Company Passwords for Sale?

March 31, 2016

Employees don’t see it as their responsibility to safeguard corporate security processes and one in five would go so far as to sell sell their company’s passwords to an outsider.

Of those who would sell their passwords, 44 percent would do so for less than $1,000, according to SailPoint’s annual Market Pulse Survey. This is up from one in seven who would sell a password a year ago, according to the report, which is based on interviews with 1,000 employees in large organizations.

SailPoint, which helps corporations manage user access to their systems, found employees’ growing concern over the security of their personal information to be at odds with and their attitudes toward data security practices in the workplace. The survey found that 85 percent of employees would react negatively if their personal information was breached by a company. Yet these same employees are exposing their employers to the same data breaches through negligence and poor password hygiene.

Additionally, the survey highlights an ongoing challenge for IT and security professionals: 26 percent of employees admitted to uploading sensitive information to cloud apps with the specific intent to share that data outside the company.

The majority of respondents (65 percent) admitted to using a single password among applications, and one-third share passwords with their co-workers.

One in three employees admitted to purchasing a SaaS application without IT’s knowledge. Alarmingly, more than 40 percent of respondents reported having access to a variety of corporate accounts after leaving their last job.

“Today’s identity governance solutions can alleviate the challenge of remembering several passwords and automate IT controls and security policies, but it’s imperative that employees understand the implications of how they adhere to those policies,” said Kevin Cunningham, president and founder of SailPoint. “It only takes one entry point out of hundreds of millions in a single enterprise for a hacker to gain access and cause a lot of damage.”

For its survey, the Austin, Texas company commissioned research firm Vanson Bourne to interview 1,000 office workers at large organizations (with at least 1,000 employees) across the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, the Netherlands and Australia. The report looks at how employees view IT security and what organizations are doing to to adapt to business realities.

Source: SailPoint Market Pulse Survey

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