According to a recent survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Quest Software, U.S. workers and IT professionals agree that multiple passwords, used to access everything from websites to business applications such as HR or CRM systems, now make it more difficult for employees to get their jobs done.
More than 60 percent of those polled said that while companies are strengthening password complexity policies, the need to manage multiple passwords is a burden. In fact, 28 percent of U.S. white collar workers said that they must remember more than five passwords for work, while IT professionals must manage, on average, nine separate passwords. The result of password overload is added workplace stress and feelings of frustration when workers can’t access a system due to a lost password. Fifty-nine percent said they become stressed or angry when they lose a password or get locked out of program at work.
From a security perspective, 10 percent of IT professionals said they can still access accounts and systems associated with a prior job. This access increases an organization’s risk of threats that could take down the entire infrastructure, all because a former employee’s access was not terminated.
Click through for results from a Quest Software study on the current state of identity management.
Twenty-eight percent of white collar workers say they have to remember more than five passwords just for work, and 26 percent reported they have to change each password they need for work at least once a month. Fifty-nine percent say they become stressed or angry when they can’t access a system needed for work due to a lost password.
IT professionals agree that employees are overloaded by the number of passwords needed for work. Sixty-three percent say they are expected to remember too many passwords. Sixty-one percent feel that although companies are strengthening password policies (through more complex passwords, etc.), this makes it more difficult for employees to get their jobs done.
On average, IT professionals have to remember nine unique passwords just for work.
Workers also report feelings of annoyance and frustration about the extensive number of logins and passwords they have to manage for work:
- 38 percent feel annoyed
- 24 percent feel indifferent
- 22 percent feel frustrated
- 19 percent feel unconcerned
Twenty-nine percent of workers admit the quality of their work has suffered due to password overload; some even say they’ve missed meetings and deadlines. Forty-three percent feel demoralized when they can’t complete work because they can’t access a necessary system due to password overload.
Sixty-five percent of workers contact the help desk or IT department at least once per month when they can’t access a system needed for work.
Fifty-two percent of workers say they have shared their login information with others. Of that:
- 28 percent with co-workers
- 26 percent with IT
- 16 percent with boss
- 10 percent with spouse or significant other
Ninety-four percent say it is important to be able to manage access, user identities and passwords quickly and efficiently, but only three in 10 IT professionals reported their companies have IAM solutions that allow them to see all access users have across systems. Thirty-four percent say their company doesn’t realize the value of IAM technology as an integral part of their arsenal of security tools.
Eighty-eight percent of IT professionals say it’s essential that companies move to a more security-focused approach when dealing with how users are given access to systems. Eighty-six percent say IAM technologies make accessing information like databases, applications, systems, and websites easier and more efficient.
One in 10 IT professionals admits they have accounts from previous jobs from which they still can access systems even after they’ve left the organization.