Office workers often sacrifice data security for convenience, survey says

In addition, 52% of the office workers admit to sharing log-in details with colleagues, while 23% still have access to log-in details from previous employment, according to a survey of over 1,000 office workers and 500 IT professionals conducted by Harris Interactive for Quest Software.

The survey found that 28% of office workers must remember more than five passwords at work, and 26% have to change each password once a month or more often.

IT professionals must manage on average of nine separate passwords: 36% said that the number of identities that they have to manage makes it difficult to perform their job, and 51% agree that managing employee access to systems is inefficient.

IT help desks report that over one-quarter of employee queries are access related, wasting a significant amount of time and resources, according to the Quest survey.

“Whether employees write down password details, or it takes IT administrators a few days to restrict access after an employee has left the organization, the security risk this opens whether in a hospital, local government or bank is vast,” explains Joe Baguley, chief technologist for Europe and the Middle East at Quest Software.

More than half of IT professionals surveyed are increasingly concerned about insider threats to network security in their company’s current infrastructure, 90% agree that companies need to do more to manage and protect users’ electronic identities, and 80% recognize that a single log-in and password for all the network systems, applications, and websites would make their job easier.

“In these days of austerity, identity and access management can be simplified and the benefits of doing so can only add to the productivity of employees and IT professionals alike, while also reducing the headache”, Baguley said.

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