1Password, the leader in human-centric security and privacy, today released its Unlocking the Login Challenge report. Based on a survey of 2,000 North American adults, the research explores how login fatigue compromises employee productivity, security and mental health, frustrating workers and putting essential data at risk.
Accessing work applications is a significant drain on employees, with widespread repercussions for companies. Forty-four percent of employees report that simply logging in and out of apps at work harms their mood or reduces productivity. Worryingly, more than two in five (43%) employees admit to dangerous online behaviors such as sharing logins, offloading tasks to others, or even abandoning certain tasks altogether to circumvent complicated login procedures.
“When it comes to security, organizations say, ‘Follow these guidelines,’ then they add more rules every time something goes wrong. But every new rule creates new friction for employees, which acts as a bar on full productivity,” said Dr. Karen Renaud, human-centric security expert and Chancellor’s Fellow and Faculty Member at University of Strathclyde. “This research confirms the serious toll that this friction is taking on employee well-being and, as a result, on organizations’ security. Security has become such an onerous and arduous task that people don’t even want to log in – that’s a significant problem.”
Cumbersome passwords and authentication requirements are much more than an annoyance. Four in ten employees (41%) say having to remember multiple logins heightens stress levels and strains mental health.
Falling behind on day one: More than a third of employees (37%) say that the onboarding process at their current job was time-consuming, confusing or challenging when it came to logging into work-related accounts.
Benefits breakdown: Complex logins have kept nearly one in five (19%) workers from accessing employee-provided benefits designed to reduce workplace stress. They’ve skipped open enrollment, forgone requesting time off, and missed employer-provided perks and discount marketplaces because of login challenges.
Complex login processes meant to enhance company performance are in many situations accomplishing the opposite, an ironic turn of events that’s putting companies at risk and harming productivity. When facing onerous security requirements, employees accustomed to easy-to-use technology are simply waving the white flag on core parts of their job.
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Incomplete work product: More than a quarter of employees (26%) have given up on conducting a work task to avoid the hassle of logging in.
Missing meetings: Nearly two-thirds of employees (62%) miss more than 10 hours of meetings per year due to login issues.
Skipping security: Nearly 2 in 5 employees (38%) have procrastinated, delegated or skipped setting up new work security apps because of burdensome login processes.
Cybersecurity Concern – and Confusion
Today’s employees have a healthy concern for cybersecurity risks, with 61% fearing they are more likely to be hacked now than they were a year ago due to their heightened online presence. Despite this elevated awareness, widespread confusion over best practices is putting companies at greater risk.
Blurring work and home boundaries: Nearly half of employees (45%) use their personal email, LinkedIn, Facebook or other personal account for single sign-on at work. This puts companies at risk because they are unable to monitor these accounts for security risks or ensure that best security practices are being followed.
Perplexed by passwords: More than a quarter of employees (27%) – and 41% of leaders at the level of vice president and above—think there’s no difference between single sign-on and reusing the same password across multiple platforms. In fact, the two are almost polar opposites – reusing passwords dramatically increases exposure to hackers, while single sign-on is specifically designed to boost security by reducing the number of entry points that need to be secured.
“Modern companies are grappling with the unintended consequences of complex login processes. Although they were designed to protect us, they are in many cases creating more stress, elevating risk and hurting the bottom line,” said Jeff Shiner, CEO of 1Password. “This report is a wakeup call that it’s time to invest in human-centric security that’s as easy to use as the workplace and personal apps we rely on every day.”
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