Let’s start with the basics: defining an enterprise password vault. An enterprise password management vault is the password management storage repository (essentially, the backbone of a password manager) owned and managed by an enterprise and shared with its employees as members of the organization. A vault is used to store items securely, such as passwords, usernames, logins, company credit cards, colleague mailing items or phone numbers, and secure text items.
The Bitwarden password management vault offers Collections, which allow employees to share items between themselves. These can be thought of as shared folders. Similar to file folders, these Collections will sometimes be given names based on a department or area of responsibility.
Utilizing an enterprise-wide password manager is always a good decision. Some of the benefits include:
Preventing unauthorized access to internal systems via weak or stolen passwords, which in turn can can cause financial, reputational, and in some cases, legal damage
Mitigating risky employee password behavior, such as password reuse and over-reliance on unreliable memory
Offering security outside of SSO. While SSO is a popular way for businesses to centralize access control for critical applications, services, and tools, not all SaaS applications support SSO, which means organizations still have to manage access control through individual logins
Ultimately, password managers are critical for empowering your team to stay safe online. Cyberattacks can be minimized or prevented by proper password management use. Phishing attacks, for example, can be prevented with a password manager - a phishing scam might trick an employee into clicking on a malicious link, but it can’t trick a password manager.
Within organizations, the needs for centralized and shared resources can be resolved with a password manager - the only way for employees to secure sensitive information within an end-to-end encrypted vault. Which brings us back to the topic at hand: how enterprise password vaults can strengthen security for organizations throughout the entire employee lifecycle.
It is in an organization’s best interest to onboard employees quickly and efficiently. However, the onboarding process - for employer and employee alike - can be overwhelming, especially from a credentials standpoint. While larger companies might grant access to enterprise-wide systems, including options for SSO, credentials likely go well beyond this scope. The absence of a password vault means credentials are probably being shared via email, unsecure documents, messaging apps or verbally between colleagues. In fact, the Bitwarden 2023 Password Decisions Survey revealed 41% of respondents share passwords via email and 38% via online documents. It makes sense, then, to introduce a password manager early on in the onboarding process to set the stage for more secure password habits and minimize onboarding friction.
In dynamic, growing organizations, members of any given team may shift, requiring a transition in software ownership or updating user access levels. With a password vault in place, transitioning employees into new groups with new shared folders or updating role access is a fairly seamless process. For example, when Bitwarden customer RMWBH PC needs to distribute cases between paralegals, the handoff can happen without needing to reconfigure access. Instead, the management of over 10,000 passwords is automated across a series of Collections that enables automatic distribution. For organizations without password managers, this might be done in a manual and cumbersome fashion: changing all the passwords to shared logins via a spreadsheet or internal messaging app. The better option is via an enterprise password vault, which can securely reassign access making your team more efficient and your business safer.
As mentioned above, the Bitwarden vault stores multiple items: logins (including usernames and passwords), cards (credit or debit card information), identities (billing, mailing, and other info), and secure notes (encrypted freeform text for anything you might want protected). Files can also be attached to vault items from any Bitwarden app. For those wishing to share files - particularly private or sensitive files - employees have the option of utilizing Bitwarden Send. Bitwarden Send is a secure and ephemeral way to transmit text up to 1,000 encrypted characters or files up to 500 MB (or 100 MB on mobile). Every Send is given a randomly generated and secure link, which can be shared with anyone (including those who do not have Bitwarden accounts) via text, email, or whatever communication channel you prefer. Those who want to take it a step further can configure a password for Send access or hide their email address from recipients for added security.