I personally have about 20 accounts (my personal user id on lots of machines). For shared "system" accounts, there are about 45 per environment; development, test, and production. I have access to 2 of those, so my personal total is somewhere around 115 accounts. Passwords have to be at least 15 characters with some extensive but standard complexity constraints, and have to be changed every 60 days or so (system accounts every year). They also should not be the same for different accounts, but that isn't enforced. Think DoD-type standards. There is no way to remember and keep up with this. It just isn't humanly possible, as far as I'm concerned.
This might be a good justification of a centralized account management system, a la LDAP or ActiveDirectory, but that is a totally different battle.
Currently the solution is an Excel spreadsheet. They use Excel to put a password on it, and then most people make a copy and remove the password. This makes my stomach turn.
I use KeePass for this problem and it manages all of my account very well. I like the features like auto-typing, grouping, plugins, password generation, etc. It uses AES-256 encryption via the .Net framework, and while not FIPS compliant, it has a very good reputation.
The only problem is that they don't allow us using randomly downloaded software. So we have to justify every piece of software on our workstations. I have been told that they really don't want me to use this, because of the "sensitive nature" of storing passwords. sigh My justification has to be "VERY VERY strong".
I have been tasked with writing a justification for KeePass, I would like any input that I can get from the community. What do you recommend? Is there something out there that is better or more respected than KeePass? Is there any security experts saying interesting things on this topic? Anything will help at this point. Thanks.