Your Secrets Should Be Safe with Zoho Vault




Both individuals and businesses are becoming increasingly overwhelmed by passwords, because passwords are still the dominant form of user authentication. To manage their burgeoning password portfolios (especially those passwords that must change every once in a while due to corporate practices) users have developed poor practices by storing passwords in spreadsheets, text documents, and other volatile and vulnerable sources. To make things worse, they share them without protection, and they reuse mnemonic passwords that are easy to remember and thus are usually weak.

Soon after announcing Zoho Pulse, a social networking software, Zoho announced Zoho Vault, a secure (as its name suggests) online password manager for teams and businesses. Zoho Vault establishes a central repository that offers data privacy for companies that want to store, organize, manage, and safely share their passwords, online credentials, financial records, and other sensitive information. In addition, the Zoho Vault iPhone app lets users access passwords anywhere, any time, even when there is no Internet connection (via a secure offline access mechanism for passwords and sensitive information).

How Zoho Vault Works
Zoho Vault offers secure password and data storage and complete data privacy, as passwords are encrypted with the latest encryption standard, AES-256. The passphrase, which the user enters to access Zoho Vault, is used as an encryption key but is not stored anywhere on the Zoho Vault server or on the user’s computer or iPhone. The Zoho Vault server holds only encrypted data, and the passphrase never leaves the user’s browser. As a result, the user’s passwords and information remain completely private and can only be viewed by the user.

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Zoho Vault Chambers


Zoho Vault can be used by businesses of all sizes and types, including small to medium businesses (SMBs), enterprises, online marketing firms, Web professionals, and IT teams that are struggling with shared passwords. Any business that has a set of people sharing passwords to access Web applications (finance, marketing, product development teams, etc.) can use Zoho Vault to adopt secure practices around password sharing. See here for more details. Businesses can use Zoho Vault to securely share passwords among trusted members of their organization, and different access privileges can be assigned to different users. The sharing process has been designed to follow the highest levels of information security and privacy standards. Sharing can be enabled or revoked in real time just by a single click.

To automate the Web app login sequence, Zoho Vault features a direct, one-click login mechanism. Users are never required to type or copy and paste passwords to login to Web sites or applications. Instead, they can launch direct connections to all of their Web sites and applications from the Zoho Vault interface, without even viewing the password. Grouping of passwords and secrets for better access and management, clearly defined ownership for all passwords, comprehensive audit trails for all user actions, and two-factor authentication for increased security are some other capabilities of the offering.

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Zoho Vault Dashboard 


Pricing and Alternatives 
The free Personal Edition is for personal use and it currently has all the features that are in the paid Enterprise Edition, except the ability to share/collaborate with other users. The paid Zoho Vault edition is designed for business use, where passwords and other sensitive information must be shared among people in a team without compromising security. An iPhone app is also available for the Professional Edition. See here for more details. Zoho sees LastPass and Passpack as the two established close competitors of Zoho Vault, while there are many upcoming enterprise password management offerings, such as Password Manager Pro by ManageEngine and RSA Password Engine.
 
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