Employees take risks to avoid login hassles


A new report from 1Password reveals that 43 percent of employees admit to risky online behaviors such as sharing logins, offloading tasks to others, or even abandoning certain tasks altogether to circumvent complicated login procedures.

Having to remember multiple logins heightens stress levels and strains mental health according to 41 percent of respondents. While 37 percent say that the onboarding process at their current job was time-consuming, confusing or challenging when it came to logging into work-related accounts.

“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,” says 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.”

It seems security hassles are harming companies in other ways too. More than a quarter of employees (26 percent) say they have given up on conducting a work task to avoid the hassle of logging in. 62 percent say they miss more than 10 hours of meetings per year due to login issues, and 38 percent have procrastinated, delegated or skipped setting up new work security apps because of burdensome login processes.

There’s a blurring of boundaries too, 45 percent 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.

Also worrying is that 27 percent of employees — and 41 percent 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.

“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,” says 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.”

The full report is available on the 1Password site.

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