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June 23, 2011

Enterprise Password Management: How Securely Are Your Sensitive Files Stored?

By David Sims, TMCnet Contributing Editor


In a majority of cases, many IT administration teams have plenty of sensitive files that are not securely stored. This probably includes private key files, SSL certificates, network configuration information in Word Documents / Excel and the like. TMCnet recently featured an article discussing how the issue of enterprise password management is growing in importance, as some companies have already learned their lesson the hard way for not focusing more attention on this issue.

Since these files are often stored on individual engineer workstations, or are stored on a file server somewhere, can you really guarantee who has access to these files? How well can you control who sees the information and who doesn’t? Are they being backed up?  Has anyone taken copies?  What should be changed when staff leave? How long after termination does an employee still have access to the files?

Software vendor Thycotic has multiple products that can help with maintaining business and professional security.

The company allows for a way to easily manage multiple users passwords included in Group Password Management, which offers products to allow administrators to assign users to groups and manage them using the Group feature: “One user can be assigned to multiple groups, and different permissions can be attributed to each group,” Thycotic’s website states.

What you need and what your IT admin team needs is a secure vault to store sensitive files because this also controls who can access those files, and you can then audit when they are viewed and changed.

A product called Secret Server might be able to help here. It has customizable templates that can store any type of data – including files. The advantage should be obvious here: It can ensure that these files are kept in a secure encrypted vault with access only to those who need it and full auditing over what happens to them. Instead of just wondering who’s accessing what files when, wouldn’t it be much better to control and audit who does?


Jamie Epstein is a TMCnet Web Editor. Previously she interned at News 12 Long Island as a reporter's assistant. After working as an administrative assistant for a year, she joined TMC (News - Alert) as a Web editor for TMCnet. Jamie grew up on the North Shore of Long Island and holds a bachelor's degree in mass communication with a concentration in broadcasting from Five Towns College. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jamie Epstein