We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,259 News Articles

Dealing with passwords costs UK firms £36bn a week

On average, Brits enter five passwords a day

UK firms are losing nearly £36bn a week in employee time as their staff deal with password management, says Symantec.

Research commissioned by the security firm and conducted by YouGov revealed that creating and remembering passwords, dealing with being locked out of accounts and resetting passwords when details are forgotten wastes 9.3 billion minutes a year.

On average, Brits are required to enter five passwords every day and more than half (52 percent) of those surveyed admit to using the same password for at least half of their online accounts.

Furthermore, 31 percent revealed they use easy-to-guess passwords that contain information that's commonly available on social networking sites, such as birth dates or address details. More than one in ten (13 percent) say they use their monther's maiden name as a password, while the same amount admit to using a pet's name.

Only just over a quarter (26 percent) use a random sequence of letters and numbers for their passwords, and 21 percent say they never use personal details in passwords.

"At a time when the importance of securing the information residing on corporate networks is higher than ever, weak passwords are leaving businesses open to a range of attacks, such as data loss, intellectual property theft, financial fraud and identity theft," said Christian Brindley, regional technical manager for Symantec's VeriSign Authentication group.

"The growing practice of using personal devices to access work applications and vice versa creates an additional element of risk for businesses. With more than half of British online citizens using the same password across multiple accounts, employees are making it increasingly easy for savvy cybercriminals to break into simple combinations and access information."

Symantec advised firms to ensure employees are using strong passwords, and to draw up and communicate policies designed to ensure corporate data remains safe.

See also: 41% of web users share online passwords

IDG UK Sites

Best camera phone of 2015: iPhone 6 Plus vs LG G4 vs Galaxy S6 vs One M9 vs Nexus 6

IDG UK Sites

In defence of BlackBerrys

IDG UK Sites

Why we should reserve judgement on Apple ditching Helvetica in OS X/iOS for the Apple Watch's San...

IDG UK Sites

Retina 3.3GHz iMac 27in preview: Apple cuts £400 of price of Retina iMac with new model