Dashlane is a Business Reporter client
These days, we have logins for everything. Between work life and home life the average person has about 100 passwords to keep track of. And with so many to manage, it’s easy to fall into the guessing, forgetting and resetting cycle. This not only wastes employees’ time – fixes can take from two minutes to half an hour – it also increases your organisation’s risk of a cyber-security breach.
The more often employees have to reset their forgotten passwords, the more likely they are to embrace poor password management, such as creating weak passwords and reusing them across multiple accounts. And if this leads to a breach, the costs are steep: one major report found that the average cost of a business data breach was $4.24 million.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to up your cyber-security game and make life easier for everyone.
Time equals money
If you immediately call your IT department when you get locked out of your computer or a critical account at work, you’re not alone. According to one survey, between 20 and 50 per cent of all helpdesk calls are for password resets. Then there’s often lag time before you can get back into your account and back to work. In fact, other research found that employees spend an average of 11 hours per year remembering or resetting passwords. For large organisations (15,000 or more employees), this can mean productivity loss to the tune of $5.2 million each year.
The cost of a breach
Your organisation’s security is only as strong as your employees’ weakest password. Strong passwords are long, unique and random. But no one can expect employees to memorise numerous strings of random data. Password fatigue can lead to shortcuts such as creating simple passwords and using them across multiple accounts. Surveys show that 63 per cent of people reuse passwords, and this security risk is even more amplified when employees share passwords.
Without a secure way of sharing, people will rely on unsecured methods such as conferencing apps or email to send shared logins. Every instance of this increases the chances of a breach, and if the same password is used for multiple accounts, the breach can grow even bigger. On top of huge financial loss, breaches can also cost a business its reputation.
How organisations can improve security
Strong cyber-security doesn’t start with technology. It starts with people. Organisations that create a culture of security build policies, processes, procedures and guidelines on a foundation of empathy and understanding. As a result, employees are more aware of and invested in cyber-security practices and will be more likely to adopt tools to further improve their security and productivity.
A password manager is one of the best tools to help people embrace a strong security culture. Password managers generate, store, encrypt and autofill strong passwords and other sensitive information, and they also make it easy to securely share passwords with colleagues.
Many password managers also offer a password health feature that identifies weak or reused passwords, so employees and IT admins can see which need to be changed. Some password managers also have monitoring features that scan the dark web for your personal information and send alerts when they find something.
Implementing a company-wide password management system also means employees no longer have to remember 100 passwords – they only need to remember one master password to access all their accounts. With only one password to remember, password resetting time drops dramatically, and employees can get back to work faster.
Cyber-security and password management can be a burden on employees and companies alike, but it doesn’t have to be that way. When organisations embrace a culture of security and implement the right tools, they save time, money and a whole lot of headaches.
How much time (and money) does your organisation spend managing passwords? Find out with the Password Manager Savings Calculator, created by Dashlane.
Originally published on Business Reporter