Most Employees Believe Passwords Affect Their Productivity, Research Finds

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US employees say that passwords and the entire ecosystem around this authentication method affect their productivity, according to a new study.

Passwords remain the main gatekeeper for security information and network infrastructure, like it or not. Although some companies have started to move in this direction, we’re still far from widespread adoption of biometric authentication. Even if biometric authentication were to become more prevalent, passwords would still be needed as backups in most cases. Passwords are not going away anytime soon.

A study from Axiad revealed something that everybody intuited for a long time — people really don’t like passwords and feel that passwords affect their daily productivity.

59 percent of employees say that they had to contact the IT department after being locked out of their devices and almost half of them forgot their current password, and 42 percent let passwords expire. Making things worse, even if employees know of better ways to secure their accounts, they seldom use them.

“While 67% of respondents said they are aware of multi-factor authentication as an alternative to passwords, 46% said their own IT departments had never asked them to use anything other than passwords,” found the study.

“The survey results prove that current approaches to authentication are failing employees. Frustrations are high when so many password-based authentication issues get in the way of employees doing their job,” the research also found.

One reason password authentication annoys people is the time it takes to fix any problems, including being locked out. For example, on average, it takes 4 hours and 43 minutes to fix authentication issues at work, leading to frustration for employees.

The researchers analyzed responses from 2,000 office workers in the US.