Password-based authentication has always been a sensitive topic in cybersecurity in companies. Passwords are inconvenient and hard to remember; this often causes employees to develop lousy password hygiene by using faint words that are easy to remember or the same password across multiple online accounts.
Main cause of enterprise data breach
Another all too often repeated no-no with passwords is writing them down in post-it notes or storing them in insecure computer files. This practice puts the person ready for the big problem of weak and stolen passwords.
To prevent this problem, companies are happy to impose different, more complex passwords on other online accounts.
When this is combined with the need to regularly change these passwords according to established data security suggestions and guidelines, passwords become too complex for employees to remember, and when they inevitably forget, employees tend to do what they see most as a solution – and they call the help desk.
Forgetting a password is by far one of the most common reasons why people turn to the help desk.
Help desk is constantly contacted regarding password issues. According to SLACK, the help desk receives an average of over 20 calls per uses per year. A Gartner report also revealed that over 40% of all helpdesk tickets are related to password reset.
Employees and customers of an organization tend to see helpdesk as the easiest and most effective way to solve their problems regarding forgotten passwords or the need to change them instead of going through the inconvenient task of trying to remember them.
Lack of training (both technological and general) may mean that some users will still see a helpdesk call as the easiest and fastest way to resolve their password related issues.
Resetting a password may seem like an easy task, but it is not a simple two-minute solution.
Instead, employees need to contact the helpdesk and may be forced to wait longer to resolve the issue. In addition, employees can be locked out of the company’s applications or tools when the help desk is not working, which means the company’s employees can be rendered unproductive for hours.
While employees are waiting for password reset, companies are not only losing a lot of time that would otherwise have been spent being productive, but they are also losing a lot of money.
On average, it costs businesses $ 70 for each password reset; this increases over time and costs companies a lot due to how employees forget their passwords and requires a reset where over half of the users admit that they often forget their passwords.
It is not hard to see that passwords and password reset calls have become a significant source of productivity loss for many organizations.
A survey of 600 IT professionals revealed that 36.7% of US and 60% of UK companies have over 25 apps that require passwords; because of how many of these passwords are, employees will have to forget, it ends up costing companies 2.5 months of lost productivity per year by resetting passwords.
Training of employees to change passwords themselves
A standard solution to debacle helpdesk calls is to allow employees and business customers to reset passwords completely themselves without calling the helpdesk via Self-service Password Reset Software (SSPR).
Much as the name suggests, an SSPR solution allows employees to securely unlock their accounts and reset their passwords without having to contact the helpdesk.
It delegates the task back to the user using a self-service workflow, thus easing the burden of resetting passwords from helpdesk calls. Many companies have started using this in recent times as it dramatically reduces the number of helpdesk calls, saves time and improves the overall efficiency of the company.
Yes, your password security is easy to intercept
However, the problem of passwords goes far beyond just helpdesk calls; passwords make corporate security weak because they are just too easy to hack or intercept. Therefore, this quick and easy solution only solves the problem of helpdesk calls without taking into account that passwords are inherently insecure.
The writing is on the wall: for companies and businesses to successfully increase employee efficiency, reduce costs and eliminate the mundane tasks that plague helpdesk calls, while improving security. Companies will completely stop traditional authentication methods like passwords.
Replace passwords with secure authentication means
SSPR can improve a few areas – reducing costs and improving efficiency, but it does not deliver quite like passwordless technology, which has the added benefit of removing passwords.
Passwordless technology, by eliminating passwords, significantly improves usability and security and eliminates the habits that lead employees to develop poor password hygiene, which is to create and remember different complex passwords for different online accounts.
Password-free technology as a solution
Instead of verifying users’ identities and providing user access with passwords, technology without passwords considers two main factors. These factors are: who employees are (biometric technology such as face, iris or fingerprint scanning technology) and what they have (mobile number, key card and access token / badge).
Password-free technology allows desktop teams to focus on essential and more valuable tasks.
Different password-free authentication technologies may have different authentication approaches; however, they all have one thing in common – they do not store employee data in a system. Not storing vital data in the system is what makes password-free technology inherently more secure than traditional and password-based security technology.
Password-free authentication resolves issues that SSPR addresses.
Due to its advantages, passwordless technology has been introduced in recent years. A 2021 survey found that cost savings, prevention of identity theft and phishing and user experience were the main reasons why respondents chose to implement password-free technology across their organizations.
Password-free technology also decentralizes the authentication process.
Instead of storing users ‘credentials and passwords on servers, password-free technology works by using private keys generated from and stored on employees’ devices, making it harder for hackers to break and guarantee maximum security.
The negative effects of passwords
Whenever the negative effects of passwords are discussed, it is easy to see it as a negative impact on corporate cybersecurity. However, the problem of forgotten passwords goes beyond that – passwords reduce employee productivity, burden the help desk and cost companies a lot of money.
Today, passwords serve as one of the leading causes of security breaches. But unfortunately, password fatigue and recycling are still plaguing the cyber security industry.
The demand to completely remove passwords from organizations and services has been long awaited.
In recent years, votes have grown in volume and number, primarily as over 80% of data breaches are due to weak or stolen passwords.
Since nearly half of helpdesk calls are wasted on mundane, unnecessary tasks such as resetting passwords, it’s easy to see why employees and helpdesk centers are frustrated.
Passwords must be removed so that helpdesk employees and IT teams have the freedom and time to solve more tasks, interesting and important questions.
With more modern password-free technology, there is no better time to eliminate the time-consuming and expensive ordeal of resetting passwords and using passwords completely than now.
Image credit: George Milton; Pexels; Thank you!