Employees are tired of application login issues, says report

Logging into many business applications — and sometimes having to repeatedly log in — is annoying a lot of employees and possibly impairing their productivity, a survey from a  Canadian-based password manager provider suggests.

After surveying 2,000 people in Canada and the U.S. who primarily work full-time on computers, the report (registration required) from 1Password concluded the login methods used by many companies need to be overhauled.

“It’s long past time for business to step back and redesign their approach [to employee access management],” says the report released Thursday, “putting the same care into making online services easy to use and human-centric for their employees as they do for their customers.”

According to the survey

–44 per cent of respondents said the process of logging in and out at their organization harms their mood or reduces productivity;

–26 per cent said they have sometimes given up on doing something at work to avoid the hassle of logging in;

–38 per cent of employees said they have sometimes procrastinated, delegated, or skipped setting up new work security apps because of burdensome login processes;

–62 per cent said they regularly miss parts of meetings because of login issues;

–45 per cent of employees use personal accounts such as email and Facebook for single sign-on at work;

–27 per cent of employees think there’s no difference between single sign-on and reusing passwords.

The report shows “there’s a lot of work for us still to do on the authentication side in terms of making things easier for users to use the multitude of applications they are asked to rely on,” Steve Won, 1Password’s chief product officer, said in an interview.

The job of infosec leaders “is to allow people to be as productive as they can be and get out of the way.” That includes bringing them best-in-class tools to make sure staff have good user experiences, as well as making them use strong, complex passwords. Increased security awareness training is also vital, he added.

Employees also need to understand they have to think about cybersecurity at home, Won said, largely because more staff work from their residences now.

The report emphasizes the importance of single sign-on solutions so employees don’t have to remember more than one corporate password. Won agreed the survey could be seen as self-serving from a company that sells a password manager, however, he also believes the survey results can also benefit enterprises and consumers by showing what users think about the work processes they have to deal with.

Things are bad enough that

–43 per cent of respondents said they have at least once figured out a workaround or given up on a task at work due to login challenges;

–11 per cent said they offloaded a task to a colleague so they didn’t have to deal with logging in;

–13 per cent said they have abandoned a work task so they didn’t have to deal with logging in;

–16 per cent said they have shared a login or used somebody else’s login to access an account or app at work;

–17 per cent said they have figured out a workaround to complete a task so they wouldn’t have to log in;

–and 19 per cent said they have at least once given up on logging into a non-critical app because it was taking too long.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of ITWorldCanada.com and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including ITBusiness.ca and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@] soloreporter.com

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