Some 74.2% of business owners keep a written log or have another type of offline system to record passwords, according to research conducted by Swivel Secure. That means post-it notes and Excel files are still one of the main ways that people are remembering passwords.
The study of 2,500 working Americans surveyed them on their Web habits and displayed that business-owners are taking insufficient steps to secure access to their workplace systems, setting a bad example to staff and dangerously exposing their company data as a result.
Other results from the survey show further apathy towards passwords. Some 63% business owners continually re-use the same passwords to log in to different systems, but 61% remain “unconcerned” with the security of their corporate systems.
“Consider this: if passwords are reused across personal and corporate systems — which more than one in five U.S. employees openly admit to — it only takes one employee’s Twitter or Amazon password to be hacked for unauthorized network access to be gained, compromising the entire network and all of the sensitive information held within,” says Fraser Thomas, vice president international at Swivel Secure Inc.
Business owners, typically privy to the most business critical data of all, really should be trying harder to with keep their passwords closer to their chests.
The study also suggests that this ambivalence has trickled down to influence the attitudes and behavior of employees. Seventy-three percent of full time U.S. workers admit to re-using the same batch of passwords online, with 33% using fewer than five different passwords to access between 25 and 50 personal and business sites.
The study also suggests that diligence online appears to decrease with age. A huge 71% of 55-64 year olds are ‘unconcerned’ by the security of their work IT systems, compared with 47.1% of those aged between 25 and 34.