The Bitwarden Blog
Password Management Deployment Strategies - A guide for the c-suite and beyond
Password management is people management. The most successful company-wide deployments for password managers involve a curated rollout that works for all parties. When considering your own deployment, here are a few strategies we have seen be successful at companies around the world.
This approach prioritizes users with potentially higher risk profiles, identifying your company's most critical people and assets. Supporting the executive team's need for a password management solution provides them security but also an understanding of employee credential management. Awareness and adoption of good password management practices, from the executive level and on, drives faster adoption throughout the company.
Some password managers with flexible sharing capabilities allow executives to conveniently share credentials with their assistants, while maintaining robust security.
Knowledge workers tend to have the most interaction with online services and the need to share secure credentials with colleagues. Focusing on this group leads to adoption across a range of use cases, and often sets examples for others within the company to follow.
Companies with device-specific approaches to laptops or smartphones might align their deployment strategy to one of these groups. If your company empowers employees with their own devices to work, they will need to store credentials related to device applications and workflows. Password managers ensure those credentials remain end-to-end encrypted.
Field technicians often rely on client credentials to do their job. Consider the service people who maintain and repair mission critical equipment at operational facilities. In these cases, resolving issues quickly takes precedence over encryption, and scenarios for insecure sharing can pop up.
Empowering service technicians with a password manager ensures that they can retain client credentials safely with end-to-end encryption. For clients who do not have the ability to share encrypted credentials with service technicians, they could also use the capabilities of direct secure transmissions with Bitwarden Send.
When physical equipment or machinery require credential logins, password managers safely store and share those credentials within a team.
For example, the single machine operating with a non-internet connected laptop may have unique passwords that need to be updated on occasion. Administrators can maintain password assignment, and make sure only authorized users such as operational technicians have access, potentially through their mobile phones and using a passphrase, which can be easily read and entered manually.
Certain departments may have a greater need for secure storing and sharing of credentials. In these cases, a departmental rollout might make sense. Often companies begin with IT or engineering teams, but other departments such as finance and marketing may have similar requirements for password management.
Building security-minded champions across the company helps jumpstart a larger effort. For example, begin with a wide announcement of the deployment, but a staggered rollout starting with opt-in champions first. These champions will help facilitate broader company adoption.
Make the deployment fun as well. Bitwarden has several videos to help build enthusiasm for the product in a playlist, Bitwarden videos to introduce employee training.
When deploying Bitwarden, customers discover an initiative that positively impacts all aspects of the business from the company executives to IT teams to employees.
C-level executives appreciate that employees have access to password management and cybersecurity best practices. They also want to protect themselves , and share in the management of their secure credentials. Finally, C-level executives welcome an initiative that their IT teams and employees already believe in.
IT appreciates the open source architecture and engaged community around Bitwarden. To help IT teams fit password management into their own workflows, Bitwarden supports a range of programmatic options through a fully featured command line interface and a powerful API. Bitwarden also develops on GitHub where IT teams can see detailed software specifics. Furthering a commitment to openness and transparency, all Bitwarden documentation is available at bitwarden.com/help.
Employees appreciate a solution that helps them be more secure and productive. In particular, many users are happy to know that Bitwarden has a global community with an application translated into more than 40 languages. Bitwarden users value the overall company mission to bring password security to everyone, including a free version that individuals can use at home. When employees are already using a free and open source solution they love in their personal lives, it becomes natural for teams and businesses to start adopting it as well.
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