Trends Report

Benchmark Your Employee Password Policies And Practices

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly: S&R Pros Have No Choice But To Coexist With Passwords While Assessing Alternatives

September 9th, 2015
Jennie Duong, null
Jennie Duong
With contributors:
Stephanie Balaouras , Alexander Spiliotes , Peggy Dostie


Both employees and security and risk (S&R) professionals lament password problems, but for all their issues and rumored demise, passwords remain the most common form of user authentication for apps and systems. Employees regularly forget their passwords, and while they wait for the help desk to reset their password or try to reset it themselves, their productivity declines and their frustration increases. If employees can't access critical business apps and data, they can't do their jobs and they can't serve customers. At the same time, password resets and other issues drive up the costs of staffing and maintaining the help desk. In addition, the increased velocity of data breaches, many of which occur via compromised or stolen passwords, has only increased the security team's password anxiety. Although solutions such as multifactor authentication have emerged to help reduce reliance on passwords and decrease security risks, many security teams have not been able to completely eliminate the need for them. In 2015, Forrester conducted a survey to identify firms' current password policies, usage, and challenges. This report reviews the survey's key findings and offers practical guidance and recommendations on password management that S&R pros can use to keep costs and risks in check and keep employees happy and serving customers.

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