A new study by 1Password has revealed that almost half of employees put their companies at risk by using risky online habits to avoid difficulties logging in and out of apps at work.
Taking risks with company security
The study, by passwords manager maker 1Password which surveyed 2,000 US workers, found that 44 per cent said that the hassles of trying to log in and out of work apps has a negative effect on their mood or their productivity. Also, 43 per cent of those surveyed said that in order to avoid these negative effects, they resort to using “dangerous online behaviours” such as sharing login details (password sharing), offloading tasks to others, or abandoning certain tasks altogether to circumvent complicated login procedures.
Cumbersome Passwords + Authentication More Than An “Annoyance”
The survey found that having to remember cumbersome passwords or spend time going through authentication procedures is much more than an annoyance to employees. For example, 41 per cent of respondents said having to remember multiple logins heightens stress levels and strains mental health.
Also, more than one-third of respondents said that the onboarding process at their current job was time-consuming, confusing or challenging when it came to logging into work-related accounts, causing them to fall behind in their work. One-fifth of respondents said that complex login challenges have stopped them from accessing employee-provided benefits designed to reduce workplace stress, and caused them to skip open enrolment, forgo requesting time off, and miss employer-provided perks and discount marketplaces.
Do complex logins harm productivity?
1Password says the survey results show that, instead of enhancing company performance, complex login processes can achieve the opposite by putting companies at risk and harming productivity.
The survey also shows, for example, that login complications have led to employees giving up on conducting a work task, missing more than 10 hours of meetings per year, and procrastinating, delegating, or skipping setting up new work security apps because of burdensome login processes.
What does this mean for your business?
Although the survey was carried out by a company that makes a password manager, it does make some valid points relating to how current authentication and verification methods, plus the need to use complex passwords, all add time and extra hassle to daily work. The CEO of 1Password also makes the point that human-centric security that’s as easy to use can make life easier at work. Security, however, is an extremely important issue, particularly with remote and hybrid working patterns, and aspects of the report such as workers engaging in “dangerous” behaviours to avoid the stress of complex logins, e.g. password sharing, is worrying. Based on the findings of this survey, businesses need to look at whether their own login procedures and authentication achieve the right balance of providing security while enhancing productivity and workflow. Businesses also need to minimise the opportunities for circumventing security-based procedures and remind staff of the reasons for and benefits of what may appear to be complex login systems.