43% of employees engage in risky online behaviors to bypass complex authentication requirements


1Password has published a study detailing the risky online behaviors of employees caused by their organizations’ complex authentication requirements. The study found that 43% of employees admitted engaging in these behaviors due to “login fatigue,” which negatively impacted their productivity and mental health. Behaviors include sharing credentials, offloading tasks to others, or canceling certain tasks to avoid logging in.

The Unlocking the Login Challenge study warned that the identified risky online behaviors are having “far-reaching implications” for businesses.

Complex authentication requirements undermine productivity, attitudes, and benefits

1Password found that complex authentication requirements impacted employee mental health, reduced productivity, and forced employees to forgo certain benefits.

Logging in and out of apps has ruined their mood or impacted their productivity, according to 44% of respondents. This feeling was most common among younger generations like Gen Z (59%) and Millennials (49%), as opposed to Gen X (47%) and Boomers (33%). As a result, 26% of employees gave up performing a task at work to avoid the hassle of logging in and out of apps.

Likewise, 62% of employees missed more than 10 hours of meetings per year due to login issues. The absence resulted from employees skipping the setup of paid video conferencing software.

Additionally, 38% of employees delayed, delegated, or skipped setting up new workplace safety apps due to the difficult sign-up processes.

Surprisingly, most employees’ sign-in issues began on their first day of work, with 37% finding the onboarding process time-consuming, confusing, or challenging when it came to signing into work accounts.

Worse, only 12% of newbies let companies set their logins during the onboarding process. The remaining majority felt overwhelmed and stressed (42%), behind at work (34%), frustrated with the company (28%) and unwelcome (10%).

The password-related stress and mental health issues persist as companies struggle to attract and retain top talent who may be disappointed on day one.

Blurring the lines between work and private life

These login challenges forced employees to cross the line between work and personal life. Worryingly, nearly half (45%) of employees use personal Facebook and Gmail accounts for single sign-on (SSO) at work.

These personal accounts eluded the protection of corporate security departments. “These accounts cannot be properly managed according to IT security policies and often bypass the IT management controls that protect organizations,” the researchers noted.

As a result, this risky online behavior exposed organizations to various security risks that they could not mitigate.

Bad online behavior leads to hacking paranoia

Based on their increased online activity, such as For example, when shopping online, 61% of employees believed they were more likely to be hacked than they were a year ago. Almost half (44%) of workers were paranoid about being hacked or scammed, while 42% had had their accounts compromised before.

However, 36% of employees were concerned about hacking because of their appalling online behavior, such as B. Reusing passwords on websites and sharing accounts with family and friends.

Poor perception of company security policies encourages risky online behavior

Confusing authentication requirements resulted in 30% of employees having negative perceptions of their company’s security policies. This perception made them less concerned with good security practices, which fueled their risky online behavior and put organizations at greater risk.

This behavior is similar to reading complex software terms of use, where most users don’t bother to understand the confusing language.

Poor perception of their companies’ security policies also led to employees developing negative attitudes toward certain work apps.

The situation is exacerbated by data breaches leading to stricter authentication requirements. Unsurprisingly, employees equate complex authentication requirements with security.

according to dr Karen Renaud, a human-centric security expert, organizations make additional authentication requirements after each incident, with each condition creating more friction and hindering productivity.

Employees invent workarounds to circumvent complex authentication requirements.

The study found that 43% of employees invented workarounds to alleviate sign-in weaknesses related to complex authentication requirements. This risky online behavior turned employees into “negligent insider threats.”

According to the study, 11% of employees outsourced a task to their colleagues to avoid logging into work accounts. Likewise, 13% abandoned a task, shared a login (16%), found a workaround to complete a task without logging in (17%), or finally gave up logging in (19%) because it was taking too long.

The study found that 4 out of 10 employees engaged in risky online behaviors to avoid the stress caused by complex authentication requirements. #cybersecurity #respect dataClick to tweet

“Modern businesses struggle with the unintended consequences of complex login processes. Although they are designed to protect us, in many cases they create more stress, increase risk, and hurt the bottom line,” said Jeff Shiner, CEO of 1Password. “This report is a wake-up call that it’s time to invest in human-centric security that’s as easy to use as the workspace and personal apps we rely on every day.”


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