Benefits of Credential Vaulting

March 02, 2022//Tori Taylor

Last Updated: June 30, 2022

Despite warnings from every cybersecurity professional, passwords are still being shared, compromised, and ineffectively managed. 66% of individuals are using the same password across devices and applications. 42% rely on sticky notes to manage passwords. And shockingly, 59% of IT professionals rely on memory to manage their corporate credentials. 

If you can’t rely on your mind to remember your grocery list, you shouldn’t be trusting it to remember your passwords. There’s inherent risk involved when credentials are poorly managed. Just take a look at the Colonial Pipeline cyber attack in 2021 that was caused by a compromised VPN password.

The most effective way to manage and protect passwords is to vault them.

 

What is Credential Vaulting?

A credential vault is a single place to store and manage all of a business’ privileged credentials. No one can see or access passwords stored in the vault.

Credential vaults are usually included as product features in access management tools, or organizations can use credential storing applications to manage their organization’s credentials on an individual or multi-user level.

 

Benefits of Credential Vaulting

  1. Credential vaulting is safe.

    Rather than writing down passwords on sticky notes or keeping a spreadsheet of all usernames and passwords, credential vaults are designed to securely store login information so only authorized users can access and use them when needed. Passwords are out of sight to anyone outside the vault, and users who need credentials must request to “check out” the credential and go through other forms of authentication like fine-grained access controls, before accessing the login information.

    Vaults can also automate password rotation so credentials can be randomized or rotated in a time-based manner (i.e. every week, month, year) so if a password is stolen, it would be invalid by the time it’s used.

  2. Credential vaulting is efficient.

    Manually tracking passwords is prone to error, risky, and time consuming. Think about how many times you have to change your password for basic applications like email accounts and social media profiles. Tracking and managing sensitive passwords to multiple accounts, potentially hundreds, that are constantly changing, is a risk no organization can afford.

  3. A credential vault simplifies processes.

     Credential vaults make the login process easier and more secure by injecting and obfuscating login information. Once a user has access to the credential, the vault will inject, or autopopulate, the password into the application or system and automatically grant access to the user.

    The password is also obfuscated and entered “behind the scenes” so the user never actually sees or knows the password, eliminating the risk of seeing or sharing the password.

 

Credential Vaulting is Crucial for Third Parties

Most PAM products have credential vaulting capabilities, especially for employees. They are built to manage less routine, high-risk access that employees have to privileged IT assets like servers, databases, systems, networks, and data. It’s an efficient and great way for organizations to manage internal privileged access for employees and monitoring sessions.

But that’s about all PAM systems can do—manage employee access policies. What PAM can’t do is manage all the access rights and policies for those who fall outside the employee user group, like third parties, vendors, and consultants. It also can’t manage user access to assets outside the IT category, like customer access and regulated information. Comprehensive critical access management is the only means to really lock down and manage all user access to critical assets.

Tools built to manage all types of access, like Enterprise Access and Customer Connect, ensure that every user—whether internal or third party—has authorized access to obfuscated credentials.

There’s no reason a third party should see passwords to the systems and applications they’re accessing. And there’s no reason your credentials should be found in the hands of an unauthorized user.

 

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