Story image

APAC firms leaving password management to employees - at a cost

23 Jan 2018

Asia Pacific organisations admit that employee behaviour and IT policy don’t match up, particularly when it comes to passwords.

Despite the danger of week passwords, a new study by Ovum and LastPass suggests that Asia Pacific organisations rely too heavily on employees to monitor their own behaviour – rather than using technology to address the problem.

The study found that 78% of IT executives do not have the proper controls that could allow them to control employee access to cloud-based applications. While organisations are aware of the lack of visibility, few are doing anything about it.

29% of respondents say they use entirely manual processes to manage user passwords for cloud applications.

“This research has clearly identified an urgent need to close the password security gap,” comments Ovum principal analyst for infrastructure solutions, Andrew Kellett.

“Far too many organisations are leaving the responsibility for password management to their employees and don’t have the automated password management technology in place to identify when things are going wrong.”

According to the survey, even employees are dissatisfied with password management practices. 75% of employees experience regular password usage problems.

A third say they need helpdesk support about password at least once per month.

The study suggests that this could be due to a lack of single sign-on in organisations. 56% of surveyed firms did not use any method of single sign-on authentication.

22% of Australian employees say they have shared their credentials with colleagues, and 11% have shared them with third parties.

However organisations don’t really know what to do to curb password sharing – 71% have no technology in place to deal with it and only 13% have controls in place that can alert IT teams when it happens.

69% of employees said they would use a tool to store or access passwords if one was available.

“In many cases, an organisation’s password management practices are overly reliant on manual processes and far too often place an excessive level of trust in employees to use safe password practices,” comments LastPass general manager Matt Kaplan.

“The threat posed by human behaviour coupled with the absence of technology to underpin policy is leaving companies unnecessarily at risk from weak or shared passwords. Organisations need to focus on solving for both obstacles in order to significantly improve their overall security.”

The survey polled 355 IT executives and 550 corporate employees in Asia Pacific, North America and Europe.

Industrial control component vulnerabilities up 30%
Positive Technologies says exploitation of these vulnerabilities could disturb operations by disrupting command transfer between components.
McAfee announces Google Cloud Platform support
McAfee MVISION Cloud now integrates with GCP Cloud SCC to help security professionals gain visibility and control over their cloud resources.
Why AI and behaviour analytics should be essential to enterprises
Cyber threats continue to increase in number and severity, prompting cybersecurity experts to seek new ways to stop malicious actors.
Scammers targeting more countries in sextortion scam - ESET
The attacker in the email claims they have hacked the intended victim's device, and have recorded the person while watching pornographic content.
Cryptojacking and failure to patch still major threats - Ixia
Compromised enterprise networks from unpatched vulnerabilities and bad security hygiene continued to be fertile ground for hackers in 2018.
Princeton study wants to know if you have a smart home - or a spy home
The IoT research team at Princeton University wants to know how your IoT devices send and receive data not only to each other, but also to any other third parties that may be involved.
Organisations not testing incident response plans – IBM Security
Failure to test can leave organisations less prepared to effectively manage the complex processes and coordination that must take place in the wake of an attack.
65% of manufacturers run outdated operating systems – Trend Micro
The report highlights the unique triple threat facing manufacturing, including the risks associated with IT, OT and IP.