The number of accounts and passwords that business users need to manage has grown exponentially. This isn’t a challenge just for large enterprises, either. Today’s SMB users have accumulated a staggering number of accounts that are essential in their day-to-day work lives.
As more and more workflows have come to rely on network and cloud resources, password management has moved beyond being just a convenience for large organizations. Each one of those username and password combinations represents a potential point of compromise that must be secured. Reliable business password management software locks down this vulnerability.
When it comes to choosing a suitable password management tool for your business, the bench is pretty stacked! Read on for our take on why password managers are so important, the top five password solutions for SMB and enterprise use and their pros and cons. We hope it’ll help you make an informed decision about which service makes the most sense for your organization.
Password managers combat significant threats
More than 70% of users recycle some or all of their passwords between business accounts ↗. Not only that, 86% of users will continue to use passwords that were already exposed during a prior data breach ↗.
Business-grade password management software can be an effective solution to this problem. However, many of the options on the market are geared towards forgetful consumer users. What might be a good consumer password manager might not be the best fit in a business network environment. Broadly speaking, business users should look for a service that offers at least:
- Encrypted password storage
- Support for multi-factor authentication (password plus another authentication method)
- Rapid user onboarding
- Easy-to-use user features
- Easy-to-use management features
Regardless, sorting through all of the different password managers on the market can be challenging. Looking for recommendations? Our top five options include LastPass, 1Password, NordPass, DashLane and Keeper. We cover their pros, cons and pricing below.
The top 5 password managers for business
LastPass is probably our favorite business and enterprise-grade password manager. It offers a comprehensive mix of some of the most sought-after password control features, such as:
- Single sign-on (SSO) and multi-factor authentication (MFA) support
- End-to-end encryption and TLS support
- A security audit utility that inventories your password database to identify weak and duplicate passwords
- Emergency access controls
- Automated complex password generation
- Profile syncing
Features are accessed through an intuitive interface for both regular users and system administrators. The management dashboard gives you instant insights into how your business’s entire user base is securing their passwords.
- Broad support for all major desktop and mobile OS
- Cloud-based with minimal local configuration
- Comprehensive business feature set
- Intuitive interface
- Automated password rotation
- Offers a built-in authenticator app for MFA
- Free 14-day trial
- Limitations in the free trial version
- Higher-end plans are more expensive than the competition (but make up for it with more features)
LastPass ↗ offers a free, personal version to try out, as well as a 14-day trial of its business plan. Business plans start at $3/user/month.
1Password ↗ is designed to be an easy-to-use, scalable option for team-based password management. The app syncs passwords across all devices, so users can access stored passwords no matter which browser or device they’re trying to use. All passwords are securely managed in an encrypted database which can only be accessed with two-factor authentication.
1Password offers a wide range of business features. Administrators can manage passwords at every level of the organization and issue account recovery tokens if a password is lost or forgotten. 1Password also offers a Travel Mode, so password vaults can be temporarily added or removed from a mobile device when a user takes it on the road.
- Solid integration options for both Active Directory and Slack
- Detailed activity and usage logs for administrators
- Easy to create new, strong passwords
- Browser extension needs further development to be useful
- No password-inheritance features for groups with high turnover
- Limited import options
- Higher starting price point for business users
- Lack of tiered business plans
1Password ↗ business plans start at $7.99/user/month, and a free trial is available. Users looking for advanced features can receive a custom quote for the enterprise plan.
NordPass ↗ makes a solid case for being the best entry-level contender among business password managers. It is easy to use but still offers a substantial range of security and management features. It is designed to provide high-level encryption and security without the need to understand IT security architecture.
- Affordable price
- Ease of use
- Biometric authentication available in its authenticator app
- OCR scanning for credit card information and other vitals
- Fewer administrative controls and business integration options
NordPass ↗ offers a single-tier business plan at $3.59/user/month. Buyers can self-checkout without needing to work with sales staff for up to 250 users.
DashLane ↗ is another strong contender. Its main selling point is its robust AES 256-bit encryption and MFA options. Its management dashboard still offers a strong mix of features and reporting options.
DashLane’s pricing puts it firmly in the middle of the pack, which might actually count as a negative. It is neither the most cost-effective option nor the most complete option on the market.
- Strong encryption
- Easy-to-use interface
- Powerful management dashboard
- Limited pricing plans
DashLane ↗ offers two business plans at $5/user/month and $8/user/month.
Rounding out our top five is Keeper ↗, which is yet another strong option many SMBs should consider. It offers Business and Enterprise plans. Users can create individual password vaults and share them with authorized teammates.
Both the user and administrator interfaces are clean and intuitive. Administrators can perform in-depth audits of user actions and monitor for any issues. Keeper also offers outstanding customer support as well as many tutorial videos and self-support articles.
- Simple but powerful interface
- Strong, zero-knowledge security
- A broad range of administrative features included
- Some features are only available as paid add-ons, which can drive up per-user pricing
Keeper ↗ business plans start at $3.75/user/month, with custom enterprise pricing also available.
The right password manager is out there
These are just five of the best—in our opinion!—business password managers on the market today. While we all have our preferences, seeing some strong options compared side-by-side should give you a better sense of which one will work best for your business. No matter what your specific needs are, the right business password manager is out there! If you’re looking for additional guidance about password managers or business best practices for cybersecurity, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.