals, who got the restaurants back up and running. However, it took significant time and money to mitigate the current cyber event and create proper defenses to ensure they are less likely to be attacked in the future.

GEEK-AID® Computer and Network Support specializes in customized computer network installation, maintenance and repair for small to midsized businesses. GEEK-AID®'s team of experts is comprised of top specialists in different areas of IT services, serving clients onsite and remotely for Macs, PCs and all your connected devices, including new ones that are part of the ever-expanding IoT. They can answer all your IT questions from “How to find saved passwords on Macs?” to “When do I need to upgrade my company’s hardware?” More importantly, when your business network goes down, they will perform onsite computer repairs if required. And the GEEK-AID® team doesn't clock out at five o'clock on Friday. They are available to you 24/7, remotely or in person, to ensure your computers, network and data stay healthy and secure. As your business grows, expands its network and adds more devices such as smart controls, smart devices, wireless access and remote access, your network's cybercrime vulnerability and need for cyber security will grow, too. In addition to maintaining the hardware, software and security, employee training and regular IT support must be ongoing. New users and new devices will require additional training to use those devices efficiently. Hardware and software installation and maintenance, repair, cyber security and network protection are inter-related concerns. They must be addressed consistently and proactively to best support the seamless operation of your company.

Call (877) GEEK-AID (877-433-5243) to discuss how they can design, maintain and secure your SMB computer network, including helping you install the best password manager for your business.