Fresh Takes

This Password Day, we think you deserve better.

May 4, 2021
Password Day

by sarah goodwin

Another year, another World Password Day. I don’t know about anyone else, but it’s starting to feel like we all have a toxic relationship with passwords. It’s well known across the IT industry that they’re insecure, time-consuming, and ultimately costly to your business. So why do we keep going back to them?

I’ve been racking my brains on why anyone would still be committed to passwords. Here’s what I came up with. If these reasons make you think you could do better, it might be time to break up with passwords.

1. You like testing your memory

Trying to keep your brain fit and focused? Forget the crosswords and sudoku puzzles – just keep track of all your passwords! Turns out the average employee has 190+ passwords. And it’s unlikely that they’re easy to remember– most businesses that continue to use password-based authentication require passwords of at least 8 characters, including symbols and capitalized letters.

Inevitably, if you don’t have a photographic memory, you’ll need help remembering all your passwords. Employees turn to excel docs, cheat sheets, or even post-its (admit it, we’ve all done it!) to keep track of their logins – all of which are easy for people to physically steal or for hackers to intercept. Many companies offer password managers, but these are still deeply flawed – they keep all your data in one place, don’t use biometric authentication, and could be poorly encrypted.

 2. You want to spend more time with your IT team

Who doesn’t love a good catch-up chat with your help desk while they resolve your tech problems? If you’re a social butterfly and love getting in touch with your IT team, then passwords are perfect for you. Over 40% of help desk calls are about password-related issues – this could be due to employees forgetting their passwords, needing a one-time password issued, or getting locked out of their system because a password expired.

This is great if you don’t want to get any work done – the average employee spends over 2 hours a week dealing with IT problems. But it’s not just about you – if you really care about your IT team, you’ll let them go. They might like talking to you too, but that 40% of their time they’re spending on password issues that could be used on other projects. In fact, a recent study showed that 82% of IT staff say they don’t have enough time for strategic work. If your business is considering new IT solutions to keep up with digital transformation, password issues could be holding your team back.

3. You enjoy putting your data at risk

We get it, some people live for adrenaline. There’s a thrill in taking risks, but when it comes to cybersecurity? There’s enough risk already. The cost of global cybercrime – including the loss from cyberattacks and company spending on cybersecurity – totals over $1 trillion a year. These numbers are expected to increase by more than 50% in the next two years, so this is not a problem that’s going away anytime soon. Organizations are faced with more advanced malware, increased phishing threats, and the many risks of remote work. In the last 12 months, this has led to over 60% of organizations experiencing three or more cyberattacks.

Many of these attacks are password-related – with over 80% of data breaches relating to password issues – making passwords the stereotypical bad boy of the credential world. So if you like living life on the edge, never knowing if a password-based threat is just around the corner… passwords could be right for you! If not, then it’s time to consider an alternative.

Decision made? It’s time for passwordless authentication.

If you’re ready to say goodbye to passwords, it’s time to move onto something more secure and user-centric. Passwordless authentication will treat you better – it assures your users’ and devices’ identities without relying on insecure passwords. Going passwordless means you’ll no longer need to compromise between strong security and excellent user experience. By implementing MFA methods, businesses reduce the threats to their employees and data. IT leaders no longer need to worry about phishing, re-used passwords, and weak or stolen credentials. Employees also no longer need to remember different passwords for every application or device they use. They will have a more pleasant and streamlined authentication experience and no longer need to frequently reach out to IT for assistance.

When looking for passwordless solutions, you need to consider all the use cases within your business..

  •  A solution that allows you to go beyond user authentication and secure the other machines on your network such as mobile devices, servers, applications, IoT devices, etc.

  • Technology that will secure interactions as well as identities – to be fully secure you need to encrypt and digitally sign your emails and documents to prevent data breaches and phishing threats

  • A product that is automated and cloud-based, so your IT team doesn’t need to struggle with the ongoing maintenance of complex authentication methods

  • A partner with the expertise to help you deploy and manage any new credentials you require, so your passwordless journey is smooth from start to finish

Ready to make the move? Learn how in our guide to passwordless anywhere. 

About the Author

Sarah Goodwin is the Content Marketing Manager at Axiad.

About the author
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