How Remote Teams Can Securely Share Passwords

Remote collaboration isn’t always easy. When your team is physically separated, perhaps across time zones or continents, even basic communication can be challenging. You can’t simply shout across a room with a quick question or ask someone to stop by your desk for an impromptu meeting. To keep everyone working efficiently, especially when they’re remote, it’s essential to be able to share key information quickly and securely. Even something as simple as sharing a password can not only pose a major inconvenience, it can also be a major security risk if teams don’t have the right tools in place to facilitate quick, safe sharing of account logins.  

Why teams need secure password sharing  

In most workplaces, certain account passwords and login information will need to be shared among two or more employees. Perhaps the company only purchased one license to a specific app or one subscription to an academic journal. Or maybe the hot new social media network doesn’t support multi-admin features. Or even the company Wi-Fi network login needs to be disseminated to both employees and visitors.  

These are just a few examples of the hundreds of situations in which employees find themselves needing to share sensitive login information. In the absence of an IT-approved way to do so, people will invariably resort to insecure password sharing methods. They will email the information, send a text message or WhatsApp message, or send it over Slack. They’ll build spreadsheets or shared Google documents full of passwords in plain text. People will always find the quickest, easiest option. 

Unfortunately, those options are also very insecure. They leave IT with no visibility into who is sharing passwords to which accounts. There is no accountability at the individual level, so any unauthorized access can’t be tied to any specific individuals. There’s no way of knowing if someone who has left the organization, or any third-party contractors, still have access to a shared password. It’s also inefficient, with people having to manually search for passwords, and perhaps write them down somewhere to remember them for next time. Plus, those sharing methods make it much easier for an opportunistic hacker to find unencrypted passwords. In short, password sharing is a productivity and security challenge that businesses need to address head on, especially when they have employees working remotely. 

How LastPass facilitates secure sharing 

A password manager like LastPass enables teams to quickly and securely share account logins With a few clicks, a shared password can be synced to a given employee. Shared usernames and passwords appear in an employee’s vault, and credentials are filled automatically as they got to log in to the shared account.  

LastPass offers several password sharing features to support teams, especially those working remotely: 

  • Share with individuals or groups: Password sharing with LastPass offers flexibility and scalability for teams of all types. Individuals can share passwords one-on-one, or with a group of people. The sharing center makes it easy for an employee to see who they have shared passwords with, and who has shared with them. 
  • Share one password or many: Credentials can be shared one at a time or can be grouped into a folder that can be shared all at once with others. Folders are a convenient way to share all relevant logins either by project, by team, or by department. 
  • Hide passwords or make them visible: Shared passwords can be masked in LastPass so that an employee can’t see or edit the password. Hidden passwords offer a layer of security, especially when working with temporary contractors or third-party vendors. 
  • Generate random passwords for shared accounts: With a password manager, a built-in password generator can create long, randomized passwords for every single account login. Because the password manager remembers and enters all passwords for the employee, it doesn’t matter how difficult the password is, and the same goes for shared accounts. Having a different password for every account reduces the risk of unauthorized access and data breach. 
  • Admin visibility into shared passwords: LastPass offers managers and IT visibility into who has access to which passwords, and how they are being shared. Admins even have the ability to change a shared password, or quickly revoke access if needed. 
  • Control shared passwords with policies: At the company level, policies give IT control over how passwords are used and safeguard access to password-protected accounts. Admins can mandate stronger password hygiene, including for shared accounts.  

Learn more about how LastPass facilitates secure password sharing: