The term password management software actually has two meanings, depending on context:
- In the context of consumer software, it normally refers to software that stores a series of passwords, for example to multiple web sites, on behalf of a single person.
- In the context of enterprise information technology -- i.e., automation used by organizations of 1000 or more people -- it refers to software that can synchronize, reset and unlock passwords on behalf of users on a variety of on-premises and cloud-hosted systems and applications.
Focusing on the enterprise: Users have too many passwords used to sign into different systems and applications. Users respond to this complexity by:
- Avoiding password changes,
- choosing simple passwords,
- writing down their passwords or
- forgetting passwords.
This creates real business problems:
- Inconvenience for users,
- security compromises and
- high help desk call volumes.
Users may also have smart cards or tokens that users unlock with a PIN (which they will occasionally forget). They may also use security questions in some contexts or a password to unlock an encrypted drive on their PC. Some users use biometrics, such as finger prints, voice prints or face recognition to sign into systems or applications. Users may experience login problems with any of these credentials.
Increasingly, users sign into cloud-hosted SaaS applications, where single-factor (password-only) authentication is simply not strong enough to protect critical systems that are accessible to attackers via a public URL.
Hitachi ID Password Manager is a complete solution for managing passwords and other credentials, intended for users in a medium to large enterprise. It includes self service password reset features, Active Directory integration and Self-Service -- a set of capabilities that enable self-service even anywhere -- including from pre-boot, from the Windows login prompt and while away from the office.