Pagoda Blog

How to Set Up Passportal for Your Entire Team — And Secure Your Account Credentials

September 15, 2022

A password management service allows you to securely organize and store the login credentials to all your personal and company accounts. Setting one up for your entire team is one of the cornerstones of a multi-layered cybersecurity strategy and will greatly improve the security of your company data and network. When first setting up a password management service, it’s important to check all the right boxes for optimal security and ease of use. We’ll be walking you through the basic steps for setting up the service Passportal by N-able as an admin, but these steps apply to most standard password management services. 


The basics: company setup 

When you first create an account with Passportal (or any password management service), you’ll need to select a password. Remember, this password should be a highly secure passphrase: a string of words that is easy for you to remember but would be incredibly difficult for anyone else to guess. For example, the phrase may reflect a personal experience, memory, or interest. You’ll also need to set three security questions. Again, choose questions with answers that are easy for you to remember but challenging for anyone else.  


Finally, finish entering all the details of your company. To do this, navigate to Settings → General and fill out all required company details. It will also ask you for a support email address. This refers to the address users will reach out to should they need support with their Passportal account. Once you’ve completed this section, save and continue on to Advanced Options. 


Advanced Options 

Advanced Options contains many important settings. The primary ones that we recommend for all clients include: 


- Setting a minimum password length for all users

- Setting the session timeout or the default amount of time that lapses before users are automatically logged out

- Number of login attempts before lockout — we typically recommend a maximum of 4 attempts 

- Hide unassigned Folders from users — if a user doesn’t have access to a folder, this setting will ensure they can’t see the blocked folder

- Password generation rules: Define allowed special characters (this also includes numbers, lowercase and uppercase letters) using the Special Character Input field


These advanced options will make your Passportal account far more secure because they ensure all team members are following the same password policy and login protocol. As you decide on items like password length and password generation rules, refer to these 6 password best practices.


Enable multi-factor authentication 

Multi-factor authentication uses a combination of something you know, something you have, and something you are to verify account access. While it’s not required by Passportal to set up MFA, it is highly recommended, especially since your password management service guards all your account credentials and potentially other highly sensitive company and personal data. 


To set up MFA in Passportal, follow these steps laid out in Passportal’s user guide. Passportal offers two forms of MFA: Duo, a push notification method, or TOTP authentication, a method that relies on an authenticator app. 


Start adding passwords 

Passportal is designed so that your IT services provider can manage your credentials for you. This means, your provider will typically be the one to import your credentials, create folders, and maintain good password hygiene. You can import your own data, however, with a CSV template following these instructions. Now is a good time to also review your accounts’ passwords, strengthen weak ones and ensure you aren’t reusing passwords across multiple accounts. 


Create users and assign permission levels  

Once you have your account credentials imported into Passportal, it’s time to start creating users, e.g. adding all your team members. Once you’ve added your team, you’ll need to assign permission levels to each user and/or you can create security groups to do this for multiple users at a time (see below). 


The primary permission levels are Admin, Manager, and Technician. Each level has enabled permissions that determine what that user can see and do in the system. There are 5 default permissions with preset allowances, but you can add new permissions based on your organization’s unique needs. As you’re assigning permissions to users, refer to Passportal’s Permissions Level Guide to help you determine what levels of access are appropriate for each team member. 


Assigning appropriate permission levels is key to protecting your company’s data. Limiting who has access to each account greatly reduces the number of entry points for cybercriminals, mitigating the risk of a cyberattack. A password management service makes it easy for you to see at a glance who has access to what. This is helpful when offboarding an employee and revoking access as well as pinpointing vulnerabilities within your network.  


Create security groups

A security group clusters team members together with the same permission levels for particular folders within your Company Vault. A security group is helpful especially for larger teams with multiple departments where the entire HR team, for example, may need access to a cluster of Folders that contain credentials necessary for their work. You can both assign and remove users’ permission levels within a security group.  


The key components of a password management service

As you’re setting up Passportal or another password management service, keep in mind that there are several key components you should activate with your service:


- Clearly defined permission levels for each team member or groups of team members

- A robust password policy that all team members must comply with

- Two- or multi-factor authentication for the password management service, and all company accounts 


If you have questions about setting up or fully leveraging a password management service for your business, don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our expert IT service professionals. 


Feature photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash


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