Lax attitude of staff to password security threatens UK businesses

A new piece of research from Dashlane has found that the lax attitude of many employees towards passwords and business data in general threatens the security of businesses.

The 'Digital Indifference in the Workplace' report surveyed some 3000 workers in the UK, as well as the US and France, and the headline statistic was that 60 per cent of UK employees aged 16 to 34 said they freely shared passwords with their colleagues.

The number was less when it came to workers aged 45 and over, but still stood at 40 per cent, hardly an insignificant amount.

Also when it came to younger workers in the 16 to 34 bracket, a quarter of them said that they remembered passwords by writing them on scraps of paper or post-it notes.

Furthermore, the research found that 45 per cent of those surveyed admitted that they could still access their accounts which related to a previous employer, pointing to gaping security holes in terms of account management.

30 per cent of staff members also said that their employer never changes passwords – or only does this when some sort of issue forces their hand.

When it came to a company's policy regarding sharing passwords, 70 per cent of those surveyed said they either don't have a policy, or weren't aware of what their firm's policy was.

Guillaume Desnoës, Head of European Markets at Dashlane, said: “Our report reveals a lackadaisical approach to the management of company confidential data, which is being driven by the influx of ‘millennials’ entering the workplace.

“Having grown up with the sharing culture of social media, this age group has become slightly casual when it comes to their security and this has the potential to have an impact in the business world. This could soon cause real headaches for IT departments at big firms and the owners of small businesses.

“It’s clear that so much more needs to be done to educate both business leaders and employees of all levels on the significance of the data they’re entrusted with, and the importance of effective password policies to protect it – and themselves. Password sharing can make a company so much more efficient, but it needs to be handled properly.”