Cybersecurity Update: There’s No Need to Share Passwords on Microsoft Office 365
Many employees share passwords with other team members, often forgetting that doing so can have serious consequences. Consider these statistics:
- 81% of data breaches in 2020 were due to poor password security
- 42% of people share their work log-in credentials with their teammates
- 61% of users are more likely to share their work passwords than personal passwords
- 34% of business users share passwords to reduce the cost of user-limited applications
Password sharing increases an organization’s susceptibility to expensive and disruptive cyber attacks. It could also compromise individual account security; hackers can conduct questionable activities using a particular account, leading to the account’s suspension or termination.
On Microsoft Office 365, however, it’s no longer necessary to share passwords to provide access to a corporate email account. IT administrators need only provide access permissions.
Let’s say a member of the marketing team, Michael Scott, needs to access email@example.com and respond to customer feedback there. Microsoft Office 365 allows the IT administrator to create settings that will enable Michael to access that email after logging in to his own Microsoft Office 365 account, firstname.lastname@example.org.
It means Michael uses his log-in, including his 2-Factor authentication step, to see the emails that have come into email@example.com. He can respond as needed using his email address or with firstname.lastname@example.org. He does not need to borrow the credentials of other team members to be able to do so.
Here’s another scenario where granting access permissions does away with the need for password sharing. Sharon Jones is a busy executive for company.com and cannot keep up with all the emails flowing into the email@example.com inbox. She would like one of her team’s administrative assistants to manage the inbox on her behalf.
An IT administrator can grant access to the assistant for the executive’s inbox. The assistant can log in to set up meetings, respond to queries, and accept invitations on the executive’s behalf. The assistant then can respond to emails on behalf of Sharon or as Sharon herself.
In both scenarios, there are no passwords are written down, emailed, or texted for sharing. It is a more secure way to give different people access to an email account.
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