The most common gripe I hear about cloud software is how many times a user needs to log into various apps each morning. And thanks to timeout logouts for security reasons, they often have to log back in throughout the day as well.
You might be surprised to know the actual number of logins and re-logins happening in your business. There can be dozens for each user.
How do you remember all those login combinations?
Clearly it’s not a good idea to save username and password credentials in a web browser; and many apps don’t allow that for security reasons. You don’t want anyone with access to your computer to be able to log in to your databases, accounting and financial data, website platform and so on.
A common approach – I see these in other offices all the time – are sticky notes! Usernames and passwords are stuck to monitors and cubicle walls.
Apart from the security issues of multiple logins, there is the basic inconvenience of having to key in usernames and passwords time and time again. It can drive you batty.
If your business uses cloud-based apps and you are not using a password management tool, you don’t know what you’re missing. And you are frustrating your team needlessly.
Once you begin using one, you will look back and wonder how you ever managed without it. Seriously.
Some of the best known password and login management tools include, LastPass, 1Password, Roboform and Okta. 1Password is for individuals, whereas the other platforms have enterprise-level plans and functions.
The benefit and convenience to your team members is that when they open their web browser of a morning, they only have to log in once to the password management tool. All subsequent logins are either totally automated or semi-automated so that fields are pre-filled and the user just needs to click to confirm the login.
Automated logins are a sight to behold – the username and password just gets entered in for them, and the submit button clicked, all within a fraction of a second.
Each time a login happens automatically it makes me smile. Just a little. I do not miss the mutiple logins one little bit!
On a site-by-site basis you can decide whether the password management tool will auto-login, or just autofill the fields, or perhaps require the master password to be re-entered (for example, on your internet banking or accounting software).
With an enterprise-level plan you can create and disable users from a central admin login. This control is essential for any business. When a team member leaves your organisation you can switch off their access to all apps in one step, within 30 seconds. Easy. And secure.
You can also create shared folders to easily and securely share logins for sites with other staff. Changes to the shared folder are synchronised automatically and access controls can be set on an individual basis (read-only, hide passwords, and so on). By hiding the passwords, the team member never gets to know an app’s password. This means they can’t write the password on a sticky note and take it with them when they leave your business.
Rather than give a new team member 17 different website logins, you just give them access to the shared folder and bam, they have them in one step.
New employees will never have to repeatedly ask, “What’s our login to this site?” as they gradually access the full range of apps in your ecosystem.
The password management tools also have mobile apps to make logging in on your smartphone and tablet easy too.
Some criticisms of password management tools are that the one ‘master password’ that a user has to login actually increases risk, because if an unauthorised person gets access to that, it gives them access to all sites, in one step.
To mitigate this risk you can implement multi-factor authorisation. This means that the single password is not enough, and that another piece of information presented on another device is required as a second step in order to login. See Okta’s explanation of multi-factor authentication and LastPass has options for multi-factor authentication using your iPhone.
We use LastPass at Practice Paradox. To give you an idea of how many logins it saves us doing each day, I can see looking in the admin panel as I write this that yesterday LastPass enabled 92 logins. We’re only a team of four people so that’s 23 logins each, on average.
That’s a lot of time saved and a lot of little smiles.