People are still choosing poor passwords. According to SplashData, which compiles a yearly report on the worst passwords, the word “password” itself was only second to the even more egregious 123456 in 2013.

Although many people expect passwords in the enterprise to be better, they aren't — not even the biggest names in tech have top-notch network security, as Sony may have taught everyone just a few months ago.

That's why Thycotic, a provider of enterprise password management software to the global SMB and enterprise space, just released Secret Server 8.8, its flagship solution for account management. Secret Server 8.8 includes improved support for Secure Shell (SSH) keys, allowing customers with large Linux or UNIX environments or network equipment to more easily manage all of their organization's secrets regardless of the platform each user is running. That's a potential benefit for companies with extremely complex networking requirements.

What Does Secret Server Do?

Secret Server 8.8's latest function is its scripting capabilities, which allows customers to manage password changes around multiple platforms such as Windows, Linux and UNIX. This is especially important for enterprise users, whose servers tend to run on Linux (by comparison, less than 1 percent of consumer PCs run on Linux).

Linux can still run well on older computers, so businesses with limited budgets can get more mileage out of their aging infrastructure. And that means Secret Server 8.8 is an option for even smaller companies who don't have the ability to invest in cutting-edge technology just yet.

Secret Server 8.8 also adds dashboard widgets that allow network administrators to customize their view into their organization's privileged accounts and to more easily address common tasks such as access approval. Access approval capabilities have also been enhanced to allow managers to establish specific dates and times when users will be granted access to a particular secret managed by the solution. This will allow employees to work during off-hours as well, increasing productivity, the company boasted.

Other functions include the ability to create, share and automatically change enterprise passwords, the ability to notify your team in real time when passwords are changed, AES 256 encryption, 100-character passwords (to keep even the most skilled hacker at bay, at least for a while) and the backing up of data in case of a hack. Secret Server 8.8 also has apps for iPhone, Android and Blackberry.

Potential Beneficiaries

The company claims Secret Server 8.8 can help manage passwords to medical records and data, which are required by law to be kept confidential, and could be useful in other companies with questionable network security.

According to Thycotic, “In addition to controlling account credentials and enforcing stronger password practices, it is important for organizations to limit risk from internal threats, such as disgruntled employees. One key solution is locking down access to company resources.”

Internal threats can be mitigated by keeping each team's focus in their own respective departments. A good example of this is making sure employees in the marketing department only have access to marketing files and cannot access payroll files. Adjusting permissions in the Active Directory (AD) can help do this. Although the IT department will make AD changes, there is also room for error. From a security standpoint, since the IT administrator is not always familiar with the complexities of each department’s AD groups, it might inadvertently assign an employee to the wrong group.

Jonathan Cogley, CEO and founder of Thycotic, said the updates ensures security with minimal effort on the part of network administrators.

Peter Koch, system administrator for Thycotic customer Dataport, said the new release is worth a try. “Thycotic supports one of the best ways of storing your key material — a network hardware security module (HSM). The smart interface allows configuration in a matter of minutes.”

You can try Secret Server 8.8 without charge for 30 days.