How poor password practices reduce productivity and threaten security

Hypersocket Software has released its latest report for businesses on how poor password practices in the workplace can reduce employee productivity, threaten security and increase the need for IT intervention.

Drawing on research conducted in the UK, Hypersocket’s whitepaper highlights the pain points created for both employees and enterprises from the use of multiple passwords to access work-related apps and systems and how Sign-On (SSO) technology can help solve these challenges.

The report highlights that multiple passwords:

– Impact on user convenience and productivity 60% of employees log in to between two and five different work apps and just over a quarter (26%) log in to more than five different systems each with different passwords. This means simply logging in each day can be a time consuming process. For two-thirds it can take up to five minutes and for a frustrated 17% it takes even longer.

– Increase the need for IT intervention – just 6% use a Password Manager to store and organize their passwords and a quarter still have to contact an IT helpdesk to reset them.

– Create a security risk juggling numerous passwords means 40% of employees use techniques to remember them that are not secure. Nearly one in five people (19%) admitted to writing their passwords down. A further 21% routinely use obvious, easy to guess passwords such as their children’s or spouse’s names.

“Tough access control requirements mean that, understandably, most enterprise systems require a password to grant users access. Employees’ juggling multiple logins and the knock on effect on security, productivity and the need for greater IT intervention is a problem for businesses regardless of where they are based.”

He adds: “But it’s a problem with a straightforward solution. Implementing Single Sign-On technology can mean the difference between breach and security, inefficiency and productivity. For employees one-click sign in is the difference between inconvenience and accessibility, working harder or working smarter.”

The report sets out three essential components of a Single Sign-On Solution. Password Manager software to store, manage and populate passwords so that users can securely access accounts with one-click login. A Self-service solution so that users can reset passwords and unlock accounts without calling the IT helpdesk. Finally, a SAML Server, a protocol that allows users to be authenticated and authorized without the need to input additional credentials and which keeps password authentication within an organizations own infrastructure.

Concludes Lee: “Whatever the future with trends such as biometric passwords, it’s probable that the traditional password will remain a key security layer for the foreseeable future and so continue to create pain points for employees. Poor password practices and weak management of identities will continue to make enterprises vulnerable and create a route for hackers and malicious insiders to breach systems.”