SecuritySecurity Management

Most Employees “Would Sell Company Passwords For £100”

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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How much do you trust your employees with the passwords to important documents?

IT managers may need to start keeping a closer eye on their employees following a report which found that an alarming majority of workers would be prepared to sell off company passwords for a small sum.

The study by security firm SailPoint found that the vast majority of a thousand employees at major organisations across the UK would be tempted to hand over passwords for as little as £100.

This is in spite of a number of high-profile security lapses recently, as hackers were able to gain access to the likes of Malaysia Airlines and the PlayStation Network.

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In addition to blatant sabotage, the survey also confirmed that employees are lax about password management in general.

Overall, one in five employees confessed to routinely sharing login information for corporate applications with other members of their team.

Alongside this, 56 percent of respondents admitted to reusing the same passwords for a range of corporate applications, with many as 14 percent of employees using the same password across all applications.

“Employees may have moved away from the post-it note password list, but using the same password across personal and work applications exposes the company,” said Kevin Cunningham, president and founder of SailPoint.

“Just think of the major breaches that occurred in 2014 requiring users to change their passwords on social media. If those were the same passwords being used to access mission critical applications, it’s very easy for hacking organisations to take advantage and get into more valuable areas. The fact is that password reuse poses a significant risk to any organisation – but the good news is that there are solutions that can quickly address the problem.”

Remembering passwords has proved to be a growing annoyance for many of us, with a recent Centrify study finding that more than one in three (38 percent) workers have accounts they cannot get into any more because they cannot remember the password, and 28 percent get locked out at least once a month due to multiple incorrect password entries.

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