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Yubico research reveals 69% of employees share passwords with colleagues

Yubico research reveals 69% of employees share passwords with colleagues

Enterprise SecurityTop Stories

Yubico, the leading provider of hardware authentication security keys, has announced the results of the company’s 2019 State of Password and Authentication Security Behaviors Report, conducted by the Ponemon Institute, which surveyed 1,761 IT and IT security practitioners in the US, UK, Germany and France.

The survey found that despite concerns over privacy and protection online and a greater understanding of best security practices, individuals and businesses are still falling short, and need solutions that offer both added security and convenience.

Key findings from this research include:

  • A total of 63% of respondents said they are more concerned about the privacy and security of their personal data than two years ago. The leading reason for concerns about privacy (cited by 59%) was growing worries over government snooping, compared to ‘I know someone who had a data breach’ (35%).
  • Vulnerabilities created by poor password and authentication practices lead to attacks such as phishing. More than half of respondents (51%) said they have experienced a phishing attack in their personal life, while 44% had had a phishing attack at work. However, 57% of those who had experienced a phishing attack did not change their password behaviours.
  • A total of 69% of respondents admitted they had shared passwords with colleagues in the workplace and 51% reuse an average of five passwords across their business and personal accounts. Two-factor authentication is not widely used: 55% do not use it at work and 67% do not use it for personal accounts.
  • On average, respondents report having to spend an average of 12.6 minutes each week, or 10.9 hours per year, entering or resetting passwords. Based on the average company size (15,000 employees) in the study, the estimated cost of productivity per organisation averages US$5.2 million annually.

“For decades, passwords have been the primary method of authentication used to protect data and accounts from unauthorised access. However, this multi-country research illustrates the difficulties associated with proper password hygiene,” said Stina Ehrensvard, CEO and Founder, Yubico.

“With every new password breach that we see, it’s become increasingly clear that new security approaches are needed to help individuals manage and protect their accounts both personally and professionally.”

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